Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Toffee Bar Search Is Over!

The search is over for the elusive toffee bars of my husband's youth. After trying several excellent recipes and having him say, "These are good but not THE ones", I finally came across his Mom's recipe in a cookbook published by our high school band in the 1960s.

His remembrance of the recipe was that it was topped with chocolate, which is not included in the original recipe. When I asked him if the chocolate topping was a variation, he said it was his contribution to the recipe.

His Mom's recipe is titled "Pecan Crisps" and no chocolate is necessary for these softly crunchy, praline-ish bars. The toffee-like consistency is achieved by adding no leavening and spreading the batter into a large pan. And even though there is a teaspoon of cinnamon, the bars do not taste spicy.

I am so excited to find this recipe and spent the morning thumbing through this and other old cookbooks from my hometown. With all my love of new cookbooks and bookmarking scores of recipes on the internet, my favorites are still from my old, shabby, full-of-memories community cookbooks and those hand-written recipes lovingly shared on recipe cards, notebook paper, or any scrap of paper the writer found convenient.

Pecan Crisps
from my husband's Mom

1 cup soft butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, separated
2 cups sifted flour
½ teaspoon salt (I left this out because I used salted butter)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Cream butter and sugar until light. Beat in vanilla and egg yolk. Add sifted dry ingredients and 1/2 cup of the pecans. Mix well. Press into greased 15 X 10 X 1 pan and brush top with slightly beaten egg white. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pecans. Bake in moderate oven (350) about 25 minutes. While warm, cut into 50 bars and remove at once to rack to cool. (I cut mine into larger bars.)


  1. OHHHHH...I gotta try these!

    My DH had a favorite pillow too....finally found a cheap one at wally-world that was a very good replacement!

  2. Glad you found THE recipe. I know your husband is enjoying them. Can't wait to try them for myself.

  3. These look so good. I also love old cookbooks. Anything with pecans will make me happy. I love the photos of your back yard and pool. Beautiful!


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