Mom’s Toffee Bars

I wanted to bake something for my friend’s birthday and bring said item into work. Of course when I asked her, ‘What is your favorite cookie?’ she didn’t have an answer. So, I debated…

I decided to bake something simple, a recipe that my mom always made for Matt and I when we were kids: Toffee Bars. I had been thinking of them for awhile and didn’t have the recipe on hand. Sure, I could look it up online, but I’d rather call mom and ask for it. It’s fairly simple, ingredients wise, but oh, so good! I remember whenever mom would make them as soon as she took them out of the oven and spread the chocolate chips on top I’d ask her if I could have one. She always said, ‘No, you have to wait until they’ve cooled off!’ To which I’d ask her every ten minutes, ‘are they cool yet??’

Mom always made these with margarine, but I only had butter on hand. Either works well. When I asked her if the butter had to be room temperature she said, ‘You know, Martha always says to do that and to have eggs at room temp, but I never do because I don’t think it matters.’ (I laughed and pretty much agreed*). She also always topped them with chopped walnuts too. I used milk and dark chocolate chips because that’s what was in my fridge.

Toffee Bars

1c. Butter or Margarine
1c. brown sugar (light or dark, I used dark)
1tsp. vanilla
1 egg yolk
2c. flour
1/2tsp. salt
1 bag of chocolate chips (less or more, depending on taste)
1/2c-1c. chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, pistachios)
Sprinkle fleur de sel on top of melted chocolate

Set oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease a 9″x13″ baking dish (glass or metal) and set aside.
Combine the flour and salt in small bowl, set aside. In a larger bowl, mix the butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add egg yolk, mix well. Add flour mixture until fully combined. At first, the dough is really crumbly, but turn up the speed on the mixer and it will get more thick/heavy. Press dough evenly into pan and bake for about 20-25 min. You don’t want the dough to be browned, but lightly tan. Pour chips on dough and spread melted chips with knife or spatula. Let cool and cut into whatever size bar you choose. Store in airtight container. Will last for a week…depending on how many cookie monsters live in your house.

And yes, as soon as I spread the chocolate and set them on the table to cool, I cut myself a tiny piece, took a bite and said ‘Yep, just as excellent as I remember.’
I think my friend will be happy with the results.

*Though, lately mom and I have both realized there is a method to the madness. If any recipe you’re making calls for room temp. eggs or butter, follow it. Because, well, baking is all about science.