Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars

Here's a dessert that stands the test of time.

Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars

Okay, so just about 50 or so years, but I can think of a lot of desserts from 50 years ago I wouldn't really want to eat. This, however, is not one of them.

The other day I was browsing through cookbooks at my parents' house when I spotted a somewhat tattered copy of a Better Homes & Gardens dessert cookbook, circa 1960. Hilariously dated photos (I posted one on Instagram) accompany some pretty awesome recipes that I knew I had to make. So I helped myself to the book (you know where to find it, Mom!) and had at it.

Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars

These chocolate chip toffees bars are the first recipe I've tried from the book, and I love the simplicity of the recipe, combined with that made-at-home charm of the finished product. The bars are sweet, slightly crispy and crumbly, and almost taste like a Skor bar - or at least what I remember Skor bars tasting like before I realized they were trying to kill me.

The original recipe calls for a bit more flour (2 cups), and to be baked in a jelly roll pan, but I find the tweaks I made resulted in a better bar. Feel free to try it both ways to see what you like best.

Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars

Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars
adapted from the 1960 edition of Better Homes & Gardens Dessert Cook Book

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 3/4 cup flour (Note: The original recipe calls for 2 cups. Canadian flour - a.k.a my flour - has more protein than American flour so you may find yourself needing 2 cups to get the right texture if you're American. The dough will not resemble a brownie batter - more of a drier cookie dough. You'll need to press it down into the pan to have it stick together and lay flat.)
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 11x11 pan (or 9x13 or a jelly roll pan) with parchment.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or wherever you feel is best - I'm not judging), cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Add the flour, mix well, then stir in the chocolate chips. Press the mixture into the prepared pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

Since the bars will harden more as they cool, it's best to slice them while warm in the pan. Allow to cool completely before removing them to your mouth a plate.


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