Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Toffee Bars

If you read my blog, then you’ve seen this picture before. 

This is the old school Better Homes and Gardens cookbook with the Cookies section (tab 9 in case you are wondering), open to the page that displays photos of some of the wonderful cookies you can make (and then eat). This book is older than me. My brother and I spent many hours looking at these pages and imagining what each cookie would taste like. My Mom never made all of them, but we were lucky enough to get to sample many.

My Mom was kind enough to let me have this book several years ago and the memories that go along with it are priceless. The book is so well-worn that both the front and back covers are no longer attached (but I have them), and neither are many of the pages. This time when I opened it up to tab 9, I found a page about roast beef just hanging around in there. I didn't even bother to try to find where it belonged but rather left it there for the next time.

This is what the book looks like:

This post is about the two bars you see up in the top right hand corner of the page in the first photo. They are called Toffee Bars. The recipe is simple with five ingredients (actually six, but we don’t put the nuts in due to allergies in the school). The hardest part about this recipe is finding a cookie sheet that is 15 ½ x 10 ½ x 1 inches, since most companies make them much larger these days.

Note: If you cannot find a cookie sheet this size, use a larger sheet and only use the real estate provided to fill the space of 15 ½ x 10 ½ x 1 inches with the dough. You can do this easily by making a little wall out of tin foil and pressing it up against the edge of the dough. Use a ruler to help you.

Although from the photo you might think these Toffee Bars look like chocolate chip cookies cut into bars, they are not. Because of the butter to brown sugar ratio, along with the lack of eggs, they are firmer than regular chocolate chip cookies. There is also no leavening agent so they stay flat and crunchy.

I think you will love them. This year, they played a large role in my cookie tin gifts for neighbours and friends.

Since the recipe is so simple, and I have made no adjustments (aside from leaving out the nuts), I am not even going to retype this recipe. Instead, here is a photo of it, with photos of the process as well.

Start by putting the butter into your mixer. Then add the brown sugar.

Cream the butter and sugar together with the vanilla.

Then add the flour and the chocolate chips.

You will end up with a dough that looks like this:

Take a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch cookie sheet and line it with parchment. You can try doing this with no parchment but I find that sometimes the dough sticks and it's hard to get it out of the pan. It depends on the quality and age of the pan you are using.

Press the dough into the pan ensuring that it is the same thickness throughout.

Pop the tray into the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 - 25 minutes (depends on your oven). You want to take them out when they are golden but still a bit soft.

Cut them into bars while they are still warm. 

The recipe says that the yield is 5 dozen, but I never get that many. 

It will depend on how big you cut the bars!

I decided these looked too big so I cut them again.

And then I packed them into cookie tins and promptly gave them away so I wouldn't eat them all.

And then I sneaked one out of the tin and ate it.

And then I went to the gym.

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