Toffee Crunch Cookie Bars


These are my MOST favoritest, favoritest of all Christmas treats. I love, love, love, love these things. They are like crack to me. I am hooked. Helpless to the power of the buttery-vanilla-golden crust, the layer of caramel and the sweet chocolate and crunchy walnuts adorning the top. The crunch, the slight saltiness and the piece-after-piece-after-piece-that-I-can’t-stop-eating-straight-from-a-zip-lock-in-the-refrigerator…

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Oops sorry. Lol. Yea I love this stuff. And I just call it “toffee” by the way. But I think I confuse some people when I call it that because it isn’t just toffee, which is traditionally a “confection made by caramelizing sugar or molasses along with butter” according to Wikipedia. There is a layer that fits that description but there is so much more to these… But they are and will always be “toffee” to me and those close to me KNOW what I mean when I refer to it! I got this recipe from my mom and she got it from a magazine clipping long-long ago. I’m thinking she still has that little scrap of paper in her recipe box somewhere. I doubt she remembers what magazine it came from anymore! Thank you to someone out there in magazine-land for the most wonderful recipe ever! 🙂

So as I said, there is a buttery-vanilla-golden crust and this is made much like a cheese-cake crust: cookie crumbs mixed with brown sugar and melted butter and pressed into a pan. So the cookies in this case are Nilla Wafers and the pan is a 13X9 ” baking dish (I doubled the recipe this time and made the whole thing in a half sheet pan which worked out nicely). Then you make a caramel with brown sugar and butter on the stove and pour this over the just baked crust. You then bake this, and then sprinkle the top with chocolate. Once the chocolate has had some time to soften, you spread it out evenly over the caramel and sprinkle it all with chopped, toasted walnuts. Then stick it in the fridge and wait patiently while it firms up before breaking it into uneven pieces. See, this is even fun and stress-relieving! I store it in the fridge because the chocolate can get tacky if the room gets too warm and I like my toffee firm and crunchy! It will hold up just fine on a holiday cookie tray though!

Happiness is a bag of toffee :)

Happiness is a bag of toffee 🙂

Alright let’s get to making this already so I can eat some more…. 🙂

One more note! I have made this with unsalted and salted butter and I find that salted butter adds just the right amount of salt to this without making it too much of a sweet-and-salty thing. I normally use unsalted butter in all of my cooking and baking but this is one instance where I advocate the usage of salted butter. If you use unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to the crust ingredients and to the caramel.

***PRINTABLE RECIPE (TOFFEE CRUNCH COOKIE BARS PDF)***

Toffee Crunch Cookie Bars

Ingredients for the Cookie Base:

  • 2 cups finely crushed Nilla Wafers (~50)
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup salted butter, melted

Ingredients for the Toffee Layer and Topping:

  • ½ cup salted butter
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or bittersweet)
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • In a medium bowl combine the Nilla Wafers, brown sugar and melted butter. Stir together to fully combine
  • Press firmly into bottom of an ungreased 13X9” baking dish

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  • Bake for 8 minutes
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine ½ cup butter and ½ cup brown sugar
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil

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  • Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly
  • Pour immediately over the baked crust, tipping pan to coat crust evenly (use pot holders pan will be hot! Don’t use a spatula or you will end up disturbing the crust)
  • Bake for 10 minutes

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  • Remove from oven and let stand 2 minutes
  • Sprinkle with chocolate chips and allow to stand for 3 minutes, or until chips look shiny and soft

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  • Spread chocolate evenly and sprinkle with walnuts

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  • Chill and then break into pieces
  • Store in an airtight bag or container in the refrigerator

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7 responses to “Toffee Crunch Cookie Bars

  1. Oh, toffee, my most favoritist thing in the world. I love it, love it, love it. My mom made it one time, but only once, since she always made caramels the most, but that one time was enough to get me hooked. Did I mention I love it? But if you don’t use a spatula, what do you have to lick while it’s all in the oven?

    • Lol. Good point about the spatuala… Lick the spatula u used when making the caramel! Once it cools down of course. Toffee is my favorite too if u could not tell. We have good taste like that!

      • Absolutely. I’m still going to try boiling some cans of sweetened condensed milk when I can get back in the kitchen. Probably have to eat it out of the can, but no sticky cleanup that way. Ever try Ben and Jerry’s toffee crunch ice cream? It’s the best, and I can finish the container in one sitting. Slight tummy problems afterward but not enough to make me regret it.

  2. Pingback: Holiday Cookie Trays 2013 | therapy bread·

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