Friday, January 7, 2011

toffee bars

There are a few things I want to do in my life.

Well, I mean, there are a lot of things I hope to do in my life.

But there are a few things I would kill to do. Travel the world, travel the world to eat, open a bakery, meet iron chef Michael Symon and Anthony Bourdain, have both of the aforementioned invite me over for dinner, have a dessert Throwdown with Bobby Flay, etc. etc. But you know what else I would love to do more than anything? Voice a Disney princess.

How epic would that be?!

unfortunately finished this before rapunzel became an official princess :( but she's here in spirit!

While driving home at 11 pm tonight, I was blasting and singing along to my Disney playlist. Mostly to keep me from falling asleep at the wheel, but also because any time is a good time for Disney music. Particularly the "Tangled" soundtrack. So addicting! Plus, Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore do a phenomenal job voice acting and singing.

Oh man, I would just love to do that. But as much as I love all things Disney, that is not what this post is about.

Toffee bars. Hershil came over to the apartment last night to help me bake before we went to see Black Swan [which is an incredible movie, by the way, but also the one most disturbing things I've seen]. It was quite fun, duking it out on the Wii while these were in the oven, chatting about anything and everything. Thank goodness he's taking J-term classes, because there are only so many reruns of Iron Chef I can watch before the ability to list their dishes within the first five minutes makes the entire hour of programming rather dull.

Now, I love this recipe. In fact, it was the first recipe I tried from The Cookie & Biscuit Bible, and compelled me try more immediately afterward. I've gifted these a few times in the past, because they're always a huge hit. Luckily, this time was no different.

These babies went to my good friend, DUSTIN HIGGINS, despite his poor taste in movies and rap music [Avatar and Lil Wayne, really?], as a promised, belated birthday gift. I spent the evening with him and Beth after I got off of work, which was a fantastic way to break up the monotony of my workweek. Especially after a fun evening with Hershil yesterday. Two for two, man, I'm on a roll.

Toffee Bars
Adapted from The Cookie & Biscuit Bible

You'll need:
  • 1 pound [4 sticks] of butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts [this is optional, but highly suggested]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and flour a 9x13-inch pan. Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add in egg yolks and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated. Lower speed and slowly add flour and salt. But until just mixed. Pour batter into pan and spread and press down evenly with the back of a spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until top is golden-brown.

As soon as shortbread is out of the oven, sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over top. Wait 2-3 minutes for chocolate to begin melting, and then use a knife to spread chocolate evenly across the top of the shortbread. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top of the chocolate. Let cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Bars keep well in an airtight container for up to a week.

I seriously love these things. They're not overly sweet, sort of melt in your mouth, and the nut crunch on top is delightful. Plus, Dustin, Beth, and Hershil loved 'em, so I was pretty satisfied.

I actually didn't eat any from this batch, which was both extremely depressing and extremely difficult. I'm working on low-carbing it for a few weeks, just to kind of clean the refined flour and sugar out of my system [after the past few...months...of gastronomic frivolity]. But boy, did they smell good when they came out of the oven.

Ugh. I'm one more omelette away from just buying a baguette and eating it whole.


I will persevere. 


Let's just say, it's a good thing that there are none of these left in the apartment...

1 comment:

  1. you know what, sabo, let me tell you--if the good lord did not want us to eat delicious food, refined flour and such included, he would have made it haraam. hell, by denying yourself, you're only insulting Allah, keeping away from the good things he made halaal unto human beings because of such silly things like "pre-diabetes." that sounds hokey. JUST HOKEY. but my point is, don't deny yourself completely. BECAUSE IF YOU DO YOU ARE DENYING THE SPLENDOR OF ALLAH!

    this is my fatwa. also, the same line of reasoning to excuse my own diet.


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