I have been wanting to try some of Dorie Greenspan’s recipes for ages. When I took her book, Baking: From my home to yours, off of the shelf at the library, it literally fell open to the page with this recipe. And let me say, with no uncertainty – these bars ROCK! Now, I have always been a fan of English Toffee. My dad and I gave my mum a tin of Almond Roca every Valentine’s Day and the sweet, toasty taste of the toffee hooked me early. When I saw that these bars were topped with Heath Toffee bits, I knew I had to go straight home to make a batch. My 4-year-old was extremely supportive of this decision.
1 tsp instant espresso powder or finely ground instant coffee…
1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. The cinnamon lends a very subtle, warm taste to the crust.
Place 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter (room temperature) in the bowl of a stand mixer. Alternatively, place the butter in a large bowl and use a hand mixer. Beat for 3 minutes, or until the butter is smooth.
Add 1/2 cup packed brown sugar…
and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Beat for 3 minutes.
Add 1 tsp pure vanilla extract and beat again until combined.
Add the flour mixture.
Before you start to beat, put a towel over the mixture so the flour stays in the bowl. Trust me!
Pulse 5-6 times, remove the towel and then beat until the flour mixture is almost incorporated.
Finely chop 3 oz bittersweet or high-quality milk chocolate.
Add the chocolate to the mixer and mix until the rest of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Do not overmix!
Lightly butter a 9-x 13-inch baking pan. Line the pan with foil, leaving long foil ends on the side. Butter the foil.
Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and press down the mixture with a spatula and your fingertips.
See? I did actually use my fingertips. It’s more fun that way!
Bake the crust for 20-22 minutes, or until the crust is bubbling. Your house will smell phenomenal by this point! Turn off the oven, remove the pan, and place the hot pan on a cooling rack.
Finely chop 6 oz bittersweet or high-quality milk chocolate and sprinkle it over the hot crust. Put the pan back into the oven for 2-3 minutes.
Yeah, so this picture is a little unappetizing. It’s chocolate – I promise.
Chop 4 Heath or Skor bars (chocolate-covered English toffee) into small pieces. This will total about 1 cup of the chocolate-covered toffee bits.
Sprinkle the Heathy bar pieces over the chocolate and press down gently with your fingers. My 4-year-old took this picture and was so excited to have it posted on the blog. He told me, “Now everyone can see how to push the toffee pieces down so they can make this for their kids.” So, you’d better make this for your kids!
Let the bars cool to room temperature. If the chocolate is not set by the time the bars are cool, just pop the pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Using the overlapping as handles, lift the bars out of the pan and cut.
Dorie recommends cutting these into 2 inch x 1 inch squares, which would give you 54 bars. I made mine a little bigger and ended up with a total of 36 bars.