Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Toffee Bars

It's official. With the dessert. I cannot be stopped, my friends.

Dessert has somehow become my go-to comfort food over the last 6.5 months, which is bizarre to this lifelong savory food lover. Maybe it's because I can't have my true favorite comfort food right now. But we're rolling with it. Especially the husband part of us. I believe he is in the kitchen eating one of these bars right now. At 5:30am.

Also, I always thought I didn't like toffee. Who knew that toffee is basically crunchy salted caramel? What is not to like about that? Nothing, says the girl who was eating it by the handful while waiting for the base of this recipe to cook...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Toffee Bars
Barely adapted from Marta Writes - I love this blog for her great writing and her perspective, so finding a tasty recipe there was icing on the cake. Check it.
makes 9x13 pan

1 stick butter (1/2 cup), at room temperature*
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 extra large egg yolk, at room temperature*
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cup toffee pieces (equivalent to one bag Heath baking pieces)

Heat oven to 350. Line 9x13 pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on each end. Spray foil with cooking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter, peanut butter, sugar, and egg yolk on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until mixture is smooth, scraping bowl as necessary. Add flour, oats, and salt, and beat on low until just combined, about 30 seconds. Mixture may appear crumbly. 

Press mixture evenly into the bottom of prepared pan. Back for 20 minutes, or until golden brown, taking care not to over bake.

Remove pan from oven and distribute chocolate chips evenly over cookie base. Return to oven for 3 minutes. Remove pan from oven and spread melted chocolate evenly over cookie; a small offset spatula works well here. 

Sprinkle toffee pieces evenly over chocolate. Cool pan on wire rack until chocolate is set, at least 2 hours. 

Cut into small squares (this dessert is rich), serve with a glass of milk, and eat it up! Alternately, this would be a fun (and easy) party dessert served with a glass of bubbly to contrast the sweetness. Apparently that is no bueno for baby girl, so I had two glasses of milk instead.

*Fun facts: If your butter is not at room temperature, slap it on a plate, cut it into 8 tablespoon-sized pats, and let it sit on the counter. You'll be ready to roll in 30 minutes. I find this method more reliable that heating it up in the microwave, which can lead to butter that it too soft and baked goods that spread all over the place.

If your egg is not at room temperature, submerge it in a cup of warm water for 5 minutes and, ta da!

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