Chocolate-Glazed Toffee Bars

May 26, 2009 § 1 Comment

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When it comes to desserts, I think I take after my grandpa. Joe loved desserts and he loved them all the time; I love desserts and I say breakfast isn’t complete without some form of chocolate. Joe also loved his desserts frozen, even fluffy cakes and cookies. I’m starting to be a frozen-foodie convert, too. While I love cookies best in dough form, these bars, taken straight out of the freezer, are just marvelous.

I was first introduced to this recipe on the veggie farm last summer. One day, after spending hours digging up twelve rows of rotted garlic, my boss handed each of us a chocolate-glazed toffee bar, frozen, that his daughter had whipped up the night before. I swear, as we stood there quietly chewing (me, with a giant smile and chocolate smeared across my sun-screened face), we swore we’d never tasted something so good. I probably haven’t tasted something so good since. Maybe it was the outdoor effect; my grandma says that hardboiled eggs taste best at a picnic. But I think there is something spectacular about these bars, outdoors or not. Naturally, I got the recipe from her. I have about three bars in the freezer and they’ll surely be gone by the time I make a triple batch of chocolate oat bars, which will invariably happen this evening.

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Ingredients:
2/3 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 + 1/2 tablespoons organic evaporated cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled (1/2 stick)
2 teaspoons rice milk (or desired alternative)

1 cup chopped pecans

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon rice milk (or alternative)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped

Methods:

1. Grease an 8 x 8″ baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk flour, 1.5 tablespoons cane sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt together. Cut in 4 tablespoons butter. Add 2 teaspoons rice milk and knead until evenly distributed.

2. Press dough into bottom of pan and chill for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake chilled dough for 10 minutes and set aside to cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, toast chopped pecans by stirring slightly in a baking pan on medium heat until lightly browned (about 5 to 7 minutes). Set aside.

4. In a medium sauce pan, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, brown sugar, honey, 1 tablespoon of milk and pinch of salt.  Stir, uncovered, for 3 minutes. (Mixture will begin to boil after about a minute.)

5. Remove sauce pan from heat. Stir in vanilla and toasted pecans. Spread the mixture evenly over the baked layer in the 8 x 8″ pan. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown and slightly darker around the edges. Remove from oven. Immediately spread chopped chocolate over the top and let melt for several minutes and then spread melted chocolate with a knife until smooth across the surface.

6. Let the chocolate cool but before it hardens, cut bars; allow them to cool completely before removing the bars from the pan.

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