I love the flavor of Heath Bars and See's Toffee, so when this cookie recipe showed up in the Food Section of the L.A. Times, I had to try it. Well, it became a holiday tradition because now I bake them every year. With a taste and texture more like a crisp candy than a cookie, you will be amazed by how fast they get gobbled up. The original recipe says it yields 24 bars, but these little guys are rich, so they are cut to yield 36 bars. This might be a good one to try with that new $5.00 USD Nestle Chocolatier bar, if you like your chocolate on the darker side like me, and you don't mind making the investment. Call your financial adviser first. Ay, mucho dinero, hombre! On the frugal side, try Hershey's Special Dark bars, available for far less dinero, Ralphs has them on sale for only a buck apiece. Using fresh ingredients is the key here, so buy a new pack of brown sugar, don't use that lumpy rock stuff from the back of the cupboard. And buy fresh unsalted butter, not the one that absorbed all the odors from the frige. But do save those wrappers, use them to butter the baking pan. Enjoy!
ENGLISH TOFFEE BARS - adapted from the L.A. Times
Makes 24 to 36 cookies
2 sticks or 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temp.
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon plain salt
1 or more bars of milk chocolate---7 ounces total, broken
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds or pecan pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With the butter wrappers, grease a 9"x13" baking pan. In a small dry skillet, lightly toast the almonds, moving them around over medium heat for only a couple of minutes. Do not burninate. If you can smell them, they're burninated. Set aside to cool. Break up the chocolate into small pieces, set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and brown sugar till light and creamy. Add egg yolk, vanilla, flour, salt and mix. Spread the cookie batter into the prepared pan. Bake until browned, for 15 to 20 minutes. Batter will rise and fall, do not be alarmed.
Remove pan from oven to a heat-proof surface and immediately sprinkle the broken chocolate pieces on top. Be careful working with the pan, it is still very hot. With either a dinner knife or an offset spatula, spread the melting chocolate evenly and gently. Do not tear up the cookie base. Top with the toasted almonds and let cool in the pan completely. When cooled, cut into bars. Store them in an airtight container, if you are lucky enough to have any left.