Sweet and Easy Toffee

Sweet and Easy Toffee

Today’s offering is Toffee.  Sweet, buttery and sprinkled with toasted nuts.

Toffee - Yum!Have you ever had a McIntosh Toffee Bar? This recipe brings back memories of summer days at the cottage. After a trip to McMurray’s store for pixie sticks and McIntosh toffee I’d come back to our rented cottage and whack the package of McIntosh toffee, in its red plaid packaging, on the counter and it would break into a variety of different size pieces. Then you would pop these pieces into your mouth and immediately experience the hit of buttery sweet smoothness.  macintosh toffee1Then you either chomped on the hunks of toffee and had them stick to your teeth or let them last by just melting away in your mouth.

The base of this toffee tastes just like that McIntosh bar.  Add the chocolate layer and a sprinkling of toasted nuts and you have a winner.  One tip though, no matter how tempted DO NOT lick off the hot toffee from the wooden spoon directly from the pot, unless you wish to remove all the skin from your tongue.  As tempting as it is just wait a few minutes to let it cool down enough and then sample the creamy base of this sweet treat.

Note:  You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe.

Toffee

8 ounces dark, semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (or a mix of all three)

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts toasted

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons water

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Line a 10-inch square pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.

In a heavy saucepan combine butter, sugar, water and salt over a medium heat.  Once butter is melted stir occasionally and bring mixture up to 305F on a candy thermometer.

Watch carefully.  It will take a while to heat up but the temperature will quickly rise from about 270F to 305F very quickly.  Mixture will seem to thicken up and turn a light golden brown.

As soon as mixture hits 305F remove from heat and add in 1 teaspoon vanilla. (Careful it will spit and splash slightly!)

Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread to edges if needed.  Let set for about 45-60 minutes. Once toffee has set melt chocolate and pour over toffee layer and spread.  Sprinkle toasted nuts over top and press down lightly to adhere the nuts.  Put in fridge to set.  Break into pieces and enjoy.

Can be stored for at least a month but I really don’t think it will last that long!

Any questions or comments….sweetenuf@bell.net

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

White Chocolate P.B. Bars
White Chocolate P.B. Bars

Hmmm, I seem to be on a bit of a peanut butter chocolate bend these last few posts.  So I will make sure to switch it up for the next one.  These 3 layer bars are definitely not for the faint of heart as it is a combination of all things sweet.  Although upon sampling a few I must say I didn’t get that ‘OMG my teeth hurt from all the sugar’ I was sort of expecting.  These treats are layered with chocolate crumbs, toffee bits, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and chocolate melted with whipping cream.

Entertainment Tonight was on while I was prepping for these bars and I am not sure about you but isn’t this Kim & Kanye stuff just a little too much.  I mean how much money do you have to spend to convince the world you are in love.  If you are really in love do you spend all your energy convincing everyone else you are?  Seems to me you are so busy being in the lovey dovey stage everyone knows you are over the moon in love.  I know the media gets blamed for snapping photos, etc. but did photographers sneak into the venue or were they allowed in to make sure this event was splashed all over the world. It is so out of proportion with what they actually do.  It’s not as if they are out saving the world or finding a cure for rare childhood diseases or even bringing attention to the plight of the homeless (although to be fair I’m sure they do give to charity).

For a man who is supposed to be so private Kanye certainly knew what he was doing when he released the photo of Kim in that shockingly horrible white swimsuit…if a photo of my butt looking that huge got out I’d be mortified.  I think the point of the photo and his comments were to convince us that he really is heterosexual.  His voice is a little high pitched for my liking, but hey, that’s just my opinion. It all seems way to staged and showy.  What a waste of time and money especially when we all know the odds of this union standing the test of time are slim to none.  ( Yes, I do realize we all need our entertainment and something to watch but I prefer the Real Housewife sagas.)  Do you honestly think 3 times will be the charm for Kimmy.   Perhaps this show of commitment and love takes the spotlight off the 2 disintegrating marriages in the Kardashian/Jenner family and keeps the revenue pouring in.  But to look at their extravagant spending in a ‘the jar is half full’  frame of mind they sure did have to spend a lot of money on all the little people to make their magic moments happen. And I suppose those thousands and milliions in turn fuel the economy, right.  So I guess really it is a win win.  I get to complain about them, you can be entertained by them and the U.S. economy gets a little kick start.

Well, it is time for my extravagant evening to begin with my sweet treat and a cup of tea.

Step 1-Chocolate crumbs, melted butter, egg, sugar, toffee bits
Step 1-Chocolate crumbs, melted butter, egg, sugar, toffee bits

For Base:

1/2 cup butter melted

1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs

1 cup toffee bits

9 x 9 square pan lined with parchment

Combine all of the ingredients except the toffee chips and spread into prepared pan.  Bake in 350F oven for about 12 minutes and remove from oven.  Sprinkle toffee chips over top and let cool.

Base layer topped with toffee bits. Ready to chill.
Base layer topped with toffee bits. Ready to chill.
Step 2 - combine and melt these 4 ingredients for filling
Step 2 – combine and melt these 4 ingredients for filling

Filling:

Combine 2 tablespoons of custard powder, 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips, 1 cup of white chocolate chips and 1 cup of peanut butter.  Combine and melt together, either in microwave or over double boiler.

Spread over chilled base and smooth.  Return to fridge to firm up.

Filling spread over base awaiting ganache
Filling spread over base awaiting ganache
Step 3-Chocolate Ganache spread over chilled bars
Step 3-Chocolate Ganache spread over chilled bars

Topping:

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)

Heat whipping cream to almost boiling and pour over chocolate.  Let sit a couple of minutes then stir until smooth.  Spread over bars.

Chill.  Cut into squares and enjoy.

Dark Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Dark Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Today’s offering is simple, sweet and superb.  Oh, and very chocolatey. 

Dark, decadent and delicious!

Chocolate Truffle Cookies
Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Need I say more….with just 1/4 cup of flour in the batter they are mostly dark, delicious chocolate, a little sugar, a couple of eggs, some vanilla and a little more chocolate.  Not much more in the way of ingredients.  The most time consuming portion of the recipe is chilling them for about 15-20 minutes before baking.  They are worth the wait!

Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F.  Parchment line baking sheet and set aside.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups good quality dark chocolate

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Melt butter and 1 1/2 cups of chocolate together in microwave and whisk together until smooth.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.  In another bowl stir together eggs and sugar and add in vanilla.

To the slightly cooled chocolate mixture add in the egg mixture and mix well.  Add in flour mixture and stir until combined.  Add in chocolate chips.

Chill dough for about 15-20 minutes.

Scoop dough onto prepared pan and bake for about 7-8 minutes until cookies look slightly cracked on the outside.  Remove from oven.

Options:  You could add in white chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips or even fold in a few nuts.