They say it’s your birthday

January 25, 2010

Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars

Someone I know happens to be turning a year older today. I can’t tell you who he is or how old he’s turning. But what I can tell you is he’s a pretty darn special guy. I’ll spare you the sappy details, but not before mentioning that it takes a pretty darn special guy to put up with this here blogger. Because this here blogger sweats the small stuff, insists he eats vegetables daily, pouts when she’s cold and gets a bit lot pissy when she’s hot, dons not-so-sexy flannel to bed too often, is driven by guilt, wakes him up in the middle of the night when she hears scary noises, makes them late on occasion when she forces him to turn around because she thinks she forgot to turn off the iron…

Ok, enough of that. I’m starting to realize I’m high maintenance.

So in appreciation for putting up with this gem on a daily basis, the least I can do on his big day is bake one of his favorite sweets. He’s pretty indifferent to most desserts. Birthday cake would not thrill him. So in lieu of cake (the majority of which I would end up eating by myself) I’m baking and sharing with you one of his best-loved desserts, chocolate chip toffee bars. Because, you know, I am nice to him on occasion.

Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars

(Adapted from Hershey’s)
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 12-oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 8-oz package Heath chocolate toffee bits, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9-inch pan and line it with parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, combing flour and brown sugar. Cut in chilled butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (see photo above). In a separate small bowl, mix together the lightly beaten egg and vanilla extract. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine. Mix in 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (reserve 1/2 cup) and nuts. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture.

Press the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and pour sweetened condensed milk over hot crust, using a rubber spatula to spread evenly. Reserve 1/4 cup toffee bits. Sprinkle remaining toffee bits over sweetened condensed milk, followed by reserved crumb mixture and chocolate chips. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Top with remaining toffee bits. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Makes 3 dozen.

  1. Becky

    January 25, 2010 at 8:03 am

    YUM!!! These look delicious! Happy Birthday Kyle!!

  2. Angela

    January 25, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I have to admit besides the cherries, these are one of my favorite desserts that you make. Speaking of cherries…when is that recipe going up? My birthday is in June, just in case :) Tell Kyle we wish him a happy birthday!

  3. Stephanie

    January 25, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Happy Birthday Kyle! I must have subconsciously known since I made chocolate chip toffee & butter pecan cookies last night…

    Have a good one!

  4. kim

    January 25, 2010 at 9:24 am

    happy birthday to kyle…cant wait to try these…will make them for our favorite pregnant girl when i get home…

  5. Lindsay

    January 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Heyy! My mom told me that you got your website up and running :) Had to check it out! It turned out great! All of these receipes look awesome..and I can’t wait to start making some. I beleive I have tried these toffee bars of yours and they are amazing…as with everything you make!..Im lucky that I get to enjoy all your cooking at the many family functions we have :) Tell Kyle happy bday. Love you both!..great site

  6. Carolyn

    January 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Thought I should mention I keep these in the fridge as we like them best cold. But I’m sure they would be tasty warmed up and topped with a scoop of butter pecan ice cream. Not that I’d know or anything ;)

    Also, the birthday boy now has his very own permanent place on the blog! See “About”. Ain’t he cute?

  7. Fran (the Mother-in-law)

    January 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Happy Birthday to Kyle! He is one lucky man even if you do think you’re high maintenance. Since you cook/bake like a pro and are gorgeous, it’s excusable. Love you both.

  8. Maria

    January 25, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    My kind of bars. Happy Birthday to Kyle!

  9. Ken

    January 25, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Yummy! Happy Birthday Kyle! I’ve got a special tune I can’t wait to sing to you tonight!

  10. Lauren

    January 25, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Happy Birthday Kyle! These look delicious! I will make them for my future husband one day (whoever that may be!).

  11. Becky

    January 26, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    I need to comment again – I made these last night, and in an effort to NOT gain 10 pounds by eating the whole pan, I brought them into work, and everyone LOVED them! Home run recipe, Carolyn!

  12. Carolyn

    January 26, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Becky: Glad everyone liked them! They also freeze well if you ever find yourself with a very tempting tray of leftovers.

    All: Kyle was tickled by all of your birthday wishes. Thanks!

  13. Winsor

    January 27, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Happy Birthday Kyle!… I have a birthday joke for you and the missus:

    Carolyn answered a knock on the door and found a total stranger standing on the doorstep. “Excuse me for disturbing you, ma’am,” he said politely, “but I pass your house every morning on my way to work, and I’ve noticed that every day you appear to be hitting your husband on the head with a loaf of bread.”

    “That’s right. You should try living with him…”

    “Every day you hit him on the head with a loaf of bread, and yet this morning you were throwing chocolate chip toffee bars at him?”

    “Well, today is his birthday.”

  14. Carolyn

    January 27, 2010 at 6:43 am

    Winsor: Always the comedian. I suppose a knock on the head is better than sleeping on the couch! ;)

  15. Liz

    January 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Just stumbled across your site via this recipe. These bars look delicious, and I’m pumped to hear that they’re freezable. I’m saving the recipe- Thanks so much!

  16. annE

    January 30, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    These are absolutely delicious right out of the oven…I just ate an entire row!

    I think I just found something that will replace my all time favorite dessert…cookie cake.

  17. Ken

    January 31, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Kim made these for us last night and they were AWE-some! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  18. Karen

    January 31, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Hey Carolyn–I attempted to make these for Ken and AnnE’s shower today. I think they were edible, but it would have been much better if you could have made them for us! We wanted to have you and Kyle there in spirit though. Thanks for all your recipes, they are delicious–and easy to make for a novice like me!

  1. Secret oats – Peanut Butter & Jargon

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