Friday, December 21, 2012

Toffee Bars

(This traveler is preparing to head out for the holidays and is hoping to share one or two more recipes before leaving one land of snow for another)
Toffee Bars have been a Christmas tradition in my family for years.   Probably because they are much easier than making toffee.    I found this recipe two years ago and it my new fave.    They are easy and are the first to be snagged out of the cookie tin.
Merry Christmas!
What You Need
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (or walnuts, if you prefer)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted and divided
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 (14oz can) sweetened condensed milk (regular or fat-free)
2 teaspoons vanilla
*check out my new Mexican vanilla below....yay!
1 (12oz) bag of chocolate chips
chopped pecans for garnish
What You Do
Preheat oven to 350.   Line a 13x9 inch pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.   
In a large mixing bowl combine oats, flour, brown sugar, pecans and 6 tablespoons butter, and baking soda.   Press firmly on bottom of prepared pan.   Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the milk.   Cooki and stir until mixture thickens slightly, about 15 minutes.   Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.   Pour evenly over crust.
There are two fun new things in this photo.    When I was on my cruise in November, I picked up a bottle of vanilla while in Cozumel.    It is so good and this huge bottle was less than $10.     As a part of OXO's blogger outreach program, OXO sent me a free set of 4 mini beakers, which are perfect for measuring liquids.  Like vanilla.  Or alcohol.   You know, whatever you need at the time.   I've had fun using these new cooking toys this Christmas.  
(and now back to the recipe)
You've poured the milk/vanilla mixture over your crust, now you're going to bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown.     When you pop those bars out of the oven sprinkle the bag of chocolate chips over the top, let them stand for a minute or two until they melt.   Spread with a knife or offset spatula and then sprinkle with chopped pecans.    
Let bars cool completely then cut into small bars for sharing.

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