So college life is crazy.
But the best thing is getting to go home and bake my heart out.
In my dorm, we have one kitchen shared among about 400 college freshman- so basically we don’t have a kitchen. It’s absolutely disgusting with all the dishes that get piled up in the sink for MONTHS.
Plus, it’s impossible to get the exact amount of ingredients for baked goods, and I refuse to stoop as low as prepackaged cookie dough! That stuff is only for eating raw, am I right?
So since I was going home for the weekend, I made a trip to the store and got everything I needed to bake these AMAZING toffee cookie bars.
There’s a bakery near my home town where I had my first toffee cookie bar and I fell in love. With the soft cookie crust and the creamy filling topped with the hard chocolate- oh my gosh.
And they’re really not hard to make at all! Plus the shortbread came out so good I’m considering making it into a cookie recipe… DELICious. The only challenge is making sure each layer is cooked enough.
Of course, the middle layer is supposed to stay gooey, but if it’s too thick, it may come out closer to a syrup than a thickened layer, like it’s intended to be. It’ll taste great still, but it’s easier to eat without excessive goop.
For reference though, here are the delicious drips of my toffee bars. Another tip- run your knife under warm to hot water for a minute or two before slicing. It helps to cut the chocolate without crushing the other layers. If needed, flip it over completely and cut the cookie layer first.
All in all though, it was a great recipe and the family loved it! Brought some back to the dorm (and made a bunch of new friends with it). So here’s the recipe I used, and happy weekend-home baking!
Dark Chocolate Coconut Almond Toffee Bars
1 1/2 Cups of all purpose flour
1 Cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
3/4 Cup chopped almonds (I used cocoa dusted almonds)
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1 Can or 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 Large Egg
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup toffee bits
1 Cup mini chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
1/2 Cup of coconut shavings, toasted
- Line a 10×10″ pan with aluminum foil. It may help to spray the foil with cooking spray as well. Preheat oven to 350F.
- Either in a mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, combine the softened butter, flour, salt and powdered sugar. Stir in 1/4 cup of the chopped almonds, keeping the dough smooth and wet. I used almonds coated in dark cocoa powder for added flavor, but it’s optional.
- Spread shortbread dough in pan and flatten to a thin layer. Bake for 15 minutes- until it’s barely golden on the edges.
- Stir condensed milk, egg, and vanilla in a separate bowl. Once combined, add toffee bits, 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips, 1/4 cup of coconut, and the other 1/2 cup of almonds.
- Add mixture to the shortbread crust after removing from oven. Immediately continue baking for 18 minutes.
- Take the pan out of the oven and add the remaining chocolate chips on top. You may want to add a bit more depending on how thick you want the chocolate layer.
- Place back in oven for 2 minutes. The chocolate chips should have a sheen look to them, indicating they’re soft. Spread the melted chips in a thin layer.
- Sprinkle the last 1/4 cup of coconut shavings on top of the chocolate.
- Let cool completely before cutting. This may require refrigeration or freezing, but it is ESSENTIAL to ease of cutting.
- Once cooled, pull foil out of pan. Run knife under warm water for a minute or two and dry completely. This allows the cookie bars to cut more easily.
- Alternatively, flip the toffee bars so the shortbread bottom is cut first. Only use this method if you encounter issues, as it pulls off the coconut.
- Store in a container for 3 days or in the freezer for about a month.