I don't often think about what heaven is like. I think heaven is so far removed from what I can conceptualize I just decide to leave it as something or rather someplace to look forward to. Today, I just hope there is short bread, chocolate, and toffee in heaven. Oh, and a strong cup of coffee with real cream and sugar.
Caramel toffee crunch bars
(a recipe I have but cannot cite the source from which I got it)
1 1/2 cups of AP flour
1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
6 ounces of milk chocolate - finely chopped
3/4 cup of Heath toffee bits
For the base: 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. instant espresso powder or finely ground instant coffee
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 sticks (8oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 oz. bittersweet or premium milk chocolate, finely chopped
For the topping:
6 oz. bittersweet or premium milk chocolate, finely chopped
¾ cup Heath toffee bits
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9x13 inch baking pan, line the pan with foil and butter the foil. Put the pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk together the flour, coffee, salt and cinnamon. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the sugars and beat for another three minutes or until the mixture is light and creamy. Beat in the vanilla and turn off the mixer. Add all the dry ingredients and mix just until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated. You’ll have a very heavy, very sticky dough. Scrape the dough into the buttered pan and, with the spatula and your fingertips, press it into a thin, even layer. I have to flour my finger tips to pull this off.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the base is bubbly. It will look as though it is struggling to pull away from the side of the pan. Transfer the pan to a rack and turn off the oven.
Scatter the chocolate evenly over the top of the hot base and pop the pan back into the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, until the chocolate is soft. Remove from oven and immediately spread chocolate over bars, using offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the toffee bits over the chocolate and press them down lightly with your fingertips. Place the baking pan on a rack to cool to room temperature.
If, by the time the bars are cool, the chocolate has not set, refrigerate them briefly to firm the chocolate. Carefully lift out of the pan, using foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. Trim the edges if they seem a bit thick. Cut about 54 bars, each about 2 inches by 1 inch, taking care not to cut through the foil.
Resist the temptation to eat it all.