Tipsy Toffee Bars

  • Toffee bars are packed full of pecans, toffee bits, chopped white chocolate and dried coconut but the sprinkling of bourbon is what really takes them over the edge.

    Toffee bars are packed full of pecans, toffee bits, chopped white chocolate and dried coconut but the sprinkling of bourbon is what really takes them over the edge. Elizabeth Karmel for Associated Press

 
Posted3/20/2018 6:00 AM

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

½ scant teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

1 generous cup pecans halves

½ pound unsalted butter, melted

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs, mixed together

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of your favorite bourbon

2/3 cup Heath toffee bits

1 generous cup sweetened dried coconut

½ 4-ounce bar of real white chocolate, chopped

Chef's Note: Use a 9-by-11-by-2-inch baking pan, the smaller version of the classic 9-by-13 pan. I think the 9-by-13 pan makes a bar cookie that is too thin, but if you use it, note that your cooking time will be shorter.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Toast pecans in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes at 250 degrees. When cool, chop the pecans and set aside.

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Melt butter and pour into a bowl. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add Bourbon and mix again. Stir in the flour mixture and mix well, turning the batter several times to make sure that all the flour is incorporated.

Add the chopped pecans, the toffee bits, coconut and white chocolate. Stir together with a blending fork to make sure that the add-ins are equally incorporated.

Prepare your baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread batter into the pan by dropping equal spoonfuls all over the pan and joining them together by spreading the surface with an offset spatula.

Bake for 20 minutes and check the bars. In my oven, the bars took a full 35 minutes, but every oven is different. I tested them at 20 minutes and every 5 minutes thereafter and they were perfect after baking for 35 minutes. The sides will be crisp and browned and pulling away and the top with be shiny and dry. You want the center to still be soft but not runny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Let cool completely. I usually make these the night before or in the morning so they are completely cool. Remove the entire block of bar cookies and cut into squares with a dough scraper or serrated knife. Once the bar cookies are cut, they can be wrapped in foil and placed in a zip-top plastic bag and frozen for up to a month. Thaw before serving.

Makes 20-22 bars

Nutrition information per bar: 320 calories; 158 calories from fat; 18 g fat (9 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 46 mg cholesterol; 134 mg sodium; 38 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 27 g sugar; 3 g protein.

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