Friday, August 8, 2008

Toffee Crumb Bars

It's a good thing I joined several baking blogs, following along and baking a specified recipe with a group each week or month. Otherwise, every entry in this blog would probably be a chocolate chip cookie recipe, or some variation thereof. My blog would be titled "1001 Ways to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies". And the only person reading it would be my mother. (Ah, thanks, mom :) )

There's something magical about the buttery, caramelly cookie, with the chocolate chips suspended through out... (smiling wistfully at the thought).

This week's version of chocolate chip cookie something's started out as Blackberry Crumb Bars, a recipe found in a recent issue of Everyday Food magazine.

I took out the blackberries and substituted chopped semisweet chocolate, chopped Heath bars, and white chocolate.

To assemble the bars, I first spread half of the crust batter in the pan and added a layer of white chips (which seemed to disappear in the final product).

Then came the rest of the crust followed by a layer of chopped Heath bars.

Next, I added half of the crumb topping and then sprinkled with chopped semisweet chocolate.

Lastly, the rest of the crumb topping was added.

Baked for 45 minutes and voila!

The verdict? They were quite good. Not exactly perfect, but still good. The base was more cakey than cookie-ish. I tend to like a cookie base... more of a brown sugar taste, you know? Now, the crumb topping was perfect. I would keep that if I were to try to develop a crumb type bar.

Come to think of it, they were more like a chocolate chip crumb cake, a skinny one, that is.

I'll bet the the original recipe, with the blackberries, would be very tasty.



6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, and 1/2 cup (1 stick), room temperature, plus more for pan
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/4 C. white morsels, or more, to taste
2 Heath bars, broken into pieces, or more to taste
2-3 oz. semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
(OR, 10 oz. blackberries in place of the chocolates if making the original recipe)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter and flour paper, tapping out excess.

Make topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; add 1 cup flour, and mix with a fork until large moist crumbs form. Refrigerate topping until ready to use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat room-temperature butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture. Spread half of batter evenly in pan; sprinkle with white morsels. Spread remainder of batter in pan, then top with Heath bar pieces. Sprinkle half of chilled topping over top, then semisweet chocolate, and finally remainder of chilled topping. (If making with blackberries instead, spread blackberries over batter and then top with the chilled topping.)

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 squares.

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