We all have rough days, rough weeks, heck - rough months! I find the best way to pick up a loved one is to make them something deliciousl. My wonderful husband hasn't had a bad week, but he's had a long week and is in need of a little pick-me-up. Enter Toffee Squares.....
Compliments of Joy of Baking:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 F and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking pan with aluminum foil. Only have a large pan? Double the recipe.
Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla extract. Then add the salt and flour and mix just until incorporated. Spread the shortbread evenly on the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the shortbread is golden brown with well browned edges. This will take 35 minutes if the recipe has been doubled.
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup (50 grams) almonds, toasted and chopped
Remove from oven and immediately scatter the chocolate over the hot shortbread. Return the shortbread to the oven for a minute or two or just until the chocolate softens. Remove from oven and, with an offset spatula or back of a spoon, evenly spread the chocolate. Sprinkle the chopped almonds over the chocolate. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool.
Once the chocolate has set, lift the shortbread from the pan using the edges of the foil. Place on a cutting board and, with a sharp knife, cut into squares.
Store in an airtight container. These will keep for several weeks at room temperature.
Note: To toast the almonds. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 F oven for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let the nuts cool completely and then chop.
I love finding recipes that don't use graham cracker crust. You can't find organic graham crackers, and you certainly can't find fair trade graham crackers. I often substitute recipes that call for graham with shortbread (white sugar shortbread, not brown) and it always kicks the squares up a HUGE notch.