I baked Walnut Toffee Bars yesterday, and while walnuts were the featured ingredient, I think they might have been upstaged by the buttery crust.
The flavor came courtesy of this Amish butter I found at Treasure Island. At $5.50 a pound, it’s a little more expensive than Land o’Lakes, but compared to similar European style butters, it’s a bargain.
But use whatever butter you like because you really can’t go wrong with this recipe. This version was adapted from Diamond Walnuts, but these types of bars are classic and a lot of fun because you can vary the nuts and chocolate
I used Trader Joe’s Dark for these, but they’d also be good topped with chopped hazelnut flavored chocolate or milk chocolate. Also, the recipe halves well, so if you want to make a half batch just halve all the ingredients and bake in an 8 inch square pan.
Mini Sheet Pan Toffee Bars
Don’t tell the walnut growers, but I’ve been making these lately with pecans, and sometimes a mixture of pecans and peanuts — so very Southern. Actually, I make them with whatever nuts are in the house, and I don’t always put nuts in the crust, but rather on top only. I’m also calling these Mini Sheet Pan Toffee Bars because I almost never make them in the 9×13 inch pan, but rather as a half batch in a 1/8 sheet pan.
Walnut Toffee Bars
- 2 sticks salted butter (230 grams)
- 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed (220 grams)
- 1 large egg (50 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt increase to a little over a teaspoon if using unsalted
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 250 grams, I used pastry flour
- 1 1/2 cups chopped and toasted walnuts
- 6 to 8 oz chopped dark chocolate or 1 ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 inch metal pan with nonstick foil or parchment paper.
- Cut the butter up and put it in a bowl, and with an electric mixer beat the butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add the egg, vanilla and salt; beat until mixed.
- Stir in flour and 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Spread evenly in the pan, pressing tightly to make crust.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Pull from oven and immediately sprinkle chopped chocolate over the top. Let the chocolate sit for about 5 minutes to soften, then gently spread it across the shortbread base.
- Sprinkle remaining nuts over the top. Allow bars to cool, then put in the refrigerator to set chocolate. Lift from pan and cut into desired bar size.
- Note: To toast the walnuts, spread them on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 8 minutes or until they start to release their oils (appear shiny, aromatic).