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
Choosing a chocolate for the topping is probably the most fun thing about Toffee Bars. You can go with any type of dark chocolate you prefer, or try a flavored one. This might be good topped with chopped hazelnut flavored chocolate, for instance. 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 9x13 inch pan, but rather as a half batch in a ⅛ 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
- ½ teaspoon salt increase to a little over a teaspoon if using unsalted
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 250 grams, I used pastry flour
- 1 ½ 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 9x13 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 ½ 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).