Sunday, December 13, 2009

Toffee Triangles

Happy Holidays to one and all! Hanukkah is in full swing (third night coming up-- I have my JCC menorah that I made when I was three, and I found candles at target). You can expect a post on latkes later this week. Also sufgoniyot, but only if I get really ambitious. For now, however, I have a Christmas tradition to share. For those of you going "But I thought you were Jewish," I should point out that my mom is Quaker (and for those of you now going "Well, then you can't be Jewish," we should have a nice little chat.) Anyway, since my mom grew up with Christmas, we've always had a Christmas tree in our house, and on Christmas Eve we sing Christmas carols and have a candlelit tea party with lots of lots of cookies. It's great fun. These particular cookies have been a staple for our tea party since I can remember. I made this particular batch for a Christmas party that I didn't end up going to because we went to see Bozzie's play and got home later than expected (sorry Eric!). But they're still fantastic cookies (and freeze super well). I mean, this is a recipe that I actually follow instead of improvising my way through. Ok, so I may not have measured the flour exactly (sorry Mom).

Toffee Triangles

  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (fat free or not--but keep in mind that condensed milk is not the same as evaporated milk)
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. These are sweet bars, so I like to use semi-sweet chocolate, but milk would be fine too
  • 1 cup crushed heath bars or other toffee bits (if they're coated in chocolate that's fine)

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • Cream the butter and sugar (always an auspicious start--I mean, how can something that starts out like this not be good?)
  • Add in the egg yolk and mix well. For those of you who don't know how to separate eggs, basically what you want to do is crack the egg over a bowl and tip the yolk back and forth from one half of the shell to the other, letting the white drip into the bowl (if you're not saving the white, you can also do this over a sink and save yourself having to clean a bowl).
  • Mix in the flour and salt. The dough will be very, very crumbly. When everything's incorporated, tip it into a well-greased 9x13 pan (I prefer the glass ones, but we don't have one here, so metal works too). Pat it down and lick your hands, because they'll taste really good (why yes, of course that's in the original recipe). It should look like this.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown
  • Meanwhile, pour the sweetened condensed milk into a small-medium saucepan and put in the butter. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a low boil. Then keep cooking for 3-5 minutes until it's thick and creamy. This is the most difficult part of the recipe because this stuff burns super, super easily. Like, it'll go from good to charred in seconds. So keep a close watch on it and keep stirring. According to my mom, if brown bits start to come up from the bottom, stop cooking it immediately, pick out the biggest brown pieces, and don't think about it anymore because it'll still taste good.
  • Once the milk has reached the desired consistency, pour in the vanilla and mix it in, then quickly remove from heat.
  • When the cookie layer is done, pour the milk mix on top, using a spatula to spread it around, and bake for 10-12 minutes more, until set and golden.
  • Here's the fun part. As soon as the bars come out of the oven, sprinkle on the chocolate and stick them back in for a minute or two so it melts. Then use a spatula to spread the chocolate (if the chocolate isn't spreadable, stick it back in the oven for a minute until it is. Mmmm.
  • Sprinkle the toffee bits on top and let the whole thing cool for a bit. Looks heavenly, right? The longer you let them cool, the easier they'll be to cut (theoretically). The chocolate will eventually harden, and if you're trying to layer them on a plate like I was yesterday you can stick them in the fridge to quicken this process.
  • When you cut them, I find it easiest to cut squares/rectangles first and then cut each one diagonally to form two triangles. I suppose ultimately there's no reason these must be toffee triangles and not toffee squares, but I like that shape much better (as well as the resulting alliteration). Hey, try it, see what works for you. Dangerously enough, these are just as good right out of the freezer as they are right out of the oven, so if you're trying to do Christmas yummies in moderation (or hide some of the cookies until the candlelit tea party, like my mom does,)the freezer is not an adequate deterrent. Just sayin'....

No comments:

Post a Comment