Last week, my family (like my kids, husband, and I, not the whole circus of a fam damily) went to Utah for Spring Break. In true Spring Break fashion, we had a wild time filled with crazy things like trying to find a cotton rather than a mesh men’s polo in the BYU Bookstore, falling asleep at 8:30 pm while my husband and his brother were at a movie, re-reading The Hunger Games series, and, after realizing that my parents’ neurotic dog was never going to like me, walking down the hallway toward his room saying, “Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike” in a demonic voice. If my dad reads this, he may disown me–he’s way nicer to those dogs than he is to any of his children. Seriously. There were a few nights when he came in to a room full of his children and grandchildren and asked, “Have these guys had anything to eat?” Yeah, he wasn’t talking about the humans.
So we got home yesterday and all of us were kind of experiencing the post-vacation blues–piles of dirty laundry, no groceries in the house, kids missing their cousins and Grandma and Grandpa, exhausted little people (and, let’s face it, grown-ups), and piles of bills and junk mail. We all needed a little pick-me-up that required just a few on-hand ingredients and not a lot of time, so I picked one of our old-school favorites. After a little corn chowder, we snacked on these while we watched The Muppets and we kind of eased back into reality.
These bars are super easy and I didn’t have to buy a single ingredient for them. Part of this is because apparently my subconscious thinks that when we are faced with a zombie apocalypse, sweetened condensed milk will be in short supply and high demand because I always seem to come home from the grocery store with 3 cans of it whether or not I need it for anything I’m making that week.
In a large bowl, combine 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour and 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar.
Mix it with your hands and then reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crumbly dough mixture. Gently press the remaining dough mixture into the prepared 9×13″ pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the hot crust and spread it out evenly.
Reserve 1/4 cup of a bag of toffee chips and sprinkle the rest of the bag over the sweetened condensed milk. Sprinkle the reserved dough over the toffee chips and then top with the reserved chocolate chips.
Yes, I realize that I did not follow the directions and put things in the wrong order. It’s okay. My bars still tasted as good as a newborn baby smells. Place the pan back into the oven for another 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow the bars to cool completely (you can even pop the pan into the refrigerator–kind of like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Popsicles, these bars are way better cold) and then cut into squares and serve.
Toffee Chocolate Chip Bars
Recipe from Hershey’s Best-Loved Recipes
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup cold salted butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup toasted, coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional; for real…I don’t use them)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 3/4 cups toffee bits
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Grate the butter and add it to the flour mixture. Combine the mixture with your hands to form what resembles coarse crumbs. Lightly beat the egg and pour it over the flour mixture and combine it.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and add the remaining chocolate chips to the dough mixture. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the dough mixture. Lightly press it into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the hot crust. Reserve 1/4 cup of the toffee bits and pour the remaining bits over the sweetened condensed milk. Sprinkle the reserved dough mixture over the toffee bits and the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Return to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and top with remaining toffee bits. Cool completely and then cut into bars.