by Sheila Connolly
Last month I went to the mystery mega-conference Bouchercon in Long Beach, California, which is at the coast opposite the one I live on. I will state up front that all my flights were on time, I made all connections, and my luggage followed me all the way. I just want to go on the record to say that it does happen occasionally.
Anyway, between the two legs on my return trip (in some time zone that made no sense to my bewildered biorhythms), I stopped for a meal that was either lunch or dinner or both. The sandwich was not memorable, but I treated myself to a toffee crunch blondie and was blown away: it was the perfect bar cookie for that time and place.
|Chocolate and toffee chunks--yum!|
This magnificent buttery, sugary creation combined small chunks of both dark and white chocolate and some kind of toffee. I know this can be made with chips of all of the above, but the one I bought had nice, large, randomly distributed globs of goodness, nestled in the blondie in a series of happy surprises. I wanted more.
I was surprised to find only a few recipes online, but I kind of combined them. (As an aside, when I was a child I used to hate it when my mother tinkered with recipes. Silly me!)
Toffee Crunch Blondies
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tblsp milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup toffee bits or chunks (at my market they had one brand, but the chunks were tiny. Instead I bought a package of Heath Bites and chopped them roughly)
1 cup chocolate chunks (I used a semi-sweet candy bar)
1 cup white chocolate chunks (candy bar again)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13” pan (the inspirational blondie I had in the airport was about 1” thick, so I used a 9x9” pan instead—just remember to cook a little longer for the thicker version. Note that you’d get more bars with the bigger plan.)
|Don't you love the ratio of chocolate to dough?|
In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until they are fluffy. Beat in the eggs and continue to beat until the mixture is creamy. Add the vanilla and blend.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then stir it into the batter along with the milk.
By hand, stir in the chocolate chunks and the toffee chunks.
|Ready for the oven|
Spread evenly in the baking pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let cool, then cut into bars. Try not to eat them all at once!
|They didn't last very long at my house.|
The next in the County Cork Mystery Series, coming February 2015.
Have I mentioned here that books make wonderful gifts? If you have any Irish blood, or would like to, or have visited Ireland, or are planning to, or really want to--this series will give you a small taste of the place.