I went through a phase shortly after Mimi was born where I ADORED toffee. I think that every creation I made needed a little bit of toffee in it (including cinnamon rolls). I have moved on from that phase but after making these I now realize why I felt the need to use toffee again and again. It is oh so yummy. I think if I was naming these I would have called them Toffee Crunch Bars instead of caramel. They were not too caramel like to me but still yummy. It may be because I think I overcooked them a bit.
So basically these cookies have a shortbread type base (which means lots of BUTTER and less flour than the average cookie) with bits of chocolate interspersed with melted chocolate on top and then toffee bits spread over it all. How can that not bee good, right. Unfortunately I made them yesterday and my hubby had a late night so it was a night alone with a pan of amazing bars just staring me down and lets just say I gave in. By morning I decided to let these babies out of my sight and brought them to a friend who quickly gobbled them up saying that they were heavenly and that she is so glad I am part of this baking blog.
For a glimpse of the recipe you can go to What's left on the table.
As for the changes I made....I used Belgium dark hot chocolate powder in place of instant espresso powder for religious reasons. Whit said that she thought the bittersweet wasn't the best in the bar so I used mini semi sweet chocolate chips. As for the top I used symphony bars because they are oh so yummy and I really wanted milk chocolate. I used a smaller pan because I read in the P&Q's that someone thought they were too thin and I thought I really like thicker bars anyway. And I think my most brilliant move was that I added pecans to the top. I just felt like these needed nuts, because toffee and chocolate really do belong with nuts.
I think I overcooked my bars a little. It said to cook them until the base is bubbly and puckery. It was definitely bubbling, which was really cool to see. But I didn't know at what point to pull them out. I kept pulling them out but felt like they still looked wet on top and even a bit liquidy inside and so they just kept bubbling. Even if they were over cooked I really really like them that way. They were toffee-like and crunchy on the outside, but easy to chew on the inside.So so good! So if you are feeling like a rich indulge try these babies out. Definitely a keeper. It was worth trying them even though I suffered one mural on the bathroom door during the process of cooking these goodies. Now I need to stock up on magic earsers.