Toffee Coffee Milk Chocolate Buttercrunch Bars

It was the magic of these quintessential 7-layer bars that made all things layered seem like a good idea at chez GF Canteen test kitchen. There are just a couple of rules for layered bars. First, each layer should compliment, not mute one another. And no odd surprises would be nice – like a touch of oh, say rhubarb in the middle of toffee would not be polite.

Second, the layers should be created so that they stick together. It’s just no fun at all picking up a great looking layered cookie bar only to leave half of it behind still sitting on the plate. No fun at all. Layers should stick together like good friends who have each other’s backs at a Nordstrom semi-annual sale.

These Toffee Coffee Milk Chocolate Buttercrunch Bars begin with a layer of cookie dough. Use half the dough for this recipe and freeze the rest for another use, like for these Chocolate Coffee Toffee Cookies. Dough that makes more than one recipe is a winner in our house.

The toffee cookie base is followed by really sticky buttercrunch which is topped with toasted salted chopped almonds that are anchored by a deep rich layer of milk chocolate.

That amazing buttercrunch is not only easy to make, but it is versatile. It helped turn boring matzo into something pretty special.

Feel free to replace dark chocolate for the milk, and any other toasted, salted nut for the topping.  And don’t forget to line that baking dish with foil that hangs over all sides – it is your friend in this recipe. Buttercrunch will stick to the pan, but not to the buttered foil.

These bars will taste best if left to sit overnight covered loosely with foil. It gives the flavors time to fuse and the buttercrunch a chance to fully set. A sharp serrated knife will cut these into small servings.

Call your best friend, get the coffee going and make these bars. It’s way better than the Nordstrom sale.  I’m pretty sure it might even be less expensive.


Toffee Coffee Milk Chocolate Buttercrunch Bars
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Recipe type: gluten-free bar cookies
If you love toffee, these bar cookies are for you. They are a layered toffee party - the cookie base is full of toffee flavored with Nutella and coffee. The buttercrunch center melts into the cookie base and supports the milk chocolate and almond topping. They are easy to prepare and are best served the next day after resting overnight to help the buttercrunch set and fuse together the flavors. It's a popular treat in Chez Canteen.
Ingredients
Cookie Base
  • 200 grams GF flour ( 70 g. superfine brown rice flour, 70 superfine white rice flour, 30 g. almond flour, 30 g. tapioca flour) (about 1 and ⅔ cups)
  • 200 grams granulated sugar (about 1 scant cup)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 114 grams unsalted butter, room temperature, pieces (1 stick)
  • 1 tablespoon Nutella
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 170 grams milk chocolate (bar) finely chopped (about a 6 oz. bar)
  • 85 grams Heath Bar Chips (about ½ cup)
Buttercrunch
  • 114 grams unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 200 grams brown sugar (1 cup)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Lyle's Golden Syrup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 85 grams heath bar bits (1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Topping
  • 232 grams milk chocolate chips (1 and ⅓ cups)
  • 145 grams chopped roasted and salted almonds (1 cup)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x9 pan with foil that hangs over all the edges. Butter the foil. Line the bottom with parchment. Butter that as well. Set aside.
  2. Prepare cookie dough and save half for another use (cookies or another bar cookie - it freezes well)
  3. In the bowl of stand mixer weigh flours. Add sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, soda, and espresso powder. Whisk by hand to combine. Weigh in butter, add Nutella. Mix with paddle attachment just until combines. Add eggs and mix well. Add in chopped milk chocolate and mix until well combined. Remove from stand. Fold in heath bar chips. Using half the mixture, spread evenly in the prepared 9x9 pan. Bake about 18 minutes.
  4. While the cookie crust is baking prepare the buttercrunch center. Make sure to time this so that the crust is just coming out when the buttercrunch is ready to pour. In a deep sided saucepan place the butter and brown sugar. Add the Lyle's Syrup and salt. Bring to a low simmer, stirring once or twice just to incorporate the butter and sugar. Don't stir again. Let it simmer at a low boil for about 3 minutes - no more than that. Off the heat add in the vanilla and stir. It will billow up so be careful - it is very hot. Add in the Heath Chips and stir again. Quickly pour over the top of the somewhat warm (and warmer is fine, too) cookie base. Spread with an offset spatula or the back of spoon to the edges. Work quickly - it gets thick and kind of sets fast. It may even sink in under the cookie base. Don't worry about that. Spread it as much as you can. Place that in the oven and let it bake for about 20 minutes more. The cookie edges will seem overdone, but it will be fine. The center will be slightly gooey when you take it out of the oven. Ignore that, too.
  5. Place the chocolate chips over the entire top and don't touch them for a whole two minutes. Resist! Seriously - wait. Spread those melty things all over the top as evenly as possible. It will be slightly sinking toward the center but just shore that up with more of the chocolate. Then add all the almonds and distribute evenly over the top. Using another offset spatula (I have several) or the back of a clean spoon, press the almonds into the soft chocolate so they stick to the top. Give the pan a shake and make sure they are all stuck pretty well. Leave the bars to cool completely. It will take hours and hours. Don't place them in the refrigerator. Just give it time. Cover loosely with foil overnight and the next day they will be perfect. Cut off the overdone edges and cut into 16 bar cookies.
  6. Good, huh?! You're welcome.

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