Tag Archives: Skor bars

Salted Butter Skor Shortbread


Alison Roman’s Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread has been popping up all over social media during the past two months. These cookies have been monopolizing my instagram and twitter feeds. My favourite tweet was from @hyphenpfeifer, “Fake news that the Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread recipe makes 24 cookies bc you’ll eat a log-worth of dough.” I needed to see what all the fuss was about.
The first time I made them was New Year’s Eve. We had friends visiting and I baked them that afternoon to serve for dessert. They didn’t quite make it to the dessert table. We snacked on them all afternoon. I tucked the few leftover ones into the freezer and we had them for breakfast the next day. We all loved them even more, frozen.

These cookies are made with salted butter. It has long been thought that unsalted butter was the preferred butter for baking. The reasoning behind this had to do with the fact that salt is a preservative, and so unsalted butter was often fresher. This is not the case anymore and blind taste tests have shown that salted butter tastes more buttery, and has a riper, more full-blown flavour than unsalted butter. When butter is a key ingredient, as it is in shortbread, we want to really enhance its flavour, and salted butter does that. You can’t get the same effect from using unsalted butter and adding more salt to the recipe.

This is my twist on Alison’s cookie. I decided to swap out the chocolate chunks for chopped up Skor bars (Heath bars is you’re American). I thought the addition of toffee would take these cookies to a different place, for me, a very happy place! Because Skor Bars are covered in milk chocolate, I also added a handful of cocoa nibs to the dough. Their bitter note would work as a perfect counterbalance to the sweet Skor bars.
Both the toffee and the cocoa nibs added a fantastic little crunch to these cookies. I was thrilled with the results.

These are an extremely versatile cookie, perfect for all occasions. I am a firm believer that what you put out into the universe will come back to you. If you share these cookies you will reap all sorts of unexpected rewards.

Gift a bag to the staff at your hairdressing salon and sit back and luxuriate in the most amazing head massage during your shampoo.

Gift a bag to your noisy neighbour and listen as this,

is soon followed by blissful silence once they go into a sugar/carb coma from ingesting the cookies.

Mail off a package of these to your adult children and sit back and wait for the phone call, or at least a text telling you that they love you and that you’re the best mom ever. (I’m mailing these tomorrow morning so I’ll let you know if it works).

The hardest part about making these cookies is getting the dough to compact into a tight roll. I had to hand knead it, on the counter, for a few minutes before it came together. Divide the dough into 2 and roll each piece into a 2 inch diameter log. Wrap well in waxed paper and chill for several hours or even a few days. Brush logs with beaten egg and coat the logs in turbinado or demerara sugar. Then slice them into cookies.
A final tiny sprinkle of some coarse sea salt. Yes, more salt. Don’t be afraid.

Click here to print recipe for Salted Butter Skor Shortbread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crisp Toffee Pecan Bars

on white platesWhen it comes to social media and tech savviness, I must admit I’m not exactly current. I have a twitter account with about 40 followers, but I’m confused about where I’m supposed to be leading them.  I do post on Instagram, but not very frequently. I check the spelling and punctuation of every text I send, which makes me a very slow texter. My kids usually abandon our text chats within the first few messages and just pick up the phone and call me because I am so frustratingly slow, compared to their lightening fast thumbs.

I try to keep up with all the cool kids and know the meaning of many internet acronyms. One meme that has been picking up steam as usage of social media skyrockets is FOMO. For the uninitiated, FOMO stands for fear of missing out. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.” It’s that little pang of envy you feel when you’re looking at vacation photos, amazing restaurant meals or parties of friends and family that you weren’t invited to.

But it looks like FOMO may be taking a back seat to JOMO – joy of missing out. According to The Huffington Post, “the term is a rebellion against saying yes to everything, and is about giving yourself the space to think and experience things without freaking out about what you ‘should’ be doing instead.”

As a proud introvert, I wholeheartedly embrace JOMO! Let’s hear it for staying home, binge watching Netflix and snacking on Crisp Toffee Pecan Bars.On black slab 2I discovered these cookies on The New York Times Cooking website. The dough is baked in a cast iron pan. Baking in cast iron allows for a degree of deep caramelization that just can’t be achieved on a regular baking sheet. If you don’t already have a cast iron pan, maybe this will convince you to invest in one.

Creator Charlotte Druckman gives you the option of adding  nuts or chocolate to the dough. Inspired by one of my favourite cookies, Skor Bars, I added pecans, chocolate and Skor bits!ingredientsPlace your empty cast iron pan in the oven while you make the dough.making doughGrease the hot pan very carefully with butter. buttering cast iron panPress dough into hot pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup so you don’t burn yourself. pressing dough into panScore dough into wedges and let cookies completely cool in pan before removing.scoring warm barsThe edges will be deeply browned and crispy while the center is still nice and chewy. Pecans and skor bits contribute great crunch and chocolate is always welcome. A glass of milk might just be the best accompaniment to your JOMO experience.with a glass of milk

Click here to print recipe for Crisp Toffee Pecan Bars.

On black slab 1

One bar

Chocolate Toffee Cookies

with milk 1

Usually at this time of year I am the one packaging up and sending cookies out to everyone I love. So this year, it was a wonderful change of pace to be the recipient of some cookies. As a participant in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, which I wrote about a few days ago, I received three packages in the mail, each containing a dozen very delicious cookies.

There is something so exciting about getting a package in the mail. I suspect that little thrill of finding a parcel in my mailbox is the primary  factor contributing to my on-line shopping addiction. By the time the box arrives, I have completely forgotten about it, so it comes as a wonderful surprise. (Lovely, that is, until the credit card comes later in the month reminding me that I bought myself these gifts!)

My bounty from the Cookie Swap included:

  • Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies from Dana of  hot pink apron. In the accompanying note she said,”They’re simple yet painfully addictive – you’ve been warned!” She was right!
  • Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies from Kate of kate’s plate. Deep and dark and deliciously satisfying with my morning latte!
  • Sour Cream Softies Cookies and a beautiful handmade origami ornament from Lisa of  je suis alimentageuse.  The tang of the sour cream kept these cookies from going over the sweet edge.

I am a big believer in sweet generosity! I have always felt that baking for other people is one of the most thoughtful gifts that you can give. Rather than shop for gifts for all the people in my life for whom I am grateful, I decided many years ago to bake. And somehow, over the years my gratitude has grown to include a circle of about 44 people!

While I may get a little bored baking the same treats year after year, certain items in my gift box are mandatory or there may be an uprising. Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark and Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies are sacrosanct.

I decided to add Chocolate Toffee Cookies to the mix this year.  These cookies take chocolate loving to the next level. Deep dark bittersweet chocolate combines with toffee bits to create a chewy cookie with bits of crunchy toffee in the center. A sprinkling of Maldon Sea Salt on top of the cookies adds an incredible textural component as the little salt crystals crunch gently between your teeth and then dissolve on your tongue. After my friend Edward received his box of cookies he sent me the following brief email:

Subject: Chocolate Toffee Cookies

Are you insane? You should be locked away. They are “O.F.S.”……..out f^#*ing standing.

High praise indeed for some pretty yummy cookies!

The toffee in these cookies comes from chopped up Skor bars. Chop up more Skor bars than the recipe calls for since the little bits of chopped up toffee have a mysterious way of disappearing! I wondered where those little bits had gone to and then I discovered them on my hips this week!

skor bar packages

Eggs and brown sugar are mixed well for about 5 minutes.

sugar and eggs

sugar and eggs creamed

Add cooled melted chocolate and butter mixture and then the chopped Skor bars.

adding melted chocolate

adding chopped skor bars

An ice cream scoop works well to portion dough so that all your cookies are exactly the same size and bake evenly.

scooping out dough

Halfway through the baking I like to sprinkle the tops with a bit of Maldon sea salt. The cookies are done when the tops have a beautiful crackly surface. They will still look a bit wet on top but remove them from the oven anyways. If you bake them for too long you will have a dry crumbly cookie instead of a chewy one.

baked

on tray

Click here to print recipe for Chocolate Toffee Cookies.

with pink ribbons 1

Skor Bar Cookies

 

Bagged-and-ready-to-go

This recipe was created by Daphna Rabinovich, a talented baker I worked with at the David Wood Food Shop in Toronto.  She used chocolate chips and walnuts in her version.  I chop up bittersweet chocolate into chunks and omit the nuts.  This is a very fast and easy recipe, great for those times when you want something decadent and homemade but don’t have alot of time.

What you need:

skor-bar-mise-en-place

4 Skor Bars coarsely chopped                                      
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a 10 x 15 inch cookie sheet (with sides) with parchment paper.  Set aside.

2.  Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. 

creaming-butter-and-sugar

2.  Beat in vanilla and salt.  Add flour, Skor Bars and chocolate chunks. Mix briefly until just combined.

3.  Dump dough into prepared pan. 

dump-into-pan

4.  Press dough evenly into prepared pan.  Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.

pressed-into-pan

5.  Remove from oven and while still warm, score dough with a sharp knife.  I usually do 5 rows down and 7 rows across for 35 cookies.  Put pan on a rack to cool. 

baked

 

 6.  When totally cool, turn out onto a cutting board, peel off parchment and finish cutting into squares.

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