Blonde Toffee Brownies

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Back in 1994, a co-worker of my husband invited us to a big pig roast at his house in Indiana.  He had a large backyard with plenty of space for all of his guests to visit and munch on appetizers while waiting for the roast to be ready.  Each guest was asked to bring something and I chose these Blonde Toffee Brownies because I knew they would hold up well in the heat.

After enjoying the succulent roast pork and side dishes, we were instructed to go into the kitchen and pick out a dessert.  I was not prepared for the array of desserts on that Indiana table.  There was every imaginable kind of pie, cake and cookie – and lots of them.  I doubt that my brownies were even touched that day, but I’m sure they went home with someone who could enjoy them later in the week since they keep well for several days.  These brownies are very sweet and rich – a small serving will suffice.

BLONDE TOFFEE BROWNIES

  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup each granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp almond ext
  • 8 oz. pkg. toffee bits, divided
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
8 inch square pan, greased

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In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.  In a medium bowl, beat eggs, gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar.  Whisk in melted butter and vanilla/almond extracts.

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Gently stir in flour mixture until all is moist.  Fold in 2/3 cup toffee chips and add nuts.  Pour into prepared pan …

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…and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.  Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle remaining toffee bits over top.

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Cool completely before cutting.  Makes 12 brownies. 

Warm Chicken Salad with Cantaloupe

My youngest daughter is a busy stay-at-home mom who always finds time to get together with me on Fridays for lunch.  I try to make meals that are tasty, quick and easy, and reduced in fat and calories.  Here is what we enjoyed this week.

This recipe is adapted from one in a favorite cookbook, Elsah Landing (Grafton, Illinois).  Their recipes are from their restaurant menu, so attention is paid to making the dish look pretty.

WARM CHICKEN SALAD WITH CANTALOUPE

  • ½ cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast, warm
  • 3 green onions with tops, diced
  •  8 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise (Hellman’s Olive Oil)
  • 1/2 Tblsp. soy or teriyaki sauce
  • ½  tsp Greek seasoning
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 ripe cantaloupe melon
  • Leaf lettuce – 4 pieces

Spray a small non-stick skillet and saute mushrooms until tender, drain.  Place mushrooms in a medium bowl, Add chicken, onions and olives.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, soy/teriyaki sauce, Greek seasoning and pepper.  Gently fold the dressing into the chicken mixture.

Cut chilled melon into rounds, remove seeds/rind.  Place lettuce leaf on each plate.  Put melon round on top and fill center with warm chicken salad.

4 servings

It’s really great to take a bite of cold melon along with some of the warm chicken salad.

Nutritional count according to my Diet Power software:  169 calories, 6.8 g fat, 12.7 g carb, 1.3 g fiber
Weight Watchers PointsPlus:  4

To round off the meal, we had Toffee Angel Food Dessert – 5 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.

Toffee Nut Bars

My daughter-in-law grew up in Merrillville, Indiana, and for my birthday in 1989, she sent me a copy of her church’s cookbook, SS. Peter & Paul Treasure Chest of Recipes.  There are so many good recipes in this book and these bars are a favorite – all of the family loved them.

TOFFEE NUT BARS

Crust Base:

  • 2 Tblsp. margarine
  • 2 Tblsp. Crisco
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Have an ungreased 8 inch x 8 inch pan ready

Mix together margarine, Crisco and brown sugar.  Stir in flour.  Press and flatten with hand to cover bottom of ungreased 8×8″ pan.  Bake 10 minutes @ 350 degrees F.

While crust is baking, make topping:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 oz. (about 3/4 cup) Heath Chocolate Toffee Bits*
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts

*Or chop chocolate toffee candy coarsely to make 3/4 cup

Beat egg, stir in sugar and vanilla.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt together and add to egg mixture.  Mix in toffee bits and nuts.  Spread over baked crust base.  Dampening palms with water will help to spread the topping.  Bake for 20 minutes @ 350 degrees F until topping is golden brown.

Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack, then loosen side edges and cut into bars.  Keep in pan to cool on wire rack.

Makes 9 rich and delicious bars.