Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Toffee Bars and Caramel Corn

Friday night, the girl and I went to a Halloween function at our community center. It was very cute!

On the way home, we stopped by the grocery store and made treats for our big Halloween party we went to Saturday. You know, the one we got all dressed up for?

I brought these.

They are Toffee Bits Triangles from the Hershey's website.
Here is the recipe:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/3 cups (8 oz. pkg.) HEATH BITS 'O BRICKLE Toffee Bits, divided
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips, HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips OR 2 cups (12-oz.pkg.) HERSHEY'S Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolate
(I used semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Beat butter in large bowl on medium speed until creamy. Beat in brown sugar, vanilla and egg yolk until well mixed.
  2. Stir in flour and 1 cup of the toffee bits. Press into ungreased jelly-roll pan, 15-1/2x10-1/2x1 inch.
  3. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until light brown. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes; spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining toffee bits over top. Cool completely. Cut into 3-inch squares; cut each square into 4 triangles. 60 triangles.
I really liked that they were cut into small triangles. I think people are more tempted to take a small bite than to grab plate with a large square snack.
The only thing I did differently was after I spread the chocolate chips out, and sprinkled with the toffee bits, I also sprinkled with Halloween sprinkles.
Doesn't it add to the cute factor?

One thing I really loved about this recipe is adding the chocolate chips and then letting them melt and spreading them on with a knife. I love a hard chocolate layer, but really don't like melting chocolate. It just seems to take so long, and the mess, and the risk of burning. But this was easy!

We also made a veggie tray on one of my rarely used crystal platters. I cut up a mound of broccoli, cauliflower and purple cauliflower that we found at the grocery store. I then poured baby carrots in between the mounds and stuck a container of low fat ranch dressing in the center and saran wrapped it.
Pretty! Too bad I forgot to take a picture!

We also popped loads of popcorn on the stove. I wanted to make caramel corn with the kids (didn't get any photos of that either) and wanted to get the labor intensive part of the job done early. So, the girl and I had Mr. & Mrs. Smith on the tv and popped popcorn. I threw sugar in the last batch and we sat down to kettle corn for the remainder of the movie.

I divided the popcorn into 3 brown paper bags and when we had time, Sunday afternoon, after the carving of the pumpkins, we came in and made the caramel corn.

To 4 qts of popped corn you add:

1/4 corn syrup, 1 stick butter, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup brown sugar. You can bring it to a boil on the stove, but we always microwave in at least a 1.5 qt casserole dish. Once it's boiling, microwave (or continue to boil) for 2 minutes, then pour over the popped corn, in a brown paper sack.

Give a quick stir, fold the top down. Jump up and down! Shake it up! Turn on it's side, shake some more, move it around! Then microwave 1 min 30 seconds, in the bag. Take it out, shake it up again! Microwave again another 60 seconds. Shake it up and pour out onto a cookie sheet. You can separate it to dry singly or make popcorn balls.

Just be careful of the old maids (unpopped popcorn). Because of the additional microwaving time of the popped corn, they get extremely hard. So, when measuring out, try to shake the container and sift with your fingers. I've known people to crack a tooth on them.

For more crunchy or slightly more burnt caramelly flavor, microwave again another 30 or 60 seconds, but watch out! The bag CAN burn.

We ended up with 3 batches, cause you can easily eat 1 batch immediately especially with kids (and husbands) in the house. The kids made a pile of popcorn balls that I popped in those cute bags from JoAnn's. They gave a few to friends and are snacking on the rest.


1 comment:

Jana said...

Mmmmm...I may hafta try those recipes sometime soon. :-)