Anna Olson's chocolate almond toffee bars

71

PREP TIME

10 min

Makes

8 -inch (2 L) pan (25 squares)

* PLUS Baking Time: 30 minutes
Anna Olson's chocolate almond toffee bars

Photo, Irene Powell.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup graham-cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , melted
  • 1 cup Skor toffee bits
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 300-mL can sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and line an 8-inch (2 L) square pan with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over the sides of the pan.
  • Stir the oats, graham crumbs and salt in a bowl to combine, then stir in the melted butter. Press the crumbly oat mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle Skor bits evenly on top, followed by chocolate chips and sliced almonds. Pour condensed milk evenly over pan (it will sink in as it bakes) and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the edges are bubbling. Cool to room temperature in the pan, then chill for at least 4 hours before slicing into bars.
  • Store toffee bars in the refrigerator for up to a week.

This popular recipe from Anna Olson’s cookbook, In the Kitchen with Anna, is a favourite among pastry chefs and one decadent treat you’ll want to indulge in again and again. (The recipe has not been tested by the Chatelaine Test Kitchen.)

TALE:
My head pastry chef at Olson Foods + Bakery, Andrea, brought this recipe to my attention. She is an excellent baker, and we go way back. She started with me as a high school co-op student, while I was just picking up professional baking myself on the job, so we learned together. That was about 15 years ago, and after her stint at cooking school and gaining other work experience, I’m thrilled that we are working together again after all these years.

TECHNIQUE:
This is a simple recipe to execute – you gather the ingredients and layer them, basically. The challenge is in waiting for them after they’ve finished baking!

TASTE:
This is decadence in a pan. The sinful combination of chocolate, toffee and almonds enveloped in condensed milk that caramelizes as it bakes is irresistible. At least these have oats in them to redeem themselves, just a little bit.

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