Friday, December 10, 2010

Two Treats For You: Toffee Almond Chocolate Bars AND Another Cookbook Giveaway!

Don't you love treats?  They come in different forms and take on different meanings to each person.  Today that treat comes in the form of another cookbook giveaway and a delicious dessert recipe that I will post below.   

Both the giveaway and the original version of the dessert are thanks to my blogging buddy Annie Bakes.  Anne actually served as a consultant and co-editor of my cookbook.  She read it and offered helpful suggestions as I was in the writing process.  I'm thrilled to have her on my culinary team. She certainly has given me a ton of encouragement since I started baking and blogging over a year ago.

So let's get to it!  Bring on the fun! 

Treat # 1 - Go to Anne's site now for your chance to win a FREE COPY of my cookbook!  Be sure you read her rules and deadline carefully!

Treat # 2 - Now here is the dessert that I borrowed from Anne's great website.  Only I decided to lighten up her version.   I used less butter, less chocolate and less nuts.  In place I added applesauce and flavored extracts. The bars still had a very delicious outcome.

Lightened Up Toffee Almond Chocolate Bars
(Makes 24 squares)

Adapted from Annie Bakes

2 and 1/2 cups of flour (I used whole wheat white flour)
1 cup of sugar (I used half Stevia and half Sucanat, both natural sugars)
3/4 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of applesauce
1/2 cup (1 stick) of light buttter, softened
1/2 cup of sliced almonds
1 egg
1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
1 and 1/3 cups of toffee bits
1/2 tsp of almond extract
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously grease a 13x9 inch size rectangular baking pan.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, applesauce and sugars.  Cut or scoop your butter into the mix.  The mixture should crumble and begin to stick together in clumps.  Add in egg, almond extract, vanilla extract and 1/4 cup of the sliced almonds.  Beat with a hand mixer until combined.  Fold in your chocolate chips and 1/3 cup of the toffee bits.  Blend gently.  Set aside 1 cup of the crust mixture to use as topping later on.  Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the greased baking pan. 

It will look like this:

Yummy, isn't it?  I think I might just eat the crust next time!  :-)

Bake the crust for ten minutes.  Remove from the oven.  While still hot, pour the entire can of sweetened condensed milk over the crust.  Use a spoon or spatula to even it out. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of sliced almonds and the 1 cup of toffee bits over the condensed milk liquid.  Then top with the remaining 1 cup of "crust" mixture that you set aside from earlier.  Bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes.  Carefully remove pan from oven. 

Here is what mine looked like before I cut it.  Some of the condensed milk oozed out a little to form the round circles you see.  Who cares though?  It tasted wonderful!

Set it aside to cool before handling and cutting into squares.  I used a plastic knife and cut mine into 24 bars.

Enjoy!  This one is sooo good!  Thanks for the great recipe idea Anne!  I'm glad I was able to take it, tweak it and lighten it up even further!

Good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway as well!  Have a great weekend! 

Coming up soon I'll share my latest disaster with my new breadmaker, a recipe on pumpkin cobbler and other delectable things that I've been making lately!  

Have a great weekend.  I'll be back on Sunday to post my meal plan for next week!


  1. Hi Mandy - I am a huge fan of Anne's and Annie Bakes. I have made these bars before and they are so yummy. I was thrilled to see you have a new cookbook. I can't wait to check it out. I entered Anne's contest - what a fun idea.

    Take care - come visit


  2. I just entered a drawing for your FABULOUS new cookbook!!

  3. Hi Mandy, nice to meet you! Annie sent me and I'm now your 29th follower! Your cookbook looks fun and I hope I can win a copy. :)