Thursday, February 22, 2018
Cooking

Christmas cookies: Sea-Salt Coffee Toffee Bars

For the first layer:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tablespoons instant coffee crystals

For the second layer:

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons vanilla or dark rum

1 ½ cups coarsely chopped hazelnuts, almonds or other mixed nuts

½ to 1 tablespoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring between additions. Add instant coffee crystals and blend until well incorporated.

Pat batter into ungreased 9- by 13-inch baking pan in an even layer. Bake until edges are lightly browned and center is puffy, 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, stir sweetened condensed milk and butter over low heat until butter melts. The mixture will thicken and become smooth. Stir in vanilla or rum, remove from heat and let sit until bottom layer is done baking.

Sprinkle nuts over baked bottom layer and pour hot sweetened condensed milk mixture evenly over nuts, using spatula to spread. Return to oven and bake until top is golden and bubbling, 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately sprinkle desired amount of sea salt over bubbling toffee top. Cool slightly in pan and cut into bars. Bars can be kept up to one week in airtight container.

Yield: Makes 18 to 24 bars.

Freezeworthy: No.

Submitted by Deborah Roy Harrington, Seminole

Mazzaro's Italian Market

Comments
Explore mayo's upscale friend: aioli

Explore mayo's upscale friend: aioli

Mayonnaise does not have to be pedestrian. Mayonnaise, like life, is what you make of it. The link below is devoted to America’s love-hate relationship with the white stuff in the jar. Yours truly provides a defense for using it as a cooking a...
Published: 02/21/18
In defense of mayonnaise

In defense of mayonnaise

It weighed heavy, spread across my soul like a creamy white burial shroud. I would never admit it, not in a million years. My husband wondered, what was on the chicken? He ate it willingly, then enthusiastically. "I can never tell you." I sat quie...
Published: 02/21/18
Hide the cauliflower in this Mushroom and Cauliflower Frittata recipe

Hide the cauliflower in this Mushroom and Cauliflower Frittata recipe

Do I like cauliflower as much as the next guy? Well, no. It’s one of the cruciferous vegetables whose cooked aroma sends me running for the exit. But the oh-so-trendy riced variety, stirred into this frittata mix, works for me.Here’s why: Used raw, i...
Published: 02/20/18
Taste test: canned peeled tomatoes

Taste test: canned peeled tomatoes

On a recent cold night, my son asked for a bowl of tomato soup. I was preparing to run to the grocery store for a can or carton of soup to heat up when I realized I had 17 cans of whole tomatoes on the counter, ready for my tasting panel to sample. I...
Published: 02/20/18
Put Alaskan king crab leg shells to work in a creamy, dreamy bisque

Put Alaskan king crab leg shells to work in a creamy, dreamy bisque

Nothing says indulgence like noshing on some seriously giant Alaskan king crab legs. They’re not just tasty, they’re a low-fat source of protein: One leg has about 25 grams of protein and a host of vitamins and minerals (including sodium, incidentall...
Published: 02/15/18
Avocado toast gets a persimmon twist

Avocado toast gets a persimmon twist

You’ve likely seen persimmon in the grocery store and then shied away from it, not quite sure what to do with it. The most common variety in the United States is the fuyu persimmon, also called Japanese persimmon, and it looks similar to a slightly f...
Published: 02/15/18
Global flavors: Celebrate the Olympics with creative nacho recipes

Global flavors: Celebrate the Olympics with creative nacho recipes

The global experience that is the Olympics has returned, and that gives us a fun opportunity to learn about different countries and parts of the world while watching the triple axels and halfpipes.Food is one way to bring far-off places a little clos...
Published: 02/14/18
Sheet-Pan Chicken With Sweet Potatoes and Peppers recipe

Sheet-Pan Chicken With Sweet Potatoes and Peppers recipe

For most of the year, I hold to the notion that what grows together goes together, especially when it comes to mingling things on a sheet pan.Spring’s tender greens and shoots; summer’s juicy zucchini and tomatoes; fall’s pumpkins and Brussels sprout...
Published: 02/14/18
Five ideas for quick and easy Valentine’s Day desserts

Five ideas for quick and easy Valentine’s Day desserts

Busy crafting a nice dinner for yourself and your boo this evening? Don’t worry, we’ve got dessert covered. Here are five ideas for after-meal sweets, little morsels that come together quickly so you can focus on the main event. Michelle Stark, Times...
Published: 02/14/18

From the food editor: Seared Steaks With Peppers and Almonds are elegant and simple

If you buy good ingredients, half the work is already done. That may sound a little hokey, but it’s true and it’s the cooking advice I need to heed more often in my own kitchen.My husband and I are dining out on Valentine’s Day this year, something w...
Published: 02/13/18