Toffee Squares

Alright, nobody freak out.

I think… I think I may be an adult. Sort of. Almost.

My first inkling came when I got married first among my friends. But I couldn’t help myself, he was just so darned cute. While we were in university, he bought me a hamster for Valentine’s Day because I didn’t have time/money for a puppy yet. How do you not marry that man?

Then I moved to a different country from my parents for my full-time job. My “career” if we want to use the big-girl words. To be fair, I moved to the same town as my big brother, so maybe that’s not as “adult” as it could have been.

Then I got a mortgage. We had a steady income and the market was good for house buying… I was just doing what people were all telling me to do really.

I could make excuses forever. Until this past Christmas.

You know how every Christmas gathering, there’s a clear delineation between generations? The adults are usually gathered somewhere together, either the dining room or kitchen, discussing politics or finances or something very mature and important. The kids are usually in the living room or basement, playing some sort of game with each other.

I learned this family Christmas of an illusive third group I hadn’t known existed. The “No, I’m totally not an adult YET!” 20-somethings group. A group that avoids the super serious topics discussed by the adults, but still occasionally rolls their eyes at the antics of the “kids”.

There’s a kids’ table at dinner, and you still sit at it, but everyone kind of hems and haws for a while before putting you there, trying to decide if you really belong there or not. And you really do want to be there. Because you’re totally not an adult YET.

But the thing that really didn’t help my frame of mind was that Trevor and I were the older ones in the third group and we discovered the 20/19-year-old couple didn’t know what “grunge music” was.

Oh dear. Oh no. Every time I remember that, I think the phrase, “kids these days…”. That’s a bad sign, isn’t it?

Well, to test the waters of this newfound potential adult-dom, I made Toffee Squares. Except instead of the gooey, sticky, stick to your teeth for 5 days kind of toffee you would usually think of as a child, this is more adult as it is a toffee flavoured shortbread. There’s even nuts on it to cut the sweetness.

…but if I top it with chocolate and crush a candy bar over it, I’m still a kid, right? Right?

Toffee Squares

Adapted from


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup chopped Heath Bar


  1. Crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg yolk, vanilla, and salt. On low speed, gradually beat in the flour just until mixed. The dough will be stiff. Pat the dough evenly over the bottom of the baking pan.
  3. Bake in the center of the oven until pale gold on top, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Topping: Remove the pan from the oven and scatter the chocolate chips evenly over the crust. Return the pan to the oven for 1 minute. Remove the pan again and, using a knife, spread the chocolate evenly over the crust. Sprinkle evenly with the almonds and Heath Bar pieces.
  5. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Using a sharp knife, cut into small squares, then carefully remove from the pan with a small offset spatula or an icing spatula.

Makes approx. 48 squares.


5 thoughts on “Toffee Squares

  1. oneordinaryday – Very good point! :)
    bella – Thanks!
    Tom – I actually used to hate the way toffee got stuck in my teeth as a kid.. but of course would eat in anyway because of how much I loved sugar!

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