Yuletide Toffee Squares

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Yuletide Toffee Squares

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Published prior to 2008

If the mere thought of bringing a mysterious potion to the hard-ball stage (or of even owning a candy thermometer) stops you in your tracks, we offer here a short-cut solution. A meltingly buttery yet crisp base, slathered with a just-thick-enough layer of chocolate and dusted with finely chopped nuts, make these "faux candy" bars a pressed-for-time baker's newfound friend.

4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
2/3 cup (about 3 ounces) chopped nuts

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly grease a 15 x 10-inch pan.

Combine the oats, sugar, butter, corn syrup, vanilla and salt and mix well. Press the mixture into the pan, using your lightly greased hands to help the process along.

Bake the squares for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they're a light golden brown. Remove them from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

In a medium saucepan set over very low heat, melt the chocolate and shortening together, stirring constantly until smooth. Spread the mixture evenly over the oat base and sprinkle on the chopped nuts. Cover very loosely and chill the squares in the refrigerator until the chocolate is firm. Remove from the refrigerator and cut into squares. The easiest way to do this is to use a chef's knife to cut the bars into long strips while they're still in the pan and then transfer each long strip to a cutting board to cut into bite-sized pieces. Yield: 96 small pieces (but feel free to cut them into whatever size works best for you).

Nutrition information per serving (2 pieces using walnuts, 33g): 147 cal, 6.8g fat, 2g protein, 6g complex carbohydrates, 14g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 9mg cholesterol, 31mg sodium, 77mg potassium, 27mg vitamin A, 1mg iron, 14mg calcium, 52mg phosphorus, 2mg caffeine.


  • star rating 12/07/2012
  • Wendi from Grantham, NH
  • Substituted Lyles Golden Syrup for the Corn Syrup in the cookie base and used coconut oil instead of shortening for the chocolate layer. These baked up well and taste good, just not our favorite.
    Thanks for sharing your variation and frank review. To those bakers who also do recipe substitutions - one at a time is best. If the recipe doesn't yield good results, you'll know who the culprit is! Irene @ KAF
  • star rating 12/05/2012
  • Stephanie from NH
  • This is a good recipe, but beware of your pan size. I used a 10"x15" cookie sheet and the mixture bubbled over onto the bottom of my oven, creating a smokey mess. Due to the bubbling over, it didn't bake long enough and came out chewy instead of crunchy. A messy mistake.
  • star rating 12/20/2009
  • Carol S from Bradenton, FL
  • These taste great, but they overbaked in the recommended time in the recipe, so watch them carefully. When they cooled the edges were quite hard, but not burnt at all. Because of this I found them difficult to get out of the pan. So, I hard to throw out all the cookies from the edges, but the rest were fine. They added interest on a cookie tray and everyone enjoyed them. I will try to make them again.
  • star rating 12/19/2009
  • Cassie from Lebanon, IN
  • Made these for holiday gifts. Tasty, easily prepared candy.
  • star rating 04/06/2009
  • Maggie from Salt Lake City, UT
  • Yum! These are absolutely wonderful! The bottom oatmeal crust is faboulous and quite easy to cut with a chefs knife even after chilling in the fridge for several hours. I think the corn syrup prevents the sugar from crystalizing and turning the crust into cement, as can happen with some other recipes. Amazingly I didn't change the recipe. This might be a first! These got raves from coworkers and family.
    Kudos to you for getting it right the first time.....that feels great for you, the baker,and the KAF recipe developers! Irene at KAF