The desserts of The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook are something else. They're simple, almost starkly so. You might find yourself asking, is that all it takes to make something that looks that good? In the case of chocolate covered toffee, the answer is a resounding yes. It doesn't get simpler than semi-dark chocolate and buttery caramel. Adding toasted pumpkin seeds amps up the fat, and sea salt gives it that addictive quality that makes such treats disappear so quickly.
'toffee' on Serious Eats
Cookies filled with extra dark chocolate chips and buttery toffee get a boost from fleur de sel.
Instant espresso counteracts sweet toffee bits in these speckled drop cookies.
If you were the kind of kid to mix three times the recommended amount of Ovaltine into your milk, this is the ice cream for you.
Do you remember your first-ever taste of toffee? I remember mine distinctly. It was on visiting day at summer camp, and the toffee was a Heath bar, smuggled in by my father against very strict "no food in bunk" rules. I suppose that the rule was only partially broken, because as soon as it was opened, it was devoured. Such flavors! Such texture! One taste of buttery, nutty, coffee, chocolate, sweet, salty, crunchy goodness and I became an addict.
What kind of battle pits an American against a Swede against an American sort of posing as a Swede? The battle of mass-market chocolate-covered almond-flavored toffee bars: Heath vs. Daim. vs. Skor.
Even people who aren't cluttered by a nostalgia for roughly woven three-ply yarn will love these cookies. It's hard not to—they're a buttery shortbread imbued with finely diced pieces of chocolate covered toffee.
Sticky. Toffee. Pudding. When I say these words aloud I see my listeners' pupils dilate, their fingers twitch, their teeth bite vampire-like into their bottom lips. I see I have an audience in my thrall and decide to tease and torture, describing how a warm bath of brown sugar, butter, molasses, and port sauce cascades onto a bed of dark cake that imbibes the glossy liquid. When prodded or scooped, the cake bleeds out helplessly and deliciously.
Whether it's in soft and sticky or sweet and crunchy form, caramel and toffee have the power to make any dessert especially comforting. One bite of the sweet (and sometimes salty) goodness and you're transported back to a simpler time when buying a candy bar after school could solve any problem. Here are some tasty desserts that highlight the magical thing that happens when you start cooking your sugar.
Instead of chocolate chips, I used chunks of Hershey's Skor, a chocolate covered toffee bar, for these cookies. The pieces of chocolate-covered toffee add much more than plain old chips. The toffee tastes of caramel, butter, and a hint of salt. I particularly like how the milk chocolate around the toffee begins to melt while the interior of the chunk stays nice and crunchy.
It's sort of like nut brittle, only with pretzels instead of nuts and a more intense butter flavor. Oh, and did I mention it's covered with chocolate? And then sprinkled with sea salt?