When I jump off the vegan, sugar-free, health conscious train, I jump BIG. I mean really big! And though I dearly pay the price with insomnia and horrendous hot flashes (sugar, wine and caffeine bring on hot flashes in a mean way!) it is worth it. Most of the time.
I jumped big time with this week with Lulu Powers’ Toffee Bark (Chocolate-Caramel Matzoh). Just writing it makes me drool. Yes, it’s THAT great!
Some especially thoughtful guests brought this Silver Lined treat to a party we had last year, along with a signed copy of Lulu’s book, Lulu Powers Food to Flowers: Simple, Stylish Food for Easy Entertaining. By the way, Lulu wrote the sweetest inscription to the HOTY and me, which made me like her even more!
I love-love-love this book! It is pretty, interesting, whimsical, fun and completely and totally accessible. So many entertaining/cooking books are pretty but (for me, anyway) achieving the same taste and presentation of the recipes…ahem…doesn’t seem to work out (that’s assuming that I even attempt them!). The Silver Lining about Lulu is that she is all show AND go, meaning that everything looks pretty and tastes great!
I must warn you, though, that this Toffee Bark is at the extreme end of delicious. Compulsive is probably a better word to describe it. One bite simply isn’t enough. I happened to do a full on face plant. Yumma-Yumma-Yumma.
Toffee Bark (Chocolate-Caramel Matzoh)
- 4 to 6 unsalted matzoh crackers
- 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter (See what I mean about a BIG JUMP?!?)
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or any chocolate you desire)
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 1 tablespoon flavored salt (such as tangerine or lavender) or plain ol’ sea salt, the bigger the grain, the better
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 1/2 x 17 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan completely with tinfoil. Place a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper (I did parchment paper because I have no clue what a Silpat baking mat is!) on top of the foil.
- Place the matzohs in a single layer on the baking sheet, cutting or breaking them to fit if necessary. Be sure to cover the entire cookie sheet with matzohs.
- In a saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook fro 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the caramel from the heat and pour over the matzohs. (Be careful: This mixture becomes very hot. Don’t even try to lick the spoon – you’ll burn your tongue!)
- Bake for 15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure the matzoh isn’t burning, especially in the corners of the pan. If the edges are getting too dark, remove the pan from the oven, reduce the heat to 325 degrees F, and then return the pan to the oven for the remaining time.
- Place the pan on a cooling rack. Let sit for 2 minutes, then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the baked matzoh.
- Let stand until the chips have melted – about 5 minutes – and then spread the melted chocolate over the caramel with an offset spatula.
- While still warm, break the bark into pieces using a pizza cutter. Sprinkle the nuts, cayenne, and salt over the top if desired.
- Chill the matzoh in the freezer, still in the baking sheet, until set, 30 to 60 minutes. Store the matzoh in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days, although you won’t have to because it will be eaten!
Here is the image of the Toffee Bark from Lulu’s Book. Are you drooling yet?
Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.