Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wicked Good Treats

I know homemade Halloween goodies are frowned upon in most circles. Was the whole razor-blade-in-the-apple story fact or urban legend? Or was it "leaked" from a candy company who wanted to sell more hermetically-sealed mini treats during the Halloween rush?

It's not like I get any Halloween visitors anyway. If I bought a bag of candy, it would just sit there tempting Randy and me. So, on the off-chance I have a Halloween visitor or two, I just might wrap up a homemade treat. (Yes, those kind of treats sit around tempting Randy and me, too. Let's not get hung up on that, OK?)

Since we live 11 miles or so from town, we don't get much Halloween foot traffic. My neighbor trick-or-treaters are now in high school, and we haven't had any little ghosts or goblins stopping by for years.

But, on the off chance that someone drops by, I just might have a homemade treat. Back in my Halloween excursions trick or treating for UNICEF, my favorite treat was a homemade popcorn ball from my Grandma Neelly. Homemade treats weren't out of the ordinary back then. (No, I wasn't of the generation that walked to school 3 miles one way through snow, but it's starting to sound like it, isn't it?)

I promise I'll label any homemade Halloween treats with my name and phone number. These bars aren't wicked. Then again, maybe they are, if you're counting calories. 

Or save the recipe for a holiday cookie tray. As a bar cookie, they go together quickly. And you can leave them as plain as an uninspired middle school trick-or-treater who's just in it for the candy. Or fancy them up like that little girl in full princess regalia, complete with high heels (who just might swear that she'll never wear high heels again. I speak from experience).

These freeze well. So you can make them now and pull them out for trick or treating or Thanksgiving guests. Enjoy!
Brown Sugar Toffee Bars
Adapted from Cookies and Cups blog
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 8-oz. bag toffee bits (can use plain or milk-chocolate coated)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9- by 13-inch pan with cooking spray. Cream butter and brown sugar together about 2 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla; continuing to mix until well incorporated. Mix together dry ingredients. Turn mixer to low and add in dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Stir in toffee bits until evenly combined.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and center is just set. Don't overbake. Cool on wire rack. Cut into squares when ready to serve.

If you'd like to dress up these bars for a cookie tray or for a special treat, you can add a glaze (see photo at the top of this post).

2 tbsp. butter, melted
2 tbsp. Biscoff spread (You can find it in the peanut butter aisle)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients until well blended. Add a little more milk or powdered sugar to make it the desired glaze consistency. Spread over cooled bars and immediately sprinkle with additional toffee bits. Let glaze set before cutting into squares to serve.

If you don't have Biscoff spread (I just bought my first jar after reading about it on other blogs), you can increase the butter.

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