{recipe} Betty Crocker’s Toffee Bars

It has been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted, but I have great excuses up the wazoo. Our heating system got entirely redone so I had no computer for over a week. I had to throw three parties over the last 10 days AND take a trip to Scottsdale. On top of that, I am creating a life right now, so I think it’s totally OK to slack off around here. Another thing keeping me busy is that I’ve made this recipe about 5 times recently.

This is a recipe from my childhood, when I spent a lot of time with a well-loved, reddish orange, circa 1970s, 3-ring binder Betty Crocker cookbook. (I did a little research, and we must have had had the 1978 edition, because it looked like this.) My sister and I would ponder all of Betty’s incredibly creative frosting ideas, her cookies, her pie crusts decorated with fork tines–which of course, by now, seem pretty simplistic. To us, they were the height of sophistication. We were completely wowed and tried all of them.

By the way, while I was looking for a photo of vintage Betty Crocker frosting ideas, I came across this fantastically misguided and sexist ad for Kellogg’s Pep vitamins, and couldn’t resist sharing it. I have no words. And I feel quite certain that I would look cuter if I didn’t work so hard.

But back to the recipe. I was inspired to revisit this particular recipe when I got home from work at 6 PM one night–and had guests coming at 7 for dinner. I called my mom and asked her to take down the big Betty binder and give me the old toffee bars recipe. They take about 5 minutes to prep and 15 minutes in the oven, and were even better than I remembered. I made something much harder and more time-consuming for the next dinner party, but my guests preferred the leftover toffee bars to my fancy shmancy individual chocolate mint cakes, dammit. So for the next round I just made them again. They have no toffee in them and they require virtually no kitchen skills. And they are absolutely delicious beyond belief.

Say what you will about Betty, but she knew her stuff. Give them a try and they might become a multi-generational family favorite for you, too.

Recipe: Betty Crocker’s Toffee Bars
Makes one 9×13 pan. They are great with ice cream. Even Betty herself, back in the 1960s, suggested you could use whole wheat flour in these. If you plan to do that, I would recommend using either half whole wheat and half white or using whole wheat pastry flour, to maintain a good crumb.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • couple handfuls of chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cream butter and sugar well, in a mixer or with a wooden spoon.
  • Add egg yolk and vanilla and stir to combine.
  • Add flour and salt and mix to fully combine
  • Press mixture into a 9×13 pan. Bake about 15 minutes, until beginning to brown.
  • Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of the hot pastry. Wait about 5 minutes for the chips to melt, then spread with a knife or offset spatula.
  • Let cool then cut into bars and serve.


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6 Responses

  1. Wendy says:

    These sound terrific! I’m remembering eating something like this when I was a kid. I’m wondering if it’s the same recipe.

  2. Kathleen says:

    I can tell you this here, because you won’t know anyone I feed them to so you can’t give away my secret… Substitute the chocolate chips with pure milk chocolate (either Chipit pure milk chocolate chips, or anything else “real”), melt separately & spread on the completely cooked bars. Sprinkle liberally with Skor chips.

    • Karen says:

      Oh Kathleen, you devil you. That sounds pretty fantastic, I must admit. I’m a big fan of Skor bars in desserts! Thanks for the hot tip!

  3. Pam says:

    my mother-in-law has a version without the egg and chocolate chips get mixed into the dough. Even quicker/easier and good for egg allergies!

  4. Karen says:

    I have been searching for a similar (but lost) recipe for years. My original called for Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars to be melted on top. Everyone swore it tasted exactly like a Heath Bar CAN’T WAIT to try this!!! Thanks you so much!