Sunday, May 04, 2008

Toffee Almond Bars


People who know me know that I never use boxed cake mix to make cakes. I am definitely a cake from scratch girl. And although I don't use them to make cakes or cupcakes, I do use boxed cake mix to make "crust" for two recipes.

The first recipe is something we like to call "that pumpkin thing". I guess its official name is pecan pumpkin pie. I got that recipe from a restaurant on West Portal Avenue here in the city (and I will probably post the recipe on my blog in the future). And the second recipe is the one you see here for toffee almond bars. The toffee almond bar recipe was adapted from a recipe I found on the side of a yellow cake mix box.

The funny thing is that these are my two most requested recipes. I think maybe there's something in the cake mix that people seem to really like. Cake mix has a very specific and distinctive flavor that is like nothing else. I personally don't like that cake mix flavor, but I admit that I keep a box of yellow cake mix around just in case someone else has a craving for these toffee almond bars. In fact, they have been dubbed the "evil bars" by one of my coworkers since she can't resist them. But she also calls them "little bites of heaven".


Toffee Almond Bars
(makes one 9x13-inch pan)

1 - 18 ounce box of Pillsbury yellow cake mix
*(I've also use Betty Crocker brand successfully)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg

1 - 14 fluid ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
*(NOT evaporated milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
6 ounces toffee bits
*(I've used bits with or without chocolate as well as chopped up Skor or Heath candy bars)
1 cup sliced, slivered or chopped almonds


Mix the yellow cake mix, butter and 1 egg together and press into the bottom of a well-buttered 9x13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 F degrees for 7 minutes (the crust won't look done).

In the meantime, mix the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, 1 egg, toffee bits and the almonds. Pour over the warm crust and bake at 350 F degrees for 24 to 30 minutes until the top looks slightly golden brown. Cool before cutting.



VeggieGirl said...

I too am definitely a "cake made from scratch" girl - I've never used the boxed stuff.

Those Toffee-Almond Bars look delicious - no wonder they were a hit! :0)

Kathy said...

Thanks, Mary. I'm definitely buying everything I need for this recipe and sticking it in the pantry! This is a great recipe to have handy...I can see it now.

kimberleyblue said...

I've never used cake mix either, but this recipe definitely makes me want to go out and get some!

Those bars look awesome!

Robin said...

While I'm definitely a cake-from-scratch girl, I have to admit I don't mind (even like) eating cake mix cakes when someone's serving one. And they are a great thing for inexperienced bakers since it's really hard to mess one up!

Your bars look great!

Peabody said...

I don't usually use cake mixes either...but I love Dump Cake which uses the dry cake mix. These look really good, I could see myself breaking the no cake mix rule for these.

Sophie said...

I'm actually a bigger fan of bars than of cookies :)! These look delish, I like the tasty layers.

Jenny said...

Looks interesting - have to pick up one of those cake mixes next time I'm in the US, just to try it.

jpolicky said...

You better have those at work tomorrow! No fair posting Toffee Almond Bars unless I get one. Seriously, my favorite!

~Orlena said...

Oh yay, you posted the recipe! Thanks for the recipe and the yummy bars! I've got all my ingredients on hand because I'm already craving them! =D

RecipeGirl said...

I can see the gooey goodness within! My these look delicious :) I'm not a cake-mix kinda gal either but sometimes they just fit into a recipe.

Patricia Scarpin said...

These bars look tempting, Mary. I would never have thought they were made with a cake mix!

Gretchen Noelle said...

This does certainly look delicious! Great idea!

Claire said...

Mmmm...this looks fantastic! I do like the cake mix taste, though there is something special about homemade versions.

ovenhaven said...

I don't usually use cake mixes as well, but this recipe sounds like such a sure winner that I think I might get me a box this weekend!

Thanks for sharing :)

CIA-Cooking In An Apron said...

Yes, an 'actual' cake I always make from scratch but I too have box mixes hanging around in my pantry for these type of recipes. And as a matter of fact, I think I have one left...thanks for sharing, they look awesome!!

jj said...

I'll use cake mixes when I want/need a quick fix, but sometimes I think they all wind up tasting the same. I find myself "doctoring" them up more often than not as of late and ask myself, "Why not just go back to scratch"!! Which I believe I will be doing more often. There's just nothing like home made from scratch. ;)

Brittany said...

Not much of a cake mix girl either, but (like peabody) I love dump cake and I could for sure make an exception for this recipe, as I am drooling.

Alice Q. said...

I wonder if you could sub butter recipe cake mix instead of the yellow? I usually keep a box of that around for Sock it To Me Cake. The crispy top on these looks great!

emigli said...

I like making my own desserts too, but when it comes to plain and simple white or yellow birthday cake, I only trust the box. Mine always come out wrong.

Chocolate, on the other hand, I can do. For some reason.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I'm not big on boxed mixes, either, but I do keep a few on hand for specific reasons. These bars will become one of those reasons, I think.

Inne said...

That looks delicious Mary. And your post reminded me of that Friends episode, where Monica tries all day to replicate Phoebe's grandmother's special chocolate cookies, only to discover she used a premixed thing :)

Haley said...

We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email if interested. Thanks :)


Katie said...

I googled "yellow cake" "bar cookie" and this came up! I couldn't wait to try them. I made them yesterday and boy oh boy they are yuhhhh uh meeeee! Delish.

Thank you.