Toffee treats!

It was one of my staff member’s birthday this week and every year, she requests a cheesecake to celebrate.  This year, I made her a Toffee Caramel Cheesecake:

image  I based the cake on a recipe I found on cooks.com:  http://www.cooks.com/recipe/mv1vr69v/toffee-cheesecake-with-caramel-sauce.html

In every other recipe I have used for cheesecake, the crust is always baked first before adding the filling.  This one does not – instead, it chills the crust (graham cracker crust, sugar, and butter) in the refrigerator as the filling is prepared.  I actually thought this worked out really well – it kept the crust fresh and flaky and not over baked and hard.  I then took a bag of miniature sized Heath® Toffee Bars and smashed them gently in the food processor (it was out anyways to make the graham cracker crumbs for the crust).  I mixed them into the cheesecake mixture and laced it with caramel syrup.  I opted to lace the caramel into the batter instead of putting in on top of the cake to make it less messy to eat and that was a success!  This baked together into the best cheesecake I have ever made!

To keep in my theme of toffee, I bought a couple bags of Heath® Toffee baking bits and make a couple of batches of cookies from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook by Allysa Torey and Jennifer Appel.

image  On the left, I have the “chocolate drop cookies and heath bars, vanilla chips, and pecans”.  Instead of vanilla chips, I used white chocolate chips.  I also omitted the milk suggested in the recipe because I didn’t have any at home and didn’t want to buy a whole carton to only use 3 tablespoons.  The cookie came out really well – loved the combination of flavors and textures.  On the right, I have the “toffee pecan drop cookies”.  The recipe is similar to the chocolate ones with pretty much the same ratios of ingredients.  This, however, baked into a chewier cookie that melted in your mouth – a favorite all around!

All in all, a happy birthday celebrated with toffee!

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