FFwD Christmas Card Exchange: Almond Toffee Bark

almond toffee bark

I just had E snooping over at my laptop screen, and he noticed that I abbreviated the ‘French Fridays’ into our shorthand FFwD for this post’s title.

“FFwD… its Freaky Friday!”

“Uh-huh.”

“Freaky Friday!”

“Okay!”

“Freeaky Friiiday!”

And then it hit me.  It WAS Freaky Friday with Doristas!

Dourest Christmas cArds

Other than a couple of international pending deliveries, I think I have everyone’s cards!

All through December, the wonderful members of French Fridays with Dorie have been exchanging holiday cards as we have for the last three years.  This new tradition is one of my holiday highlights.  It brightened my evenings from the moment I stopped by the mailbox.  More often than not I would open the cards in the car, relishing the sweet messages and recipes.  During those first two occasions, several of our friends had sent over recipes as part of their cards.  This year, our organizing team of Alice, Candy, and Christy asked us all to share simple cookie or cocktail recipes for the holidays.  I sent out a recipe for tembleque, the traditional Puerto Rican coconut pudding served during Christmas.  I can’t wait to see who tackled it.  (Yay, Alice!)

It was difficult to pick a recipe at first, but the minute Betsy’s card arrived, I was googly eyes deep in love with her recipe, almond toffee bark.  One of my favorite candy bars is the Skor bar – a buttery toffee bar speckled with the smallest almond bits and covered with milk chocolate.  Betsy’s almond toffee bark screamed homemade Skor bar to me.  It was the perfect treat to cap our Christmas dinner with: Mama and Alejandra, my sister, turned me on to the delicious candy bars.  The larger almond slices were sure to please my father.  And my brother enjoys most things with chocolate.  Score!  All we needed was a little ice cream on the side to round out dessert.

almond toffee bark

almond toffee bark

 

For the different substitutions/alternate steps I made to accommodate my kitchen conditions, please refer to the recipe notes.

almond toffee bark
FFwD Christmas Card Exchange: Almond Toffee Bark
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From Betsy Pollack of A Plateful of Happiness
almond toffee bark
FFwD Christmas Card Exchange: Almond Toffee Bark
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From Betsy Pollack of A Plateful of Happiness
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Toast the almonds on a large baking sheet, stirring halfway through, until golden, about 10 minutes.
  2. Oil another large baking sheet. In a large saucepan, bring the butter, sugar, water, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Use spot bigger than what you think you need to avoid overflow. Boil mixture, without stirring, until deep golden, swirling the pan occasionally. This will take about 12 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 2/3 of the almonds. Immediately pour the toffee on to the oiled baking sheet and spread a thin layer with offset spatula. Use a potholder to transfer the hot pan to a rack to cool.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave, stirring until smooth. Pour chocolate over cooled toffee and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with remaining almonds. Once cooled, break into pieces.
  • If you are working in room temperatures of 75˚F or higher, use well oiled, smaller baking sheets or trays that fit in your refrigerator.  The chocolate will not set unless the bark is refrigerated.  Even then, it will melt a little as you eat it.

 

  • You may toast the almonds in the toaster oven tray, working in batches.

 

  • I melted a stick of cold/out of the fridge butter in the stove over medium low heat, stirred in the rest of the ingredients, and increased the temperature to prepare the toffee.

 

  • For the chocolate, we combination of bittersweet and semisweet chips - which were melted on the microwave.

 

I hope all Doristas enjoyed a great start to the holiday season.  Here’s wishing you a great New Year full of health, happiness and great food.  Cheers to our new adventures in 2015!

French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group where home cooks and bloggers from all over the world work their way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.  Want to see who made which recipes?  Head over here!

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Author:Adriana

Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

13 Responses to “FFwD Christmas Card Exchange: Almond Toffee Bark”

  1. December 26, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    I love toffee, too, and Betsy’s recipe looks perfect!!! It would be dangerous to have a batch at my house 🙂 Happy New Year, Adriana!!! xo

  2. December 26, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    Happy holidays Adriana! Your toffee bark looks magnificent.

  3. December 26, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

    I haven’t gotten to making Betsy’s yet,… but I certainly will!! 🙂 I don’t normally think to put bark with ice cream, but that’s a perfect pairing!!

    I opened my cards in the car too!! Haha! I’d stop at the mailbox first then take the dog (or the girls) on her walk and read the cards along the way – so much fun! Check my post today Adriana 🙂

  4. December 26, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    I think I got yours and Betsy’s cards on the same day! I can’t wait to make the tembleque recipe you sent out as I think my Honduran husband will enjoy it immensely! Also, that bark–I never considered that it’s like a Skor bar and I LOVE those. Mmmm. Happy New Year!

  5. December 26, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

    My brother would love this, too! I’ll have to try it soon – so many Dorista treats to try!

    Wishing you & Eduardo a fabulous New Year! xoxo

  6. December 26, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

    These look great, Adriana! I think you’re right about your warm room temperature. I only make this at Christmas time and the high temp in my kitchen is around 65. Fortunately, the refrigerator hardens the chocolate right up. You should try Karen’s recipe too. It’s similar but different. And hers is even easier. The crumbs from cutting are perfect on ice cream. I’ve even made a batch of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream recipe and stirred them in.

    Have a Happy New Year! I look forward to more adventures with you in 2015!

  7. December 26, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    My work is cut out for me next year, every time a new recipe came with a card, Jim wanted
    me to make it. He loved them all, and I will say they are all so yummy looking. I love the
    presentation of the almond toffee bar served with the ice cream. Happy New Year to you
    both Adriana, looking forward to a great 2015.

  8. December 27, 2014 at 3:53 am #

    LOL Freaky Friday!! This looks like a winner – I can’t wait to get home to get all my recipes 🙂

  9. December 27, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    Betsy’s and Karen’s recipes are both ones I need to try. This looks like a winner!
    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you all the best for the New Year ahead.

  10. December 27, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    oh my that looks so delicious!!

    We too always have cookies and candy for dessert at Christmas. Your version of Betsy’s bark looks divine! So happy you enjoyed it!

    Oh, and I fully intend to try your tembleque recipe. I’ve never made it but love it, and it will be fun to try your recipe!!!

  11. December 28, 2014 at 6:26 am #

    Ha! Freaky Friday, indeed! I’ve loved all the cards I’ve received so far and look forward to getting the rest in the next week or so. Our card exchange is one my favourite things about the holidays now. The almond bark turned out perfectly and looks SO good! I hope you had a very merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year!

  12. December 28, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    Loved your post, Adriana! Our card exchange has become such an exciting part of the holiday season, for me too! This year was even more so, because of the recipes! I am so intrigued by your recipe for the tembleque…I know I will be making it soon! It sounds luscious!
    Betsy’s recipe was a great choice! Yours looks perfectly delicious…I can’t wait to give it a try!
    Happy New Year to you and Edwardo!!

  13. January 5, 2015 at 11:58 am #

    Happy New Year Adriana! I’m so making Betsy’s toffee…looks like heaven to me 😉

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