Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Dec 3, 2007 05:10 PM

ISO--old timey bar cookie recipe!

My mom used to make a bar cookie that I loved but she lost the recipe some years ago and I've never been able to track it down or recreate it. I'm hoping some of you CH bakers can help!

As I said, it's a very simple bar cookie--some kind of a basic cookie base topped with chocolate chips (either semi-sweet or milk chocolate, I'm not sure) and pecans. What made it distinct was the cookie base--it had an almost toffee-like taste and texture. Definitely a bar cookie and not actual toffee, but it fell somewhere in the middle. It was sweet with that toffee-ish taste and a little on the harder side like toffee as opposed to a softer bar cookie. Definitely not a graham cracker base, and I'm pretty sure there wasn't any sweetened condensed milk involved.

I know it's not some unusual recipe and it's one that's been around for years but I can't remember what they were known as which is the only way I think I'd be able to find it online. I've done ingredient searches on recipe sites, but I don't remember exactly what was in it other than the obvious and every recipe I've tried hasn't been it.

If this rings any bells for anyone, I'd love some suggestions! Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. HI! I think I know what you are talking about. I have a old recipe called something like Grandma's Turtle Bars. I have to dig up the recipe. It had a shortbread type cookie base that you baked and then topped with a hot caramel type toffee filled with pecans. Then, we spread choc chips on top and sprinkled with chopped pecans. It had a delicious toffee taste and texture (that didn't last after the first day) and lots of nuts/chocolate. Yum. Let me know if you want me to look for the recipe-- I know I have it somewhere.

    1 Reply
    1. re: roxhills

      i found a shortbread cookie similar to this not too long ago, I'll find it again. it seems there was a layer of caramel over the shortbread, then chocolate...


      I just found this link. It looks similar to the one I made but I used semi sweet chocolate.

      2 Replies
      1. re: roxhills

        Thanks so much, roxhills! I checked with my mom who actually made these bars way back when, and she says she doesn't remember the recipe having a caramel sauce that you made separately. These look delicious though, so I'll probably try them anyway! Thanks again!

        1. re: sarahvagaca

          I made a refrigerator caramel cookie this last year, it had brown sugar in the dough which was melted then mixed with the dough. The cookies were hard, but if you made a recipe change adding a little bit of brown melted sugar, with butter to the shortbread, I bet you might get that crunchy crust with toffee taste... just an idea.

      2. You might want to check out the toffee bars in the Silver Palate Cookbook -- they were recommended in one of the threads when SP was "cookbook of the month" in November. I tried them and they were super easy and definitely toffee-like.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Thanks for the tips, chef chicklet and Ruth Lafler! I'm still on the hunt!

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            An enthusiastic ditto for Ruth's rec. The Silver Palate Toffee Bars came immediately to mind as I read the OP's post. These are my go-to bar cookie. The effort is minimal and the taste was maximal.

          2. I know this is an old thread but I was looking for the same cookie and called my mom to find out where she got the recipe. I believe the one you are looking for is from the older Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and was called toffee bars.

            1 cup butter
            1 cup packed brown sugar
            1 egg yolk
            1 tsp. vanilla extract
            2 cups flour
            1 cup chocolate chips
            1 cup chopped nuts

            Preheat oven to 350 F

            Beat butter for 30 seconds, add brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla, beat well. Gradually add flour, beating constantly. Press into an ungreased 15" x 10" x 1" pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes at 350 F. Immediately after removing from the oven, sprinkle with chocolate chip and let stand until chips soften. Spread chocolate on bars, sprinkle with nuts.