Monday, September 5, 2011

Mascarpone Chocolate Toffee Bars

I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the way I've become a snob. A complete and total baking snob. I admit it. I came to this realization not too long ago after I found myself turning my nose up at some birthday cake being served at a friend's party. Before you get all huffy with me, no, I didn't ask them if it was a "boxed cake" and then refuse when asked if I would like some. That would have just been rude. Rather, I accepted a piece knowing it wasn't from scratch and politely ate a bite. I proceeded to eat a second bite merely to confirm that I really didn't like the first bite. Yup, total snob. I couldn't eat it.

The funny thing is that I used to be all about boxed cakes and cookies and whatever had sugar or chocolate in it. Then, I started making custom cakes and spending all my free time in the kitchen sampling recipes. I developed this insatiable need to bake and learn new pastry skills. From there my palate changed and my snobbery was born. While, I am comfortable with it most of the time, I do find myself scoffing at recipes simply because they don't make all the elements from scratch. I turn my nose up at them, most definitely unnecessarily.

How did I see the error of my ways, you ask? Well, I had this mascarpoone cheese that needed to be used, you see. I also had a last minute party to attend. Since I don't like to show up empty handed, I needed a quick dessert to make and bring along. So, I googled mascarpone and dessert, and there it was, what seemed like the perfect recipe from Mrs. Giada Di Laurentiis herself.

Then, I read through it closely, and here is how it pretty much went in my head... "Wait a minute, say what? Store bought cookie dough? I don't have to make my own toffee? Dang, this won't work then. It can't be that good..... but, it's Giada's? And, I have no time.... Fine! I will try it."

Like I said, total SNOB!

Well, what a silly, foolish girl I've been. These were wonderful... rich, delicious and a huge hit at the party! The best part of all was how remarkably easy they were. Not only did the Pillsbury cookie dough and Heath bar work wonderfully in the recipe, it made my life so much easier not having to make the shortbread and toffee from scratch. Lesson learned. Make these bars. Thank you Giada.

Have a Sweet Day!
Jaime @ The Great Cake Company


Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via
Makes about 21 Bars 

1 pound refrigerated sugar cookie dough (recommended: Pillsbury)
2 (1.4-ounces) chocolate-toffee candy bars, coarsely chopped, divided (recommended: Skor)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (recommended: Ghirardelli)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted* 

Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 7 by 10 3/4-inch nonstick baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Lay a 6 by 18-inch piece of parchment paper in the pan, allowing the excess paper to overhang the sides. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the cookie dough, 1/2 of the chopped chocolate-toffee candy pieces and vanilla extract. Using damp fingers, gently press the dough into the prepared pan. Using the tines of a fork, prick the dough all over. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. Once removed from oven, gently press down any high parts of the cookie with the back of a spoon. Cool for 15 minutes.

Place the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a medium microwave safe bowl. Heat chocolate and oil for 45 seconds in microwave. Remove and stir chocolate. Heat chocolate again for 15 seconds. Remove and stir until all chocolate is melted. Cool the chocolate mixture for 10 minutes.

Whisk in the mascarpone cheese until the mixture is smooth. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate mixture over the cooled crust. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate-toffee candy pieces and sliced almonds over the chocolate mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until the chocolate layer is firm.

Peel off the parchment paper and cut into 1 1/2 by 2-inch bars. Serve at room temperature.

* To toast almonds, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. 


  1. I feel the same way when I read a recipe and it calls for store bought cookie dough!!! Thanks for giving me the courage to try it out and make my life easier!! This one sounds delicious and I will MAKE myself BUY the things it says to buy!

  2. Oh my goodness, I want one of these in my mouth right. now. Thank you for sharing this! I can't wait to make them.

  3. Ha, I've turned into a slight snob myself, so I understand eating a box cake, well, at least a bite of it, out of courtesy. Honestly, I'm gonna make these, and I'm gonna like them.

  4. Im not sure if my previous comment got posted successfully, just incase I wanted to say how absolutely gorgeous these look! I adore mascarpone and dont bake with it half as much as id like, lovely recipe :)

  5. Thank you ladies, and yes, please give them a try.... oh, so good :)

  6. These really sound delicious. I know my family will love these.I've taken some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really love the food and recipes you feature here and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  7. Thank you so much Mary. Your kind words mean a lot to me. I do hope you give these a try.

  8. Amen. But...once in awhile I have to cheat. I do keep a few cake mixes on hand, and ingredients to doctor them up, and good frosting ingredients, and out there in the real world no one seems to know the difference. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. That said, I have a hard time eating anything from a box or a freezer section at the store. Your bars look delish. With all your additions they make me want to give them a try.

  9. I like your post, made me smile, as I'm a bit of snob too. I'll skip recipes that call for boxed mixes, but I'm way too lazy to make my own toffee! And frosting. I'll buy canned frosting because I mostly suck at it. So a selective snob, maybe? Your bars look delicious!

  10. I made these bars and they were excellent!! They were easy to make (except locating the Skor bars) and I loved the chocolate in the mascarpone cheese which I hadn't used before. It is a very interesting bar. Thanks!!!


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