This easy recipe for toffee cookie bars is made with browned butter and chopped Skor bar (a toffee chocolate bar), and topped with flaky sea salt for a salty toffee blondie bar treat!
These Skor cookie bars take are the best blondies for those who are a fan of caramel and chocolate. Toffee chocolate bars are a great way to incorporate caramel flavour into blondies without having to make a salted caramel sauce or soft caramels.
What you need to make blondies
Blondies and cookie bars are made with the same basic ingredients as chocolate chip cookies, so you will need:
- butter, preferably unsalted butter because you will add salt to the cookie dough, but if you have salted butter, it will work. Just adjust the salt in the recipe accordingly, otherwise, your bars may be too salty. We will be browning the butter for this recipe!
- sugar, both granulated and brown sugar work here. I prefer using all (or mostly) brown sugar for the flavour and to balance out the egg in the cookie dough.
- large eggs, don't use smaller eggs because your cookie dough may be too dry and your brownies may be crumbly but don't use extra large eggs because they could cause the batter to separate
- vanilla extract—I use pure vanilla extract in this recipe though artificial could work (just use a little less because it's more potent)
- all-purpose flour is needed to bind all the ingredients together and give the blondies structure, contributing to the chewiness of the bars as well. If you don't use enough flour, your cookie bars may be overly fudgy and dense
- salt is really important to balance out the sweet chocolate flavour, especially since these brownies feature quite a bit of candy chocolate. Please don't skip it. I like to use Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt, but table salt will work, though the bars will be saltier and you may want to halve the salt in that case
- leavening agents—both baking soda and baking powder are added to the mix of dry ingredients to open up the crumb of the cookie leading to a lighter texture. People who like cakey cookies tend to favour recipes with baking powder.
- chopped candy bars, like Crunchie bars or Skor bars (made of chocolate-coated crunchie toffee bars)
Tip: Not sure about the difference between the leavening agents? Please read this post about baking soda versus baking powder.
Baking with browned butter
These toffee cookie bars are made with browned butter. Browning the milk solids in regular butter brings out a toasted nut flavour that goes very well with chocolate chip cookies and cookie bars like these toffee blondies.
Gooey versus chewy texture
People often look for a more gooey texture with blondies, especially when compared to the classic chewy chocolate chip cookies. To achieve that, recipes for blondies use less flour as compared to the eggs and butter in a classic cookie.
So while the best chocolate chip cookies have 190 grams of flour for every 115 grams of butter and 1 large egg, with a batch of blondies, you can go as low as 125 grams of flour for the same amount of butter and eggs to achieve a softer, more gooey texture in the middle.
Blondie bars like these Skor blondies are often underbaked, as with brownies, to achieve a more moist texture in the middle.
A few recipes also use more butter than traditional cookies, 175 grams of butter for every large egg. Again, this leads to a more tender product, though more fat can also make them seem a little greasy.
There are people who treat blondies like reverse brownies, replacing the melted dark chocolate from the brownie batter with melted white chocolate. That's another option to consider, but this recipe doesn't do that.
If you wanted to, you would have to factor the sugar and fat that white chocolate would contribute to the blondie batter, thereby adjusting the amount of butter and sugar you add to the recipe. It can get complicated very quickly if you want to go down that road. So for now, we are making blondies that are a variation of the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Impact of bakeware on texture
While my best chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for the creaming mixing method of room-temperature butter with lots of sugar to achieve a chewy texture, swapping the softened butter for melted butter will help you achieve a more dense, gooey blondie bar. And melting the butter, you can take it one step further by browning the butter, which ups the flavour of the bars significantly, adding a delicate nutty flavour that can't be beaten!
Ultimately, the baking method also has an impact on the texture: because blondies are baked in a big square or rectangular baking pan, the pieces in the middle of the pan will be more under-baked, regardless of the ratios you use, because the middle doesn't heat up as much as the edges. If you like under-baked cookies, blondies are the way to go!
Hint: the baking pan you use to bake your blondies will have an impact on the baking and the final texture. Use a metal pan so they bake faster and rise taller with a more chewy edge. Read all about baking pans to understand the difference between metal and glass bakeware.
For this recipe, you will need a metal baking pan, either 7x11, an 8x8 or a 9x9 brownie pan will work here. Larger pans will lead to thinner blondies and shorter baking times, while smaller pans will lead to thicker cookie bars and slightly longer baking times.
When to take them out of the oven
Just like with brownies, baking blondies can be tricky when it comes to how long to bake them and when to know they are done. Using a skewer to check if they're done baking will help you get a feel for what's going on in the middle of the pan:
- if you want a gooey or under-baked centre, you want to take them out of the oven BEFORE the middle sets—the middle should be quite soft still and verging on raw at this point because the blondies will continue to cook for over 10 minutes after you've taken them out of the oven to cool!
- if you want a chewy centre that is more "baked through," you will bake them longer and use a skewer to feel the texture of the middle—it should be firmer and more set, and the blondies should be golden brown on top too, and not just on the edges.
Look for signs that the cookie bars are baked enough: the surface should have dried out and lost its shine, and no longer look like dough.
Like with most cookies and brownies, the base recipe of the blondie is a blank canvas for adding in different flavour elements:
- brown the butter for more flavour before making the cookie dough
- top with chopped chocolate and fruit, like for these white chocolate and raspberry blondies
- incorporate chopped candy bars and lots of flaky sea salt, like in the recipe below made with chopped Skor bars.
- replace the vanilla extract with a splash of bourbon or scotch, which will provide an interesting oak flavour to these blondies, or some vanilla bean paste
This recipe has a good amount of salt, so if you aren't into the salty-sweet combo, you might want to skip the finishing salt sprinkled on top before baking, and use about half a teaspoon (whisk it in with the dry ingredients). The brown butter adds a pleasantly subtle nuttiness to the blondies.
To store blondies, place them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Alternatively, like with chocolate chip cookies, for longer-term storage, you can freeze blondies in a single layer in a freezer bag. Defrost them, one at a time, when a craving strikes. Defrost one blondie bar in a low oven for about 10 minutes (usually at 250–275 ºF). The blondie will end up warm and taste just like it was freshly baked.
Frequently asked questions
A Skor bar, also called Heath bar, is a crunchy toffee bar coated in milk chocolate. When chopped into chunks, Skor bar and Heath bar make excellent additions to chocolate chip cookies and blondies because of their caramel flavour.
I prefer chewy blondies so I tend to bake them until they are a deep golden brown. If you prefer a more gooey cookie bar, you will need to underbake them. Take 10 minutes off the bake time and check them early so that you bake them just enough but not too much. The blondies will be lighter in colour.
Other cookie bar recipes to try
If you love blondies, be sure to check out these other easy bar recipes, including brownies with walnuts (with delightful chewy edges) and easy lemon bars that are so tangy!
Fun fact: the opposite of a blondie is a brownie. Try these easy bar recipes, including brownies with raspberries and these brownies with walnuts.
Skor toffee cookie bars
- 190 grams (1½ cups) bleached all-purpose flour, for softer, more gooey blondies, use less flour, as little as 125 grams (1 cup)
- 5 mL (1 teaspoon) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt, or 2.5 mL (½ tsp) table salt
- 2.5 mL (½ teaspoon) baking powder
- 1.25 mL (¼ teaspoon) baking soda
- 115 grams (½ cup) unsalted butter
- 150 grams (¾ cup) dark brown sugar
- 50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 (1) large egg(s)
- 15 mL (1 tablespoon) pure vanilla extract
- 175 grams (1 cup) Skor bar, chopped (approximately 4–5 bars)
- Flaky sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 ºF. Butter an 8x8-inch metal brownie pan and line the bottom with a square of parchment. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan on medium–high heat, melt the butter, swirling the pan often. Continue heating the butter and swirling often until the milk solids at the bottom of the pan begin to brown. The browned butter will smell nutty when it's done. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip together the browned butter, the granulated sugar, and the brown sugar until it's well mixed.
- Add the egg and the vanilla, and mix well until the mixture is light and fluffy. Make sure to clean down the sides of the bowl as needed with a big spatula.
- Dump in the whisked dry ingredients, and incorporate them either with the hand mixer on low, or by hand with a big wooden spoon.
- Mix in the chopped chocolate. The dough should be quite thick.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and pat it out from edge-to-edge so that it fills the pan completely.
- Bake the blondies for 25 to 30. Less for a more gooey blondie, longer for a chewy blondie. I like to bake blondies until the edges are nicely browned.
- Let the blondies cool completely before cutting into squares (9 large squares or 16 smaller squares).
- Store in an airtight container.
I understand that you might want to bake these blondies with whatever flour you have on hand or make other substitutions. Here are a few options to experiment with but understand that some further testing may be required and the results will vary:
- If you want to replace the chopped Skor toffee bar, replace it with toffee bits and chocolate chips.
- If you want to replace the all-purpose flour with an alternative flour, consider the following substitutions:
- whole wheat flour: 190 grams (1.5 cups) of whole wheat flour to make whole wheat blondies
- spelt flour: 220 grams–250 grams (1.75 cups to 2 cups) spelt flour to make spelt blondies. Use the lesser amount if you prefer your blondies that are more gooey or the higher amount if you prefer chewy cookie bars.
- If you want to add nuts:
- when you add in the chocolate, also mix in 110 grams (1 cup) of chopped nuts like pecans, walnuts, or even peanuts or pistachios.
- If you want to change the chocolate: I love to make blondies with chopped dark chocolate that is preferably 70 % cocoa and not too sweet, but you can also use milk chocolate, white chocolate, or a combination of the three. Make sure you stick to the same total quantity of chocolate though. Try adding toffee bits, butterscotch chips, or even peanut butter chips for a completely different flavour.
- If you want to add in something crazy: take inspiration from Christina Tosi's Milk Bar compost cookie recipe and her compost pound cake and throw in some salty potato chips, chopped pretzels, and coffee grinds!
- If you want to garnish: fresh berries work surprisingly well, added on top of blondies before baking, like these white chocolate and raspberry blondies.
Happy Birthday! The blondies look like an amazing gift to yourself. Being so far from someone you love sucks. You'll see Patricia again soon. Until then, have you tried skype? Maybe seeing her face as you talk will make her feel closer to you.
Evan Thomas says
Toffee is a great flavor for blondies. These remind me of something I would get at Starbucks all the time.
Kate @ Diethood.com says
That's a great way to spend quality time with a loved one!
Your blondies are perfect - I love that you added some salt to it!
delicious looks wonderful
happy new year
Mmmm toffee...wonderful addition to the blondie. These look just heavenly.
Adora's Box says
Salt is a nice touch. Just makes the sweetness less cloying so you can eat more of it. Warm birthday wishes for you and your best friend. How lovely that you've spent time together, not do much but just enjoy each other's company. My type of fun.
Tonya - What's On My Plate says
Blondies are totally the lazy man's chocolate chip cookie. I love the sound of the salty/sweet combination.
P.S. Canadian airlines do not make it easy to travel around the country. So much more expensive than travelling around the U.S. 🙁
oooo how I just looove this! Great recipe!
Toffee. Chocolate. Salt. And SCOTCH! Hello! 😀 This recipe rocks!
Brian @ howtobaker says
I love all things brownie but just found out about blondies last year. I must have spent my life before then living under a rock! These look fantastic and I never thought of adding toffee. Next time I'll have to throw some in.
Sweet & Salty are best friends to each other! I hope you get to see more of yours soon!
Sweet and salty in chocolatey treats is quite a new introduction to me and one I am adoring. So your recipe appeal.
It was quite heart pulling to read your entry and missing your best friend. It reminded me of my best riends who lives in the States and I live in Scotland. This is no substitute for sure, but it certainly is a big hug.
Happy New Year to you.
That looks so good.
I love the combo of sweet and salty...yum
Leanne @healthfulpursuit says
Big fan of the sweet and salty. Congrats on top 9!
Happy belated birthday! What's it feel like to be #1? 🙂 I saw that photo and had to click for details...and sadly, now I want one very much. What is not to love about chocolate chip cookies liquored up with alcohol? CONGRATS!!! And I'll be trying these!
Happy belated birthday! I love salty and sweet together! Beautiful photos of a gorgeous dish!
the good soup says
My best friend Avon (www.goodwifesupperclub.com) and I (www.thegoodsoup.com) have been 8930 miles apart ever since we worked together at Rose Bakery in Paris two years ago. But we still managed to have babies 5 weeks apart! I miss her so much. But your blondies make me feel a wee bit better 😉
The Mom Chef says
Oh, you're speaking my language with this. Toffee, blondies, chewy, salty. All words I love. Take out the dark chocolate chips (easy enough), and I'm in heaven!
i made these today (minus the toffee which i sadly couldn't get) and wow they are yummy! thanks for the inspiration 🙂
These look divine! I can't wait to make them soon!
Betsy W. says
Made these with the toffee and dark chocolate chips and they were truly delicious. I probably baked them four or five minutes too long but now I know that 22 minutes is about right in my oven. I decreased the salt, as you suggested, since I’m not a sweet/salty fan.