Grocery store rituals. Everyone has them, from when they shop, to which stores they prefer, reusable bags or always forgetting them, do you browse or go straight for the items on your list, if you even made a list. And I would guess that we are all pretty consistent with these habits. One of my rituals is stopping at grocery stores I haven’t shopped at before, so I can search items on my “Can I Find” list, which contains about 10 items I am on the prowl for. Some of the items are things I grew up with in Philly, some that my mom, Queenie, swears by, and some that I have had while traveling and I’m hoping to find again.
One of the things on my list is Heath Bar Cookies at Publix, which are by far the best store made cookie on the shelves. Queenie has spoiled my husband with them, every visit she is sure to bring him a package. He has a long distance love affair with this toffee cookie. In between visits I try to find ways to satisfy his toffee tooth.
These bars came out pillow soft and chewy, very similar to the beloved Publix cookie. The amount of salt is perfect complement to the sweet toffee. Salt and toffee should never be separated from each other. The nuts can stay or go, pending if you are a nut fan or not.
I just barely modified Jamie Deen’s recipe
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup toffee pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray and place a piece of parchment paper over the pan. Give the parchment another spray coating it evenly.
In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat; stir in the brown sugar until smoothly melted. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
Now in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Freshen the walnuts by toasting them in a medium skillet over medium heat, 6 to 8 minutes until fragrant; remove from hot pan to cool.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, into the cooled butter-sugar mixture, next whip in the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture and mix until combined. Gently fold in the toffee pieces and toasted walnuts into the thick batter.
Spread the batter in the parchment lined pan. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes, lift out of the pan and cut into 1 inch pieces.
Makes about 16 chewy, gooey, salty, sweet treats.
I don’t think I will ever be able to walk into a Publix without looking in the bakery for the Heathbar cookies, they are a permanent item on the “Can I Find” list. I know we can buy them in South Carolina when we visit Queenie’s, or get them when she visits us, but the hunt is fun, the idea that one day I’ll find an item on my list is great!
In the meantime these Chewy Toffee Bars are a welcomed substitute! Queenie, this does not mean you don’t need to continue supplying Sir Wes’ love affair.