Remember when I said I would have Martin and Chris over for brunch? I hosted them on Sunday, along with my friend, Jen.
Trying out new recipes for company completely and totally stresses me out, but I couldn’t let the fear stop me – there were too many new things I wanted to try. In the end, I chose not one, two or three new recipes. No sirree. I made six new recipes and am delighted to say that I’d make them all again.
First, we had a peach white wine sangria and prosciutto crescent rolls. Next, we had bacon-wrapped eggs with polenta (recipe is here) served on a bed of spring greens with sherry vinaigrette (and find that here). Last, we had toffee almond squares, as well as a fruit salad spiked with Triple Sec and topped with lemon yogurt.
Before I get to the squares, let’s discuss the bacon-wrapped eggs with polenta. I may be addicted. They look gourmet and taste just as great — even reheated the next day. Something to note: I drove around trying to find a muffin tin with extra-big cups for this recipe. I’ll save you the journey and suggest you head to Williams-Sonoma to grab the Brooksters pan. Works like a charm.
As for the squares, I’d been wanting to try a recipe from the Island Lake Lodge cookbook forever. Forever = since Christina gave it to me nearly a year ago as a thank you for reading at her beautiful wedding in Fernie.
Many of the book’s recipes are quite involved, but I figured I could handle the toffee almond squares. Plus, anything toffee reminds me of how much I used to love Mackintosh’s Toffee as a kid. So, off I went. And eat and enjoy them, we did.
Toffee Almond Squares
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tbsp water
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
- 2 oz. good-quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
BASE Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. In a medium bowl, beat together sugar and eggs until well combined. Beat in butter and vanilla. Fold in flour mixture until well combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into centre of base comes out clean.
TOPPING In a small saucepan, heat sugar, syrup, butter, water and salt over medium heat, stirring until melted. Bring to a boil, then boil gently for 4 minutes. Pour over base. Sprinkle evenly with almonds. Return pan to the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes or until just set. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack.
In a small heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt chocolate until almost smooth. Remove bowl from the heat. Stir chocolate until smooth. With the tines of a fork, drizzle chocolate evenly over almonds. Set aside until chocolate sets. Cut into squares.
Makes about 24.
Whether you try the egg dish or the squares (or both, to which I would say, “good call”) I hope you enjoy.