I've been trying out potential sweets for my Christmas cookie boxes and I found a real winner last week. It's from a cookbook called "Brand Name Recipes". The bars have a cocoa based cookie bottom (I used the new Hershey's dark chocolate cocoa which is very tasty) and on top of that is a creamy cheesecake-toffee bit layer and it is all topped with more toffee bits. Need I say more?
1¼ cups all purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa (I used dark chocolate cocoa)
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup butter (cold)
(1) 8 ounce package cream cheese (room temperature)
(1) 14 ounce can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups English toffee bits (divided)
Combine the flour, powdered sugar, cocoa and baking soda in a medium bowl; cut in butter until it is crumbly (I did this step in my food processor). Press firmly on the bottom of an un-greased 9" x 13" baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
Beat the cream cheese until it is fluffy then add the sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk), eggs and vanilla and beat until it is smooth. Stir in one cup of the English toffee bits. Pour this mixture over the hot crust. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until set and the very edges just start to turn golden. Cool 10 minutes and then sprinkle on the remaining one half cup of toffee bits. Cool completely, then refrigerate until the bars are cold. Store leftovers (covered) in the fridge.
NOTE: These bars are to be kept in the fridge, but we think they taste best after they had been out of the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
NOTE: Make sure you use sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated milk