I have slowly altered the recipe after making it a couple of times. This past week, I altered it a lot which proved it to be a flexible recipe. Check out the notes section at the end for modifications/ideas. This is a great dessert to end an Italian meal with, to turn to for something fancier than your every-day brownie but just as easy, or if you have some left-over mascarpone cheese!
Mascarpone Chocolate Toffee Bars
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Vegetable cooking spray
1/2 pound refrigerated sugar cookie dough (store-bought for ease or homemade if desired)
1 (1.4-ounces) chocolate-toffee candy bars, coarsely chopped, divided (Skor or Heath)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup high quality semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 by 5-inch (or 8 x 4-inch) nonstick baking pan (your larger loaf pan) with vegetable cooking spray. Lay a 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 12 to 14 minutes until the crust is lightly browned. Cool for 15 minutes.
Place the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate has 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 over the chocolate mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until the chocolate layer is firm.
Peel off the parchment paper and cut into bars. Can be served cold or at room temperature.
1) Use a spoon to mix the cookie dough, toffee pieces, and vanilla. Damp fingers work great for pressing the dough into the pan, but the dough is too sticky to mix with your hands.
2) Making sure the cheese is at room temperature prior to whisking into the chocolate mixture is important!
3) This recipe can easily be doubled. If so desired, us a 9" round tart pan.
4) Last week I doubled the recipe thinking for some reason that I had 8 ounces of mascarpone cheese only to find out that I did not. I did have 4 ounces of cream cheese on hand, so I used 4 ounces of mascarpone and 4 ounces of 1/3 less fat cream cheese. The cream cheese added a slight tang to the chocolate but due to all of the other sweet ingredients, the end product was still good.
5) If you really like toffee, the recipe could easily be modified to use 1 1/2 or 2 (1.4 ounce) toffee bars.
6) The original recipe calls for toasted, sliced almonds. I have made it with the almonds, however, have chosen not to recently.