Delaminated Toffee Bars

I have another baking conundrum, now that my family birthday cake recipe was sorted out, and my bread recipe dilemma was solved: How to get the chocolate on my toffee bars to stick to the cookie base. I use the recipe in the Silver Palate cookbook with only two changes: I swap some of the brown sugar in the cookie base for maple sugar (a happy accident that turned out to be terrific) and I use a good quality chocolate, not chocolate chips, for the top layer. Last night, I was especially meticulous. The chocolate was evenly chopped and distributed over the cookie base when it was still hot, it was thoroughly melted and spread very, very carefully with an off-set spatula, all the way to the corners of the pans. The bars were completely cooled over night on the counter before they were cut and were never refrigerated. But, every time I don't use grocery-store brand chocolate chips, the chocolate layer separates from the cookie layer when the bars are cut. All I can think of is better grade chocolate has less 'sticking power', but that's only a guess. Thoughts most welcome!



SassyCook November 17, 2012
Not sure if this will help anyone now, a year later, but in case it does....I have had this problem happen to me just yesterday with some coffee bars I am making. I used Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips and it still separated :/ Today I am going to try Andrew's suggestion of melting the chocolate chips and adding a teaspoon of corn syrup to it before spreading. I will get back with the results...
Andrew S. June 15, 2011
Hi, Chef Michael is onto something here. The chocolate chips have a lot of sugar in them, which makes chocolate 'soft' as well as lecithin (an emulsifier) and palm kernel oil, which melts at 108f, imagine that inside your body! So, with all that said, it is going to spread evenly, not separate and not give you any troubles. Better quality chocolate has cocoa butter as it's only fat. The little amount of lecithin and sugar in better quality chocolate makes it easy for the cocoa butter to migrate up and down. When this happens it creates a fat barrier that 'snaps' when you try to cut the bars. Try adding a teaspoon of corn syrup to your melted chocolate and then spread it on the bars. I hope this helps.
Author Comment
I am thinking it comes down to lecithin. most comercial chocolates have it in there to help maintain the emusification of the chocolate to help home cooks without formal chocolate experience. maybe your good chocolates have less or none of this ingredient.
boulangere May 26, 2011
Sounds like a plan. It's all a science experiment!
Melusine May 26, 2011
Yes, it does and again, thank you. Maybe a compromise is in order - a mix of chips and good chocolate.
boulangere May 26, 2011
Hmmm. This is a good one. I'm wondering if perhaps you're trying to make them better than they ever wanted to be. The gulf between chocolate chips and your fine chocolate is wide, and I'm thinking that that's the cause of the separation of your good chocolate from the cookie base. Chocolate chips are made with inferior fats and more of them. That's why they can melt, but still hold their shape. I think the consistency of chocolate chips is what holds them in place better. Does that sound reasonable to you?
Jane C. December 19, 2019
I think it has more to do with the cookie base. The same thing happens with toffee bars that have a flour brown sugar and butter base with a Carmel top. Why does the Carmel top separate from the crust?
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