This tostada toffee is a corny, extra crunchy take on the classic saltine bark. Baking heightens the roasty flavor of the masa—which you could accentuate with toppings like Cap’n Crunch and freeze dried corn. But really, this toffee is great with any toppings from chopped dates and apricots to toasted pepitas and peanuts. The amount of chile flakes might seem like a lot, but it’s just enough to bring a delicate heat to balance out all the sweet. —Sohla El-Waylly
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Spicy Tostada Toffee With Toasty, Chewy Toppings
1 hour 45 minutes
about 2 pounds
(5.5-inch) tostadas (about 170 grams total)
(226 grams) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
(200 grams) light or dark brown sugar, tightly packed
red chile flakes
1 1/2 cups
(225 grams) chopped dark chocolate
Assorted toasted nuts and seeds, such as sesame, pepitas, peanuts, and almonds
Assorted dried fruit, such as raisins, apricots, pineapple, and banana chips, chopped if needed
Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment, buttered foil, or a Silpat.
Break the tostadas into large shards and snuggly lay them in one layer on the prepared sheet pan.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sugar, chile flakes, and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is vigorously boiling and homogenized. Immediately turn off the heat.
Pour the mixture over the tostadas (don’t worry if it isn’t totally even, it will spread out as it cooks) and place in the oven. Bake until bubbly and darkened in color, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the chopped chocolate. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt from the residual heat.
Using an offset spatula, evenly spread the chocolate all over the tostada toffee. Sprinkle with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and flaky salt. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, until the pan is no longer hot, then chill in the refrigerator or freezer until set, at least 1 hour. Break into pieces and serve. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for 2 months.
Sohla El-Waylly is a Food52 Resident, sharing new riffable recipes every month that'll help you get creative in the kitchen. Watch her cook on YouTube in her new series, Off-Script With Sohla. Before she started developing fun recipes for home cooks, she worked as a chef in N.Y.C. and L.A., briefly owning a restaurant in Brooklyn with her husband and fellow chef, Ham El-Waylly. She lives in the East Village with Ham, their two dogs, and cat. Find out what else she's up to on Instagram @sohlae.