Spicy Tostada Toffee With Toasty, Chewy Toppings

December 17, 2020
7 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Sam Seneviratne.
  • Prep time 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • makes about 2 pounds
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Spicy Tostada Toffee With Toasty, Chewy Toppings
  • 8 (5.5-inch) tostadas (about 170 grams total)
  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup (200 grams) light or dark brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 2 teaspoons red chile flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 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
  • Flaky salt
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment, buttered foil, or a Silpat.
  2. Break the tostadas into large shards and snuggly lay them in one layer on the prepared sheet pan.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Paul Maddox
    Paul Maddox
  • grumpytechie
  • JuneBug
  • Katherine Campbell
    Katherine Campbell
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

6 Reviews

Paul M. May 28, 2022
I can't explain how good this toffee is...WHOAH!!! I SOMEHOW MISTAKENLY (stupid smirk) bought tostadas with the words "chile & lime" on the package... oh well, should work, right?
All I can say is, score another one for dark chocolate/chile combination. I also used pumpkin seeds and chopped dried apricots... crispy, chocolatey, fruity, and spicy... yeah, it works.
grumpytechie December 19, 2021
So, this was incredible. I topped it with golden raisins, pecans, and sesame seeds. It's so good my husband and I kept snacking on it even after resolving not to snack anymore. Delicious, but a problem when there are only two of us. It's pretty simple and straightforward--it only took me like half an hour to put together. Definitely a keeper recipe, for the holidays, but also all the time.
JuneBug November 26, 2021
Sohla makes my heart soar, yet again! These are fantastic and as simple or complex as you want them to be. Huge hit with our group. Fun (and low risk) to experiment with toppings. Organic yellow corn tortilla chips from simply Tostitos work great. The top half of the bag are quartered tortillas. They have a surprising corn forward flavor from a grocery store chip. The settled bottom half can patch in the sheet pan holes. Froze a small batch to see how they hold and will definitely gift these for the holidays this year instead of baking.
Katherine C. December 21, 2020
This treat is a real hit as a holiday gift. The heat from the red pepper is a genius addition. I topped it with a dried fruit and nut/seed trail mix which kept the cost down. One of the best, most original recipes I've come across in a while.
Ehve December 20, 2020
These are spectacular. So addictive. And the recipe was shockingly easy. Topped with chopped dates, walnuts and sesame seeds
Ehve December 20, 2020
These are spectacular. So addictive. And the recipe was shockingly easy. Topped with chopped dates, walnuts and sesame seeds.