Once upon a time, when I was just a little girl, my mother taught piano. OK, I was not a little girl, I was a fat obnoxious teenager, but that's not really important. My mother was a piano teacher of little children and at Christmastime she would get all sorts of interesting presents. Actually her most interesting present happened at Easter, one of her students gave her one of those elaborately decorated Eastern European Easter eggs. It was beautiful. It also was a real egg. It exploded with a loud pop after a little more than a week. Very exciting.
Anyhow, she would get lots of presents and plates of cookies and stuff like that. Scarves with piano keyboards on them and so on. It was one of those Christmases that we became aware of the most delicious and easy to make bar cookie ever. I mean it. EVER. Mrs. Eder sent over a plate of them with her kid and they were quickly inhaled by all of us kids. Mrs. Eder was kind enough to share the recipe with my mom and they have been a staple at Christmastime ever since.
It should be mentioned that there is one small trick. The cookies must be cut while warm. Otherwise they make a lovely ice cream topping. They don't have to be hot, just don't let them cool all the way down.
This recipe is so easy because the chocolate chips melt on their own after you sprinkle them on top. There's no need to pull out the double boiler or risk the microwave to melt them. Also, the original recipe calls for pecans and that's how I usually make them, but I've made them with walnuts before and they were still delicious. I'm pretty sure they'd be great with almonds too. Peanuts might be icky though.
I don't know what ever happened to Mrs. Eder. My mom switched careers and became an electrical engineer next. I don't think they kept in touch. But wherever she is, my family loves her. And these cookies!
Mrs. Eder's Toffee Bars
2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
2 cups flour
1 bag chocolate chips (12 oz.)
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Mix sugar and butter. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Beat well. Mix in flour. Grease pan (cookie sheet with sides). Pat in dough.
bake at 325° 1/2 hour
Spread chocolate chips on cookie, let melt. Smooth and sprinkle with nuts. Cut while warm.
These freeze well.