With these bars, you create one complete batter that you split off, leaving one half as is and darkening the other to get a duo of color and flavor. Before splitting the batter in half, we stirred in chopped salted peanuts and a full cup of crunchy toffee pieces. For that toffee, you can either whack a few bars of the chocolate covered candy to break them up or go for the bagged versions - which, conveniently, come plain as just toffee bits or come covered in milk chocolate. Since we already had a bag of the plain bits in the pantry, we went that route as I didn't want to add more sweetness in the form of milk chocolate.
Once all the ingredients were combined, we scooped out half into a small bowl and stirred in a mess of melted bittersweet chocolate to richen the tan batter. Try to melt the chocolate at least a few minutes before you stir it in - slightly warmer chocolate will work itself in better, but you also don't want to start cooking the batter before it even gets in the pan. To layer the batters, the tan batter is spread over the bottom of the baking pan, followed by dollops of the chocolate batter that are then connected together to evenly cover. If you wanted to be different, are patient and yearn for a flashy appearance, one could always alternately spoon the two batters back and forth into the pan to end up with more of a two-toned block effect.
When you test for doneness, use a toothpick and go towards the center of the pan - while you don't want to see any wet batter, a few moist crumbs attached is good. What I found with these bars is they are kind of a cross between a dense brownie/blondie and a good ol' sturdy bar cookie. They are chewy and crunchy, from the crumb of the bars and the chunky add-ins, and have a moistness to them that doesn't come across as gooey, yet they are not cake-like either. Confusing? Maybe a little, but "double decadence" definitely fits - I found myself especially attracted to their salty edge. While the peanuts matched well, Jeff thought cashews would be another nut that would be a notable pairing against the sweet bits of caramel-esque toffee bits.
Double Decadence Bars