Thirty three years ago, Mary Macleod began baking Scottish chocolate shortbread cookies by the Capitol Theatre in Toronto, ON with her family recipe, developed by her French grandmother. Using high-quality ingredients like Belgium chocolate and pure creamery butter, Macleod's small-batch chocolate cookies quickly gained a devoted following and became the signature offering at Mary Macleod's Shortbread at a time when grocery stores were becoming flooded with new and imported products (convenience-driven and pre-Etsy era). Since then, the guarded recipe for the sweet buttery treats has been passed down to Macleod's daughter-in-law, Sharon Grewal-Macleod, and the flourishing business has moved out of the small shop and into Whole Food Market in the Greater Toronto Area and online, with plans to expand to gourmet food stores in Western Canada and Atlantic provinces. The product line now includes a dozen different varieties of shortbread cookies, including the new Maple Crunch, as well as other bakery ingredients, like its butterscotch crumbs and chocolate powder. Try the butterscotch crumbs in this recipe for chocolaty toffee squares. To offset the sweetness, go for the darkest chocolate you enjoy.
Mary Macleod's Butterscotch Toffee Squares
Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C).
Into the bottom of an ungreased, heavy – glass, ceramic, Pyrex – baking pan, add the butterscotch crumbs; firmly and evenly pressing right to the edges.
Bake the crumb base for about 10 to 15 minutes or until just slightly more golden. Remove from oven and set aside near the stove.
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add the whole can of condensed milk and the butter. Using a whisk to stir constantly – the milk will stick and burn if not. Bring up to a gentle boil and, still whisking vigorously, cook for about 5 minutes.
Pour milk mixture over shortbread base, if very thick, use the back of a spatula to spread out to the edges, and return to the oven for about another 10 to15 minutes or until bubbly and light brown around edges.
In a small bowl, mix the chocolate chips and Skor bits together, then sprinkle and spread evenly over the hot dish of squares. Pop back into the oven for about 2 minutes or until the chocolate chips are shiny and beginning to melt. Remove from oven and either allow to cool as is, or, drag a fork through the chips, creating a streaky, frosted appearance.
When still just slightly warm, run a sharp knife around the edges, and cut the squares into 2-inch pieces. Allow to fully cool before removing from pan.