‘Tis the season for indulgence! I call these Kathy’s Easy Toffee Squares because the recipe came from my friend Kathy who shares these treats anytime of the year.
These Toffee Squares have a crispy bottom layer, a luscious caramel middle and a crunchy chocolate topping. Any treat that has three layers seems a little special to me and that's why they made it onto my list of holiday favourites. They're also perfect for gift giving because they keep well, travel well and are delicious. Any normal person would appreciate these as a gift.
If that checks off a lot of boxes for you then give these Toffee Squares a try. Who knows, they might just make it to your list of annual holiday treats.
Making Holiday Favourites Gluten Free
Brown rice flour is excellent for cookies and squares so it was my first choice when I wanted to make this recipe gluten free. I simply substituted brown rice flour for regular wheat flour and it worked perfectly. I'm sure most gluten free flour blends would work in this recipe too. Once I find a flour that works, especially in a once-a-year recipe, I usually quit experimenting.
If you've got people to eat an endless supply of treats then feel free to continue experimenting.
The only other change was the cereal and in Canada we can buy brand name gluten free Rice Krispies. If you can't find them there are other brands of crispy rice cereal so it's an easy switch.
The Magic Ingredient for Toffee Squares
The magic ingredient in these Toffee Squares is sweetened condensed milk. I have several recipes that use it and I only buy it for holiday baking. It's some concoction of sugar and milk so it's always been gluten free.
Sweetened condensed milk does some kind of magic trick in baking and that's what makes these gooey Toffee Squares irrisistible. I'm not the only one that thinks it's a magic ingredient, they put those words right on the label!
Holiday Baking and Kids In the Kitchen
In the kitchen kids can be enthusiastic, creative and inquisitive, especially if they got to pick what they're making. They have fun creating what they get to eat and create memories of good times in the kitchen.
Making certain recipes only once-a-year makes them feel special. When your kids are old enough get them to start their own list of favourite holiday treats. Add new recipes every year to create a holiday collection you love.
Get The Tools
Kitchen Tip - Plan to cut this sweet dessert into small squares (you can always eat more than one piece). I tried to make these squares slightly thinner by using a larger pan. It failed so just use the 8-inch square pan called for in the recipe and they'll be perfect.
Let me know in the comments below if you made these or if you have a story about making a gluten free version of an old holiday favourite.
Originally posted December 2015, updated December 2021.
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More Recipes: Holiday Baking
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- ¼ cup brown rice flour
- ¾ cup gluten free Rice Krispies or similar rice cereal
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- ⅓ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz/396 ml)
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1¼ cups gluten free Rice Krispies
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Mix the base layer ingredients together and press into the pan.
- Bake in 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Set on a cooling rack while making the caramel layer.
- In a medium size pot combine sweetened condensed milk, butter and brown sugar. Bring to a full boil and cook for 5 minutes stirring almost continuously to prevent burning.
- Pour evenly over the base layer. Set aside.
- Put chocolate chips in a small bowl, microwave for 1 minute. Stir. If not completely melted microwave another 30 seconds.
- Mix Rice Krispies and melted chocolate. Put on top and gently spread it over the caramel with the back of a spoon. Chill completely.
- When cold bang it out of the pan upside down and flip it right side up with your hands. Cut into pieces any size you like. Taste to make sure they're delicious.