14 Fun Days of February Day 4: Millionaire Shortbread Bars

Millionaire's Shortbread Bars Recipe

Back to sweets today for those of you that missed them yesterday! (yes Mary I am talking to you!)  I did steal this picture from www.joyofbaking.com because it was so pretty and my photos didn’t do the recipe justice like this one did!  If you love to bake, check out the website!  I have used this and other recipes from here with great success!

These bar cookies are so easy to make and yummy to eat!  They are sweet and chocolatey with a great shortbread base!  Enjoy them with coffee in the morning or anytime!

If you haven’t worked with sweetened condensed milk before like this, here are a few pointers.  Definately follow the directions on microwave use.  Make sure your microwave is at medium power or lower, so the milk doesn’t burn.  Also, I used my 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup for 2 cans of milk(since I was making a double batch) and it worked well.  The milk bubbles up, so just make sure you have a big enough container that can take a long time in the microwave. 

Make sure you spread the chocolate out on top quick, it will firm up as it cools.  I used disposable 8x8inch pans and it came out perfectly!  YUM!

Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars

SHORTBREAD:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

CARAMEL FILLING:

1 – 14 ounce can Dulce de Leche or sweetened condensed milk

CHOCOLATE TOPPING:

6 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into pieces

1 teaspoon unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Grease with butter (or use a cooking spray) a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) pan.

FOR SHORTBREAD: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just comes together. Press onto the bottom of your greased pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until pale golden in color. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.

FOR CARAMEL FILLING: If using Dulce de Leche then simply warm the caramel in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. If using sweetened condensed milk, pour the milk into a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cover and cook, over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 60 to 90 minutes or until the milk has thickened and has turned a caramel color. Remove from heat and beat until smooth. Pour the caramel over the baked shortbread and leave to set.

Note: You can also do this step in a microwave oven. Place the sweetened condensed milk in a large microwaveable bowl and cook on medium power for about 4 minutes, stirring halfway through baking time. Reduce the powder to medium-low and continue to cook for another 8 to 12 minutes, or until the milk has thicken and has turned a light caramel color. Remove from microwave and beat until smooth.

FOR TOPPING: Melt the chocolate and butter either in the microwave oven or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate evenly over the caramel and leave to set. Cut the shortbread into pieces using a sharp knife.

Store the shortbread in the refrigerator to keep the chocolate nice and firm.

Yield: 16 – 2 inch (5 cm) squares

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