Accolades all around for luxury shortbread, no surprises here!
Leave your links here for this fancied up shortbread!
Next up on the schedule: the “Rich Man’s Twix.” Posting date is January 27!
- ½ cup sugar
- 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg yolk, slightly beaten
- 28 ounces sweetened condensed milk (two 14-ounce cans)
- 6 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter together until blended.
- Add 2 cups of the flour and beat until well combined. Add the egg yolk and beat for a few seconds, or until just combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough and your hands with a little flour. Use your hands to gently work the dough into a 6-by-6-inch square. You will have to turn the dough and sprinkle the top with flour as you go. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup flour on the surface of the dough. Fold the dough over and knead until incorporated, then flatten the dough into a rectangle. Transfer the rectangle to the prepared pan and press it into the pan.
- Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 22 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Stovetop method: Put the sweetened condensed milk in a medium heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of boiling water over low heat. Cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours, until thick and caramel colored. Remove the bowl from the pan and beat until smooth.
- Microwave oven method: Put the sweetened condensed milk in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cook on 50 percent power (medium) for 4 minutes, stirring briskly halfway through, until smooth. Cook on 30 percent power (medium-low) for 12 to 18 minutes, until very thick and caramel colored, stirring briskly every 2 minutes, until smooth.
- Pour the caramel filling over the cooled shortbread and place the pan in the refrigerator until cool, about two hours.
- In a large nonreactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the chilled caramel layer and use an offset spatula to spread it into an even layer.
- Put in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the glaze hardens.
- Remove the pan from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving so as not to crack the chocolate glaze. Cut into squares and serve.
- The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.
Lovely bars this week!
Happy Sunday, bakers! Post your links for these classic Baked bars here. Did you follow the recipe, or go rogue?
Anything goes for our next bake, a veritable kitchen-sink extravaganza! Posting date is March 25.
- 2 cups (about 6 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut
- 2½ cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 20 crackers)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 1⅓ cups walnut halves, toasted and chopped
- 1½ cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup butterscotch chips
- 3 ¼ cups (26 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out the coconut. Put the baking sheet in the oven and toast the coconut until it starts to turn golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss the coconut, and return it to the oven for 3 more minutes.
- Put the graham cracker crumbs in a large bowl, add the toasted coconut, and toss with your hands until combined. Add the butter. Use your hands to combine the mixture, then turn it out into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the crust into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to create a perfectly even crust.
- Refrigerate the crust for 15 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool completely.
- Increase the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- Evenly spread the nuts in the bottom of the crust.
- Spread the chocolate chips over the walnuts, followed by the white chocolate, followed by the butterscotch chips.
- In a steady stream, pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the filling. Shake the pan very gently to make sure the sweetened condensed milk is evenly distributed.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan every 10 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.
How did everyone like these easy bar cookies?
Next, we’re continuing with another one of the twelve days of cookies: Date Squares. Posting date is December 7 – let’s bake!
- 1 pound (455 g) dried pitted dates, chopped into very small pieces
- 1 cup (220 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1½ cups (170 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ cups (120 g) quick-cooking oats
- 4 ounces (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into cubes, plus more for the pan
- 1 cup (220 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the dates, brown sugar, and 1 cup (240 ml) water. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the dates are soft and have absorbed most of the water, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the oats.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low speed until crumbly.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and position a rack in the center. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper so that it overhangs about 1 inch (2.5 cm) on the long sides of the pan, and butter the parchment.
- Press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the date mixture in an even layer over the crumb mixture. Finally, sprinkle the remaining half of the crumb mixture over the date layer to cover. Using the palm of your hand (lightly greased if you like), very gently press the crumb mixture into the dates so it will adhere.
- Bake, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the crumb turns golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and let cool completely. Use a paring knife to release the sides of the bars from the pan, pull up on the parchment to remove them, then cut and serve.
Excerpted from Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays, and Informal Celebrations, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2014 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.