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Millionaire’s Shortbread

Posted By Nicole On January 6, 2012 @ 3:16 pm In Chocolate,Cookies - Bar Cookies and Brownies,Recipes | 14 Comments

Millionaire's Shortbread
Millionaire’s Shortbread is a three-layered dessert, with a shortbread base, a caramel center and a chocolate topping. The bars are popular in the UK and in Canada, but are not as well known here in the US. This is something that I’d like to change because these very tasty bars are delicious and well worth every bit of effort that goes into putting them together (and they’re easier to make than they look!).

The shortbread crust is made with butter, brown sugar, flour and salt. It is pressed into a large baking pan and baked until golden brown and crisp. After the crust has cooled, a caramel layer that uses a lot of sweetened condensed milk and butter is prepared and poured on top. The caramel layer definitely has a buttery, caramel flavor to it, but it is a thick, tender layer and is slightly reminiscent of vanilla pudding because of all the condensed milk in it, rather than straight caramel. This layer is also cooled before adding the final layer of chocolate.

My Millionaire’s Shortbread is a little different from most that I’ve seen because I like to use chocolate ganache instead of using straight melted chocolate to top the bars. Straight melted chocolate ends up being a little crisper as a top layer, but I think that a richer ganache blends a bit better with the sweetened condensed milk filling. It is also much easier to slice through, and you don’t need to worry about tempering it to keep your bars looking beautiful.

These bars are good when served at room temperature but are also quite good cold. I definitely recommend storing them, covered, in the fridge on a warm day or when you simply want them to last a little bit longer.

Millionaire’s Shortbread
Shortbread Layer
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces

Caramel Layer
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 15-oz cans sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Layer
10-oz dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tbsp butter, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and lightly grease.
Make the shortbread layer: In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt and butter. Pulse mixture together until mixture takes on a sandy consistency and the butter is well-incorporated. This can also be done by hand, rubbing the butter in with your fingertips.
Transfer mixture to prepared pan, spread evenly and press into a firm layer.
Bake for 35 minutes, until light golden brown.
Allow to cool completely.

Make the caramel layer: In a medium saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, salt and sweetened condensed milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly (making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan), until caramel comes to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and, still stirring constantly, cook for 4-5 minute, until caramel thickens. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour caramel onto cooled shortbread crust and spread into an even layer.
Allow to cool completely.

Make the chocolate layer: In a double boiler, melt together dark chocolate and butter, stirring until mixture is very smooth. This can also be done in a microwave-safe bowl using the microwave on 50% power, checking at regular intervals to monitor the melting chocolate.
Pour onto caramel and spread into an even layer with a spatula.
Allow to cool completely.

Once all layers are assembled, the bars can be sliced with a sharp knife and served.

Makes 36 bars (depending on how large you slice them)

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