Millionaire’s Shortbread

 

 

I still can’t believe how yummy these bars are!  I made them this past weekend — a solitary pan — and generously gave most of them away to my wonderful neighbors, to the people I lease my house from, and to Rosario and Marta who take care of my yard,and two for my friend Marron,  leaving four small pieces for me.   One bite and I knew four small pieces were not enough.  I’m making these again this weekend!  Pay attention to the notes after each section below.  These are NOT difficult, but the caramel was a little tricky because I wasn’t as careful as I should have been.  I’m going to add salted peanuts to the caramel next time — I’m thinking they’ll taste like a snickers bar!!  Make ’em!  Heavenly!

shortbread

 

INGREDIENTS:

Makes one 9″ x 9″ pan

For the Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon ice water
1 egg yolk

For the Caramel:
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or dark corn syrup) but I used maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the Ganache Topping:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Optional:  Sprinkle with Maldon salt flakes — I think the salt helps offset the sweetness perfectly!

DIRECTIONS:

1. Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, allowing at least an inch overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray).

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt, making sure there are no lumps of brown sugar remaining. Add the butter and cut into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or two knives until a coarse meal forms. Add the ice water and egg yolk and blend with a fork until moist clumps form. Dump the dough into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Note:  I used a food processor for the crust — super easy — and super fast!

3. Make the Caramel: Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, butter, golden]] syrup and salt together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, the butter melts and the mixture comes to a boil. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and boil, whisking constantly, until the caramel is thick and the temperature registers 225 degrees F, about 6 minutes. Quickly whisk in the vanilla extract and pour the caramel over the prepared crust; cool for about 15 minutes, or until the caramel is set.  NOTE:  Use medium eat — it should be a gentle boil, not a crazy one because that condensed milk will burn.

4. For Chocolate Ganache: Place the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals on 50% power, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Spread the chocolate over the caramel layer. Refrigerate the bars until the chocolate is set, at least 1 hour. Note:  Refrigerate for the amount for the full hour.  Use a super sharp knife to cut the bars, wiping with a damp cloth between cuts.

5. Lift the bars out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares and serve. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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