Millionaire’s Shortbread (also known as Toffee Bars) are rich, flavorful bars that can be customized to your liking. Sprinkle sea salt on top to balance the sweetness.
Sunday was such a grey and dreary day, that not even the extra hour of sleep Saturday night made up for it. Thanks to the bambino getting up rather early as well as that extra hour, meant I managed to get the laundry done by 11.
After we got back from Sunday dinner with Jay’s mom and dad, I had the rest of the afternoon free, so I decided to bake.
I had seen a photo on one of the food photo sharing sites for “Millionaire’s Shortbread,” something I’ve always known as the toffee bars my mom bakes at Christmastime. They sounded good–And it’s been a good year or two since I’ve made them myself. We stopped to pick up the condensed milk after Sunday dinner, and when we got home, I got started.
I like baking because of the preciseness involved, because I’m of the opinion that if you can read and understand a recipe, you can bake. However, even the most seasoned baker can have a disaster on his/her hands if the recipe is not followed to the letter. I had one such instance myself while trying to make the shortbread.
I mistakenly read the recipe as calling for a full cup of sugar, instead of the half-cup that was correct. I didn’t realize my mistake until I was pressing the crust into the bottom of the baking dish.
I thought I’d try baking it anyway, but I knew as soon as I pulled it out of the oven that it was a lost cause. What was supposed to be shortbread looked more like a thin layer of cake. I scrapped the whole mess, ran out to the store for more ingredients, and started over. This time, it worked!
I still don’t think they taste anything like my mom’s, but that’s okay. Perhaps if I ask nicely this year, she’ll send me some like she did last year!
You’ll notice there is salt on top of the bars. I finally opened the fleur de sel my cousin sent me a few weeks ago.
I thought it would be perfect and cut some of the richness from bars. And it works beautifully! I cut the bars slightly smaller than I normally would–Like Karyn’s cake, a little bit goes a long way!
- 1/2 C unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 C sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 C flour
- 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 7 ounces of good quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (I used 53% cacao)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1-2 tsp fleur de sel (or other salt crystals of choice)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together the butter, sugar and salt until combined. If using a stand mixer, on low speed add in the flour. If doing by hand or with a hand mixer, stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9X13-inch baking dish, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sweetened condensed milk and 2 Tbsp. butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 5-10 minutes, and stir in vanilla. Spread over the shortbread layer, then return to the oven for 12-15 minutes.
In the top of a double boiler, combine the chocolate and 2 Tbsp. butter. Stir the mixture until melted and combined. Spread over the caramel layer. Sprinkle the fleur de sel over the chocolate. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes, allowing the chocolate and caramel to set up. Cut into squares, then return to the fridge to finish cooling. Recut the bars if necessary before serving.