Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Shortbread Candy Bars
Rich and buttery shortbread bars, covered in chocolate, and topped with candy bars. Truly the most decadent and indulgent cookie bars I have ever made. We ate them in record time. I've been thinking about them ever since.
You could make these anytime of year, but they were inspired by leftover Halloween candy. I made two batches of these bars for a party. I used Reese's cups, Reese's pieces, Butterfinger, M&M's, Kit Kats, Whoopers, Snickers and Milk Duds. The Reese's cups, as well as the Reese's pieces, the Butterfinger, and the M&M's were all favorites. The others were a bit cumbersome to eat, but we managed.
Shortbread Candy Bars adapted from Everyday Food October 2010 Issue
Makes 16 bars
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups assorted chocolate candies or roughly chopped candy bars (12 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and salt on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. With mixer on low, add flour in three additions and beat until combined (dough will be crumbly). Press dough evenly into an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake until golden brown and firm, 30-35 minutes.
Scatter chocolate chips on top of shortbread. Bake until soft, 1 minute. With the back of a spoon, spread chocolate evenly over shortbread. Scatter candies over top. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate briefly to set chocolate, then cut into 16 bars. (Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, up to 4 days.)
Notes/Results: Absolutely decadent, delicious, addictive, and satisfying. The perfect indulgence. These bars were very easy, but they do take a little bit of time. You could use one type of candy bar to decorate the entire pan, but I think they look prettiest when they are broken into 4 sections and each section is devoted to a different candy bar. It's always good to have a little variation. The shortbread was thick, dense, and somewhat rich with a butterscotch flavor. The scattered chocolate chips melted to perfection and created a wonderful chocolate coating over the shortbread. Top them with your favorite candy bar and you will be in heaven. (My favorite was the Reese's pieces.) Be sure they are cool and set before you cut them.
*Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart website