Monday, August 15, 2011

Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Bars

Have you ever been invited over to a friend's /co-worker's/ family member's home for dinner, and asked to bring a dessert?  For some, panic might set in, what do I bring?  Do I make something?  Bring something store bought? Is store bought tacky?  I believe one should never show up empty handed, and these types of questions always flood my mind.  I can't help it!  Dessert options are endless, and most of us don't routinely make dessert, but this recipe is one that is easy and will wow any crowd of diners.   The bars can be made a few days ahead of time and easily stored in the refrigerator. 

These Chocolate Toffee Short Bread Bars are a fun twist on the average cookie, and way more exciting than brownies!   The buttery chocolate-infused shortbread is deliciously topped with creamy chocolate and studded with sweet-and-salty caramel toffee bites.  I dare you to just eat one!


Makes about 30 bars
Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats

For the Shortbread base:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 sticks unsalted butter at room tempature
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips, or finely chopped chocolate (I think the key is to use good chocolate, I prefer Ghirardelli)

For the topping:
6 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips, or finely chopped chocolate
1 1/2 cups toffee bits


Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with foil and spray with baking spray.  (My mom turned me on to Pillsbury's Baking Spray with Flour and highly recommend it).

In a small bowl combine flour, salt and cinnamon, set aside.

With an electric mixer begin to mix butter while slowly adding brown and granulated sugar.  Beat on medium high until the mixture is light and fluffy.  About 3 minutes. 

At a slow speed, blend in the vanilla.  Then slowly blend in the small bowl dry ingredients.  (You need to add these slowly or cover the top of the mixer with a kitchen towel to avoid flour flying all over the place).  Stir in chocolate until it is evenly distributed.

Transfer the dough to the 9 x 13 pan and press into an even layer.  Bake the crust for 18-20 minutes or until shortbread is bubbling.

Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the hot dish to sit on a wire rack.  Sprinkle 6 oz of the chocolate evenly over top of the shortbread base.

Cover the pan with foil and let sit for 5 minutes.  Remove foil and spread the melted chocolate over the crust into a thin later using the back of a spoon or rubber spatula.  Immediately sprinkle toffee bits over the melted chocolate and press down. 

Let cool to room temperature.  If the chocolate is not set by the time the bars are cool, pop the entire thing into the freezer for ten minutes.  (I threw mine into the fridge, went to a yoga class, and when I got back they were set).  Using the long edges of the foil as handles, lift the bars out of the pan and with a sharp knife cut into small pieces.  Enjoy!

Thanks to my husband's wonderful family who gave me nothing but positive feedback on my recipes this past weekend!  Also, thanks and kindness to my wonderful friend Whitney who let me borrow her Kitchen Aid Mixer to see if I should invest in one.  I am glad someone got to use the mixer in the last two years!! ;)  I loved using it, and I must have one now!!!!  I foresee more baking in my future as my sweet tooth seems to grow sweeter every day.......

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  1. Eric and I tried this one this weekend & loved it!

  2. Yay! So excited you made these bars, they are so good!!!

  3. they look delicious! what a great treat for a dinner party~

  4. These were pretty tasty. Wishing we had some now as we ride out the impending hurricane.