Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Toffee Shortbread Bars

I don't typically buy store-bought sweets, my motto being, if it's not in the house, I can't eat it.  I do, however, keep a very well stocked pantry--which means I just bake every time I feel the need for a sweet treat.  Such a time came earlier this week when I needed my "something sweet" after dinner and had nothing.  I went to one of my favorite food blogs, Annie's Eats, and found these delicious bars.  Shortbread and toffee?  Yes please!  They are the perfect little "something sweet" for after dinner or while the kids nap :)

Toffee Shortbread Bars
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For the shortbread:
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

For the topping:
6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (I only used about 4 oz, I wanted to enjoy the toffee flavor)
1 1/2 cups toffee bits

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a 9x13 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Combine butter and sugars in stand mixer bowl.  Beat on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl if necessary.  While mixing, combine dry ingredients in small bowl.  Add vanilla into butter mixture and stir to combine.  With mixer turned on low, add dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Stir in 3 oz chocolate.

Press into prepared pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, dough should be bubbling.  Remove from oven and sprinkle 6 oz chocolate on top of shortbread.  Place back in oven (turned off) for 3-4 minutes.  Using an offset spatula, spread melted chocolate evenly across shortbread.  Evenly distribute toffee bits on top of the chocolate and press down gently with hands.

Let cool completely.  Once cool, they may be put in the refrigerator or freezer to speed up the hardening of the chocolate.  Once hardened, remove from pan and cut into bars.

Yield: 30 bars
Source:  Annie's Eats, adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

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