Archive for Recipes: Sweet

Millionaire’s Shortbread (or homemade Twix Bars)

No apologies for this one. Yes, most of the time the recipes I post here are vegan, clean, healthy and sourced from whole ingredients. Today’s is not. So much not. Like, all the not. So if you are here for the clean vegan stuff, you might wanna skip this recipe and head into the archives, because you won’t be getting your needs met today. 

I recently got interviewed by a magazine about my food philosophy. I said something like I try to eat seasonal, local, sustainable and mostly whole foods. This is true. But guys, let’s be real, sometimes I have a junky itch to scratch, and so I do. 

Millionaire's Shortbread

I am unapologetic of my love for donuts (though if they can be amazing and vegan I’ll be happier), and yeah, sometimes I eat junk. Because, simply put: life is too short. 

Of course I want to be healthy and live a long life. I have a lot to live for. But I also take such pleasure in food that I find it wrong to deny myself if I have a craving for french fries. 

Ah, but here’s the thing: when I do crave junk, I’ll often buy the best form of that junk possible. Like, when I crave chocolate, I don’t deny myself. I just buy good, crave-worthy chocolate. When I want french fries, I’m much more likely to get Belgian fries that are properly made, fried twice, and come with fancy ketchup (or truffle aioli!). 

And that’s why we pretty much always have homemade cookies or brownies in our house. I don’t mind my kid eating sweets, but I want to know he’s eating decent sweets, not junk from the store. So I guess I see junk food on a scale, and when I make junk food, it doesn’t seem as terrible to me. 

Having said that, there are few redeeming qualities to this recipe other than the fact that it is delicious and it will make you happy. Shouldn’t that be enough? 

Pleasure is pleasure is pleasure. Let’s grab as much of it as we can. 

This is a very old recipe. I remember my mom making it. It’s very simple, but it seems more complex than it actually is. Millionaire’s Shortbread consists of 3 layers: a bottom, shortbread cookie, a layer of oozing caramel, and finally, a layer of chocolate ganache. 

No one seems to know where the name Millionaire’s Shortbread came from, or where this recipe originated. Perhaps because ingredients like butter and sugar and chocolate were so scarce and rationed during the war, meaning, only millionaires could afford to make them. Maybe it’s because they have a million calories. Who knows? They are delicious. 

I might try to veganize them next… 

Millionaire's Shortbread (homemade Twix Bars)

Millionaire’s Shortbread 

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 can (300 mls) dulce de leche 
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup regular evaporated milk 
  • fleur de sel

Method

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the flour and icing sugar in a large bowl, and give a quick stir. Chop the softened butter into chunks and drop them into the flour/sugar mixture. With a beater (I actually made mine using the paddle attachment on my Kitchen Aid) or a spoon, mix everything together until it takes on a dry, sandy consistency, but holds in a ball when you press some together in your hand. 
  2. Grease an 8″ x 8″ pan well with butter, or line with parchment. Dump the shortbread into the bottom of the pan, then press it into the pan with a spoon or the back of your hand until it’s even and well-packed. Prick the shortbread with a fork. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until the shortbread is golden on the edges. 
  3. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. 
  4. Dump the dulce de leche into a pan on top of the stove over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and then allow to cook for about 5 minutes until it thickens, whisking to keep it from coagulating. Remove from the stove and pour over the shortbread layer. 
  5. Place a small pot with a couple inches of water over medium heat, and bring to a low boil. Over that, place a heat-proof bowl (meal or pyrex) and put both chocolates in the bowl. Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Add a little of the milk at a time (you may not need all of it) until the chocolate is a smooth, runny consistency. You want it to be able to flow onto your caramel layer, but not be so thin that it won’t set up upon cooling. Sprinkle the top with a little fleur de sel. 
  6. Place the entire pan of bars in the fridge to set for several hours. 
  7. To serve, remove from the pan, and cut into squares. 

Salted Dark Chocolate Shortbread

A few years back, when I first started my business, I’d bake mountains of Christmas cookies to distribute to my clients this time of the year. 

Well, times have changed. My teaching career took off, I entered the lucrative world of food blogging (LOL) and I slowly let my clients go. I mostly work with one major client these days. 

But I still really like baking cookies at this time of the year. Heck, at any time of the year, if we’re being honest. I’m kind of a snob about making sure Michael has homemade cookies in his lunch. And I don’t like visiting friends this time of the year empty-handed. And I do have cookie exchange this weekend… Salted Dark Chocolate Shortbread

So this year, I’m making three types of cookies. These ginger cookies are one of my faves this time of the year. I kick them up with a grating of fresh ginger and some chopped candied ginger. I’m also going to be making my vegan snickerdoodles (recipe is in my cookbook) for the vegans in the crowd, and then I made these. 

Now, to be fair, these were a very spur-of-the-moment decision. They were a bit of a risk. 

A couple weeks back, my friend Rob came into town to go to the Christmas Market with Michael and I. The next morning, after Michael had gone to school, Rob and I walked over to the downtown Lindt store before he caught the ferry back to the Sunshine Coast. I got Michael an advent calendar, and I stocked up on my favourite chocolate bar, which is the Lindt Dark Fleur de Sel. I am basically never without one of these in my house. I don’t eat a lot of them, maybe one square or two per night, but I like to have it on hand at all times. 

As we were leaving, I grabbed a Lindt-produced magazine to have a look at, as it had recipes, and I noticed this one for a chocolate shortbread. I figured I’d give it a go. 

I made the cookies and they were good. So good, in fact, that all the taste-testers concerned agreed they were blog-worthy. And I think these will now make it into my regular rotation. 

They’re super easy to make because you just make up the dough, then roll it into a log and then allow it to set up in the fridge. When you’re ready to bake them, just slice off rounds. It also freezes well, or you could gift people with logs of uncooked dough which they could bake themselves. 

By the way, this post is, in no way, shape or form sponsored by Lindt. But Lindt, if you’re reading… 😉 

Dark Chocolate Shortbread

Salted Dark Chocolate Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened to room temp
  • 1 ½ icing sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 bar Sea Salt Dark Chocolate (or dark chocolate plus a little extra sea salt)

Method

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. 
  2. Add the salt and then the flour slowly (so as not to create an poof of flour), until it is incorporated. 
  3. Chop the chocolate bar into small pieces, and fold the chocolate into the dough. 
  4. Divide the dough into three even lumps, and then roll the lumps out into logs about 2″ in diameter. Wrap the logs snugly in wax paper or saran wrap, then place in the fridge to set. 
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  6. Slice the logs into 1/4″ to 1/2″ slices, and place on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with a little extra grated chocolate and sea salt if desired. 
  7. Bake for around 9 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to be golden. 
  8. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack. 
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