Tag Archive for dulce de leche

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. 

Nutella and Dulce de Leche Whoopie Pies

This is my last one. I promise.

But it’s so tempting this time of the year to do all the decadent things. Lots of chocolate, lots of wine. Right? Tomorrow we die(t)!

Nutella and Dulce de Leche Whoopie Pies

The inspiration for the recipe comes from my friend Fred. He is an amazing baker. Pies are his specialty. For Christmas, he gave me a jar of dulce de leche. Now, as much as I love that caramel treat, it’s not something I normally buy or keep in the house (which is why it makes such a great gift). And it’s really not something I usually make. It’s a complicated procedure that involves boiling an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk, and quite frankly, the thought of making it scares the crap out of me.

We had it on some crepes with some sauteed apples when I had the gals over for brunch, and it was fiiiiine.

But I still had the better part of a jar leftover, and I began brainstorming ideas about what to do with the leftovers. And then it hit me! Nutella! Wouldn’t Nutella and dulce de leche be the perfect pair? And for Valentine’s Day, what could be better than a whoopie pie?

These are pretty freaking awesome, let me tell you.

Nutella and Dulche de Leche Whoopie Pies

Nutella and Dulce de Leche Whoopie Pies

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/3 cup Nutella (plus maybe a little more)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup dulce de leche (warm it a little to make it easier to pour)
  • 2 cups icing sugar (plus extra if needed)
  • 1 tbsp whipping cream or evaporated milk (lower fat option)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

To make the cookies:

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the butter and sugars. Cream well. Add egg and vanilla and cream some more.

Mix together the dry ingredients and sift the cocoa powder so there’s no lumps. Then add the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix until incorporated.

Roll the cookies into 1 1/2″ balls and place on a cookie sheet. Flatten them slightly with the bottom of a glass.

Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 9 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on wire racks.

To make the icing:

In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter with the dulce de leche.

Add the icing sugar and mix until incorporated. Add the vanilla. Mix again. Now, slowly add a little of the cream at at time, until the icing becomes smooth, and the right consistency for spreading. If it’s too runny, add more icing sugar.

To make the whoopie pies:

Place one cookie face down on your work surface. Drop a blob of about 1-2 tbsp of icing on top of it, and then spread it out. Drizzle a little more dulce de leche on top. Top with another cookie to make a sandwich.