Saturday, December 18, 2010

Marbled Shortbread Bars

I got a really neat cookie cookbook (The Book of Cookies) for Christmas the other day (yes...I may have opened it already) and this recipe looked both pretty and tasty, so I decided to make it right away.

There are a few steps due to the three different layers, but it is worth the work!

This was also my first ever attempt at making caramel, and I am so glad to say that it was successful! Tasty too.

If you need a delicious dessert that isn't heavy on the sweetness, then this is definitely a good option.  This recipe makes a full 13" x 9" pan

Marbled Shortbread Bars

  • For the shortbread layer:
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
    • pinch of salt
  • For the caramel:
    • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
    • 1 can condensed milk (about 14 oz)
    • 2 teaspoons instant coffee mix (the powder/granules)
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • Chocolate topping:
    • 6 oz semisweet chocolate 
    • 1 oz white chocolate
  1. To make the shortbread layer
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F
    2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt
    3. Mix in the butter until a soft dough forms
    4. Press into the bottom of a 13" x 9" pan
    5. Prick well all over with a fork
    6. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown
    7. Let cool before adding the caramel layer
  2. To make the caramel layer
    1. While the shortbread is cooling, place all of the caramel ingredients in a saucepan
    2. Stir over medium heat until the butter melts and it begins to boil gently
    3. Boil until the caramel is thick enough to hold it's shape for a few seconds (use a spoon to drizzle a ribbon of caramel back in the pot and it stays for a few seconds).  Note: the recipe said this would take 6 - 8 minutes, but my caramel took about 15 minutes
    4. When caramel is ready, pour it over the shortbread and smooth it out with a spatula
  3. To finish off the squares:
    1. Place the semisweet chocolate (either squares or chocolate chips) in a microwave-safe bowl
    2. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval
    3. When the chocolate is melted, pour it over the caramel, and smooth with a spatula
    4. Place the white chocolate in a plastic sandwich or ziploc bag
    5. Microwave at 30 second intervals, massaging the bag between each interval, until the white chocolate is melted
    6. When the white chocolate is smooth, cut a small hole in one corner of the bag and draw lines across the semisweet chocolate, about 2 centimetres apart
    7. Using a toothpick, swirl the white and semisweet chocolate together
  4. Let the chocolate set, cut into squares, and Enjoy!