So I’m guessing these are known as millionaire shortbread because they are so decadently rich! The base is rich, buttery shortbread then topped with a caramel-like filling and topped with a luscious layer of chocolate ganache.
I first heard of this caramel shortbread when browsing through the cookbook “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking” but the recipe was a tad fussy so I streamlined it a bit. Further – I wanted a more decadent chocolate layer to top these bars so I swapped out theirs with my favorite. Don’t be put off if the instructions look long – I’ve just put a lot of detail in them.
Some also refer to these as dulce de leche bars. It doesn’t matter what you call them – they are fantastic no matter what the name:)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 large egg yolk
- 28 ounces sweetened condensed milk (two 14 ounce cans)
Chocolate Ganache Glaze:
- 12 oz. semis sweet chocolate (chocolate chips are fine to use)
- 8 oz. heavy cream
Make the shortbread first:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the sugar and the butter together. Then add the two cups of flour, one cup at a time, until well combine. Add the egg yolk and beat until just combined (you don’t want to over beat).
- Tip the bowl so that the dough falls into the prepared pan – if it scatters through the pan that’s great. Because now you are going to spread it to an even thickness on the bottom of the pan which, because this dough is sticky, can be a tad difficult. To make it easy put your hand into a clean plastic bag and pat the dough into place. If it is still sticky, spray your ‘gloved’ hand with non-stick cooking spray – that will do the trick. Then prick the shortbread with a fork to prevent it from puffing while it bakes.
- Bake the shortbread for 20-22 minutes, or until it is golden brown (or for a tad softer shortbread remove when just the edges are beginning to brown). Let cool completely.
Make the caramel filling:
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a large microwave safe bowl. Cook on 50% for 2 minutes. Stir briskly and microwave again on 50% for 2 more minutes. Now cook on 30% power for 4 minutes. Stir briskly (do not worry if the milk appears to look seized in between microwaves – brisk stirring will return it to a smooth mixture!). Cook another 30% for 4 minutes, then stir briskly. Do this to 2 to 3 more times (for a total of 20 – 22 minutes) until the mixture is very thick and caramel colored (make sure you stir until smooth).
- Pour the smoothed filling over the cooled shortbread and place the pan in the refrigerator until cool, about 2 hours.
Make the chocolate glaze:
- In a medium-sized saucepan bring the 1 cup of heavy cream to a boil. As soon as it boils turn off the heat and remove from heat. Add chocolate immediately. Let stand 5 minutes, then mix thoroughly until chocolate is well blended and smooth.
- Pour mixture over caramel shortbread. Refrigerate until set (3 to 4 hours).
- Can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered for up to 4 days. Leftovers freeze beautifully!
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