Millionaire's Shortbread Bars

(recipe adapted from Joy of Baking and une gamine dans la cuisine)

Printable Recipe

Shortbread ingredients:

1 1/2 sticks of butter, at room temp.

1/4 cup of sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. of kosher salt

Dulce de Leche Filling ingredients

1-14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

Chocolate Topping ingredients

5 ounces of coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate

1 scant  tsp. of butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9x9 inch pan with aluminum foil and butter or spray it.
  2. Make the Shortbread: In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt and beat on low until the dough just comes together. Gently press onto the bottom of the prepared pan.  You can make it flat with the bottom of a flat measuring cup.   Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the it turns a light gold. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Turn the oven off, you’re done baking.
  3. Dulce de Leche: Prepare a double boiler. Pour the sweet milk into a heatproof bowl and place the bowl (snugly) over a saucepan of simmering water. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally. The process may take anywhere from 60-90+ minutes. What you are aiming for is for the milk to become thick and caramel colored. When you first start to cook it, the milk will thin out but it will  thicken.   Once you have a beautiful caramel, remover it from the heat and beat with a whisk to smooth out any lumps. Pour the caramel over the baked shortbread and allow it to set for about 20 minutes.
  4. Chocolate topping: Place to chocolate and butter into the cleaned bowl from the dulce de leche.  Melt over the water.  Pour over the caramel in an even layer. Allow the chocolate to set for an hour or so before cutting into bars.  Then let them set until the chocolate has hardened, a few hours before serving. . . unless you want chocolate covered people when you’re done.