Happy Belated 4th of July!! Like many people I attended a cookout and brought some dishes that I hoped would be a hit. I started baking on Friday. Perhaps I should have started on Saturday. Have you ever had a day that you struggled in the kitchen and routine things just were not successes? That was my Friday. I wanted to bring a Pavlova with strawberries and blueberries to carry out the American flag theme. My first, (yes first) meringue was a flop. I didn’t have white vinegar so I used strawberry balsamic vinegar. Yeah, don’t do that. It was a flat brown, overcooked meringue. It tasted ok but it was not pretty, AT ALL. So I made another one using the white vinegar. The second was better but the kitchen had become hot and humid. The meringue spread out in the oven. It ended up being just okay. I planned to smother it in whip cream and berries so all mistakes would be covered up in sweeten whipped cream. Onto the next thing to be cooked. I tried to make a lemon buttermilk cake, from an expensive mix that not only stuck to pan, it was way too dark. Good-bye European butter and 4 eggs.My family will be eating this cake and pulling off the darkened shell. I needed one more dessert, so I decided to try something I saw on a blog. This cookie bar came out better than I had hoped. Maybe because I made it early Saturday morning. Maybe I shouldn’t ever bake on Fridays. Who knows! All I can tell you is this was a hit at the cookout. Try it. You will thank me!
Shortbread Toffee Bars
¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup softened butter
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp. butter
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 ½ cups toffee bits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper in a 9 X 13 pan.
For the shortbread, beat the butter and brown sugar together until combined, about 1-2 minutes. Mix in flour. This mixture will be slightly dry. Evenly press this mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes. It should be lightly browned. Let it cool for a couple of minutes.
To prepare the filling, heat the sweetened condensed milk with the butter in a saucepan. Make sure the butter is completely melted. Pour over the crust, spread evenly. Bake this for about 12-15 minutes. The filling should be bubbling and look like light caramel. Remove from oven.
Immediately sprinkle the milk chocolate chips over the hot filling. Place back in the oven for 2 minutes so the chocolate chips can soften.
Carefully spread the softened chips over the filling with an off-set spatula. Sprinkle the toffee bits over the melted chocolate. Press them down into the chocolate.
Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. I think they taste the best if they are chilled in the fridge. I like to cut them in longer, thin rectangles than squares. It makes them look delicate and pretty. I cut some of them into irregular sized tiny pieces, as if they were just broken. This is nice if they are cold, because they are a bit hard and the small pieces work better, unless you want to lose a tooth. Just kidding!
Here is the original recipe with step-by-step pictures. We ate it before I had a chance to take pictures.