Happy Valentine’s Day! If you’re looking to whip up something easy – but unexpected for your sweetie – check out these sinful shortbread bars!
Shortbread has always been a favorite of mine. Its buttery crisp, yet tender texture is versatile enough to eat on its own, but a blank-enough canvas to be the backdrop to delicious toppings. This is an example!
If you can’t find Cinnamon chips in the store (there are VERY difficult to find), substitute bittersweet chocolate chips. I wouldn’t recommend semi-sweet chocolate for this as the condensed milk is very sweet on its own and the two together would be just too much.
If you CAN find cinnamon chips – hoard them. I can only find them on Amazon now and the price is outrageous. However, if you do use them – I think you’ll find the red-hot undertones (think of the taste of a Fireball when you were a kid), along with the earthy tones of cinnamon and the sweetness of condensed milk is amazing. I like to garnish with a little mild salt (Fleur de Sal or even Kosher) to help balance the flavors.
Serves Ten to Fifteen
Time: 30 minutes preparation
1 tablespoon butter (for greasing) or non-stick baking spray
2 cups flour
½ cup (one stick) butter, softened to room temperature
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 1/3 cups cinnamon or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
Fleur de Sal or Kosher salt for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease only the sides of a 13 x 9 baking dish – no need to do the bottom, there is enough butter in the dough.
In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and butter until it’s well combined and resembles crumbs, but will hold together if you squeeze it in your hands. Press into the baking dish as evenly as you can. (A 1/3 measuring cup works well to press – especially into corners).
Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, over medium-high heat, melt cinnamon or bittersweet chips in condensed milk. Stir frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn – and melt until fully combined and silky smooth.
After removing shortbread from oven, carefully pour melted mixture over, covering completely. Use an off-set spatula to smooth out if necessary. Bake for additional 10 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before storing in the refrigerator for at least one hour (this will make cutting much easier). Garnish with salt.
A great day for me is preparing great meals for friends and family. I enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and also updating classics that I've enjoyed for years. I love to travel and try lots of new cuisines - and wouldn't be anything without the love of my family!