Doesn't the name of these bars sound fancy? You don't need to own a yacht (or yachtmaster!) and wear limited edition $50 Gucci t-shirts to make / eat these.
They have a shortbread crust, similar to that of my recent eggnog cheesecake. Its high fat to flour ratio makes for a crumbly, absolutely delicious base to the bars.
Sweetened condensed milk is reduced until thick and slightly golden in color, before being poured atop the buttery crust. The milk turns into a light, milky caramel that is sweetly fragrant, and firms as it sets.
Finishing off the entire bar is a layer of chocolate, melted down with just a touch of ghee (butter is traditionally used). That last little addition prevents the chocolate from hardening to a stiff, un-cut-able shell, and lends a silkier mouthfeel to the chocolate.
Combined, these three components make for a gorgeous and irresistible dessert, which requires little baking and is easy to make ahead.
And it really is hard to stop eating the little squares. I cut the squares on the smaller side, so I wouldn't feel as guilty eating so many of them. Duh, classic technique. I think my brother ate four pieces in less than 10 minutes.
Granted, he had just come back from shoveling outside (in SHORTS) for an hour. We got so much snow! I love it. I helped shovel too .. after making these bars, and after making dinner (stuffed shells, vegetarian + chicken) for 7 people.
I'm being incredibly domestic on the eve of my 21st birthday. Why.
I am so excited for my 21st though .. my roommate is planning the night out for me, and it seems like it's going to be a good time! I love her so much for organizing it. I just need to try not to die when I go bar-hopping. Lots of food before and lots of water during.
I don't know if I'm baking for my birthday, yet. I gotta squeeze in stalking foodgawker, in-between all the imgur-ing and lazing around I have been doing over break. Tough times, I know.
But until then, I will enjoy this shortbread, for as long as it lasts .. which probably won't be very long.
from joyofbaking. don't microwave the sweetened condensed milk in a covered bowl. it will explode all over your microwave - I speak from experience. Microwave it uncovered, with your eye on it, until it darkens in color and thickens.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tspn vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 tspn salt
- one 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 6 oz. dark chocolate
- 1 tspn ghee or butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a square 9x9" baking pan.
- Make the crust: Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Mix in flour and salt until dough just forms. Pat into prepared pan with floured hands. Bake for 20 minutes, or until pale golden in color.
- Make filling: Pour condensed milk into microwave-able bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes. Stir. Now microwave at 15 - 30 second intervals (depending on your microwave strength), stopping each time the milk starts bubbling, to stir. Continue until the milk thickens considerably and takes on a pale amber color.
- Pour filling over cooling crust. Spread evenly. Set aside and make the topping.
- Topping: Melt chocolate with ghee/butter. Pour evenly over the caramel. Spread out gently, to make a uniform surface.
- Cool bars in fridge until chocolate hardens a little. Slice. Return bars to fridge to allow chocolate to completely set. Serve.