Oh hi friends! Welcome to my first post of 2015! Sure it’s the middle of March but that’s no biggie. So far 2015 has been so jam packed that I haven’t had the chance to sit down and write up a post for the ‘ole blog… What with rehearsals for Charley’s Aunt
Kitty rises! What? A Third? Other inside jokes non-cast members won’t get!
… and then of course there was that super fun knee surgery
Kitty did not rise so well after this. Luckily my friends and family loaded me up with lots of really healthy snacks to help me heal.
… and of course there were all these custom cake orders
… and don’t forget our last minute Monty Python show for the One Act Play Festival
Back then we didn’t have blog posts to write, we had nothing. We were happy for the price of a cup of tea… cold tea… without milk or sugar… in a filthy cracked cup…
… and of course that pesky thing I call a full-time job also has a tendency to get in the way. Pfft.
But things are getting back to normal now. No more rehearsals. No orders for a few days. No more crutches. And now I feel like a million bucks!
Ok, well maybe not a million bucks. I just wanted to say that because this post is about Millionare Bars and I thought it was a clever segue. But it isn’t really very clever, so umm… let’s just move on shall we?
I’ve been meaning to try making Millionaire Bars for what seems like a million years … ok I promise not to make anymore million references. Sarrie.
Now, I’m not really sure why they call them Millionaire Bars, but I’d like to think that it’s because if I was a millionaire I would spend all of my money making sure everything that I ate was as delicious as these bars.
Seriously, shortbread cookies are my favourite. Caramel is also wicked delicious. Chocolate is one of my essential food groups. So naturally I love these bars. A lot.
Add in the bonus that these are super easy to make, and you’ve basically got a match made in delicious Heaven.
To make these extra easy, I decided to go with a simple shortbread base, then add a layer of dulce de leche, and top it all off with some dark chocolate ganache. So easy. So good. (You’re) So welcome.
For the base:
2/3 C Scotsburn Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
¼ C Just Us! Fair Trade Organic Sugar
1 ¼ C Flour (I normally use the Speerville Flour Mill Organic, but I didn’t have any on hand. Oops!)
For the dulce de leche:
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
For the dark chocolate ganache
1 Just Us! Fair Trade Organic Dark Chocolate Bar
½ C Scotsburn Whipping Cream
Straight up: I like to make dulce de leche in a double boiler. I know lots of people who just boil the cans but I’m entirely too paranoid about it exploding and also like to have the option to decide when it has caramelized enough, and of course to taste test. Quality control is very important to me.
The only problem with making dulce de leche in a double boiler is that it takes about 3 hours to make. I often use dulce de leche with my cakes, so I am getting pretty good at multi-tasking while I make dulce de leche. This is a skill you will also need to learn, but hey it pays off: in the end you get delicious dulce de leche! And you get a bunch of other stuff accomplished too, but whatever.
So yeah, to get started heat up some water in the bottom half of your double boiler, then pop the top on and pour a can of sweetened condensed milk in.
Proceed to stir every 15 minutes or so to make sure that everything heats up consistently
and once you discover a perfect pot full of dulce de leche, remove the double boiler from heat and let it come to room temperature. Once it cools down give it a good stir until it’s nice and smooth then you’ll be good to go.
If you’ve already mastered the skill of planning ahead and multi-tasking, then you can be making the dulce de leche while taking care of the first few steps listed below. Practice make perfect, so use this as an excuse to make Millionaire Bars a million times (sorry, not sorry) until you get the timing just right.
Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a 9×9 baking pan with some parchment paper.
Perfect, now set that bad boy aside.
We’ll start things off with the most important part of shortbread: butter.
Ok, the other ingredients are important too, but shortbread is so delicious because it’s so buttery. So take a minute and reflect on how awesome butter is.
Now that your minute is over, measure out your butter and cream it. Then measure out your Just Us! Fair Trade Organic Cane Sugar
and mix it in along with your vanilla.
Now add your flour
You’ll be left with a crumbly mixture, so just pour it in the parchment paper lined pan
and smooth it out as evenly as you can.
Your oven should be preheated, so pop that pan in for about 15-20 minutes depending on your oven.
Once the base is done, let it cool
before adding your dulce de leche which is hopefully also cool because you are clearly a multi-tasking master.
Once that beautiful dulce de leche is spread as evenly as you can get it, put your pan in the fridge to chill. While it’s chilling out, let’s make some ganache.
Measure out ½ C of Scotsburn whipping cream, and heat it up to the just-starting-to-boil point. Basically, as soon as it starts going oh hey, it’s getting hot in here, I better bubble once or twice to let people know I’m about to start straight up boiling any minute now, here’s a bubble to start things off… remove it from heat. And yes, that is the technical way to describe it.
While you’re waiting for this to happen, chop up your super fine Just Us! Fairtrade Organic Dark Chocolate
into super fine pieces.
Once it’s all in nice teeny tiny pieces, put it in a heat safe bowl and wait for that first bubble to appear in the whipping cream. Once it does, pour it on top of the diced up chocolate
and then just let it sit for a minute.
Seriously, don’t touch it yet.
Just give it a minute.
Ok, now you can stir it gently until it is completely blended and is a beautiful, delicious shiny mixture. Take your pan out from the fridge, and pour that ganache all up on it.
Spread it out as evenly as possible
then let it chill.
I put the pan in the fridge for a couple hours because I apparently have incredible will power.
Once it’s chilled enough to cut, take the pan back out of the fridge and lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper.
Then peel it way and reveal your layered masterpiece.
Now, I know what you’re going to say: Maureen, why can’t I just leave this how it is and eat it all like one massive millionaire bar?
The answer: I just don’t know. We live in a cruel world, and in this cruel world we need to cut that big delicious shortbread-caramel-chocolate sandwich into squares which puts them at much higher risk of being shared with others. I’m sorry, that’s just how it is.
Take a knife and start slicing the bars up
until the whole pan is cut into even (or if you’re me, settle for semi-even) sized bars.
Now grab one … or two… ok let’s be real, grab at least three, and admire their beauty
then proceed to immediately shove them in your face, and try to find excuses not to share any of the squares you’ve just made.
If you come up with any good excuses not to share, send them my way. Because I clearly need some more excuses to inhale an entire pan of squares. K, thanks.