In the days following Halloween, it’s not unusual to work through the candy overflow by having a candy bar with every meal. But after the initial euphoria and sugar high fade you’re still left with piles of leftover candy. One way to ensure the candy isn’t still lying around by next Halloween is to make a batch of these shortbread bars. The buttery shortbread crust is first baked, then topped with chocolate chips and the candy of your choice. We tried it out with dark chocolate peanut butter cups, but any chocolate candy would work. There’s nothing like taking candy and making it into an even more decadent treat.
Shortbread Candy Bars (from Everyday Food)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups assorted chocolate candies or roughly chopped candy bars (12 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and salt on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. With mixer on low, add flour in three additions and beat until combined (dough will be crumbly). Press dough evenly into an 9×9 baking dish. Bake until golden brown and firm, 25-30 minutes.
Scatter chocolate chips on top of shortbread. Bake until soft, 1 minute. With the back of a spoon, spread chocolate evenly over shortbread. Scatter candies over top. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate briefly to set chocolate, then cut into 16 bars.
Michelle Stavrou, Union County Regional Editor, has hop-scotched across the Garden State, growing up in Bergen County, then moving to Hoboken (after a stop over in Queens) before finally settling in Cranford. After too many years stuck in tiny kitchens Michelle finally has a kitchen that can accommodate multiple batches of cookies. Her husband and her co-workers are probably even more thankful than she is. Michelle’s baking adventures are documented here: http://jerseygirleats.blogspot.com/.