Holiday baking season has officially commenced in Kylee's Kitchen! I always loved this time of the year because my mother would make dozens and dozens of cookies to give out to our neighbors and family friends. I know this is a fairly common thing to do amongst many people, however, I must say nobody makes a Christmas cookie plate quite like my mother. There really is a science to the proper anatomy of a cookie plate. You need a wide variety of shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. So you’ve got your cutout frosted sugar cookies, your peanut butter buckeyes, your gingerbread men, your fudge, your baklava, and last but not least your dessert bars. I’ll be focusing on the dessert bars today – specifically fudgy chocolate nut bars.
These bars are definitely rich. They're chewy, crumbly, and melt-in-your-mouthy (not an actual word, I know). The shortbread crust cuts through the sweetness of the fudgy chocolate center and the nuts add an extra crunch. You’ll definitely be satisfied after just one, but I guarantee you’ll want more!
FUDGY CHOCOLATE NUT BARS
Yield: 36 bars
Calories: 195 calories per bar
· 1 cup butter
· 2 cups flour
· 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 2 and 1/4 ups semi sweet chocolate morsels (divided)
· 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
· 1 teaspoon vanilla
· 1 cup chopped nuts (either pecans or walnuts)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Use butter to grease 9x13 baking dish. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add the flour, sugar, and salt and beat some more until crumbly
4. Press 2 cups of the crumb mixture into the baking pan. Reserve the rest of the crumb mixture (about 1 cup) and set aside. You’ll use it on the top of the bars a little later.
5. Bake the shortbread crust for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
6. While the shortbread crust is baking, pour 2 cups of the morsels and the sweetened condensed milk into a saucepan and heat on the stovetop on low until it is melted (about 10 minutes).
7. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla.
8. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over the shortbread crust. Make sure not to get too close to the edge so that the chocolate touches the baking dish because it will burn.
9. Sprinkle the nuts, the reserved shortbread mixture, and the morsels over the melted chocolate.
10. Put the baking dish back into the oven for 22-25 minutes.
11. When the edges of the shortbread crust start to turn golden brown, remove the baking dish from the oven. Let the dish cool before cutting into bars.
The shortbread crust before being baked
The morsels and the sweetened condensed milk melting on low.
Spreading the melted chocolate mixture onto the baked shortbread crust.
This is the crumbly mixture that will go on top of the bars:
reserved shortbread crust, nuts, and morsels,
The crumbly mixture spread on top of the melted chocolate
The bars slightly golden and melty after being baked
The top of the bar
You can see the fudgy center