Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Frosted Shortbread Bars

We all know that there are people who are pretty on the outside and not so pretty on the inside. But isn't it a pleasure to find someone who is equally beautiful, inside and out?

Meet Frosted Shortbread Bars. They can be dressed up to "fancy up" any holiday cookie tray. But they aren't just a pretty face. They are as tasty as they are pretty.

The bottom is a buttery shortbread layer. It's topped with a thin layer of chocolate. Then, just like a girl getting ready for the prom and putting on some fancy jewelry, nuts and holiday sprinkles give them just the right adornment. I made these cookies for cookie trays for the UMW bazaar and will make them again this week for the Stafford Ministerial Alliance Thanksgiving service we're hosting at our church this Sunday.

Every cookie tray needs a little pizazz, don't you think? I'll either decorate the tops with this pumpkin mix or a sprinkle of tiny candy fall leaves. Switch up the holiday sprinkles, and these little treats will be the perfect accessory for Christmas, too. (In fact, now that I think about it, this makes a big pan, so I may top half the bars with Christmas sprinkles and stash them in the freezer for next month's festivities.)

The recipe came from the Stafford County Hospital Cookbook: Working Hands, Caring Hearts published last year. As I thumb through the pages, it's like a letter of endorsement to try recipes from my friends and community people I know are good cooks. Don't you love community-based cookbooks? Yep, me too!

Frosted Shortbread
Recipe from Jo Duvall
Stafford County Hospital Cookbook
Working Hands, Caring Hearts
1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
10 oz. chocolate chips or chocolate bars
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Holiday sprinkles (opt.)

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Mix well. Combine flour and salt; add to creamed mixture. Press into a greased 15- by 10- by 1-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately place chocolate over crust. Let stand for 1 minute or until softened. Spread chocolate evenly with an offset spatula or knife. Sprinkle with walnuts and holiday sprinkles appropriate for the occasion, if desired. Cool. Cut into squares. Yield: 3 dozen.

  • The original recipe called for 4 milk chocolate candy bars, broken into rectangles. I didn't have chocolate bars, so I substituted chocolate chips. You may use semi-sweet or milk chocolate, depending upon your preferences. I'm a semi-sweet chocolate kind of girl!
  • If you like a different kind of nuts, substitute your preference.
Today, I'm linked to Wake Up Wednesdays, a recipe link-up. Click on the link for more recipes to try.

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