Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Bars

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Whoever invented bar cookies must have been a genius. Instead of having to make individual cookies, why not bake all of the dough in a rectangular pan, and cut into individual slices? So much faster and more convenient without sacrificing any flavour! These bar “cookies” have a shortbread base that is embedded with chocolate chunks and then covered with more chocolate and toffee pieces. I think the best part is that you can cut a big piece for yourself, and smaller pieces for everyone else, although that would be slightly greedy…but I promise I won’t tell anyone!

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Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Bars 

Yield: about 30 bar cookies

Ingredients:
For the shortbread base:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

For the topping:
6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1½ cups toffee bits

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Line a 9 x 13″ baking dish with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  To make the shortbread, combine the flour, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl; stir to blend and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Blend in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, beat in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Stir in the chopped chocolate until evenly distributed.

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish and press into an even layer covering the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the shortbread is bubbling.  Remove the pan from the oven and transfer to a wire rack.

Sprinkle the 6 ounces of chopped chocolate evenly over the top of the cookie base.  Cover the pan with foil and let sit for 5 minutes.  Remove the foil and use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly over the crust in a thin layer.  Immediately sprinkle the toffee bits over the melted chocolate and press down gently to adhere.  Let the bars cool to room temperature.  Once the pan has cooled, you may speed chilling by transferring to the refrigerator or freezer.  When the topping is set, remove from the pan, transfer to a cutting board and slice into bars.

—SOURCE—
 Annie’s Eats, from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

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