Dulce de Leche Shortbread Bars

Look at this chocolate.  It’s as smooth as glass.   And if you were sitting on your surfboard in the middle of this calm chocolate ocean, you won’t even be bummed that there wasn’t a wave in sight because you could dip your finger down past the dark chocolate into the sticky, cinnamon-infused dulce de leche sitting below, eventually stopping at the crispy, crumbly cinnamon-coconut shortbread crust.  You can’t get more stoked than that.
Salted Dulce de Leche Shortbread Bars- Penzeys2
All the delicious layers.
Salted Dulce de Leche Shortbread Bars- Penzeys3

Dulce de Leche Shortbread Bars

(Adapted from Penzey’s)
Makes approximately 24 bars
My notes are in [  ].


Shortbread Base

1 cup pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Dulce de Leche

1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons Lyle’s golden syrup (available by the sweeteners) [I didn’t have Lyle’s so I used Steen’s Blended Syrup Southern Made]
1 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Chocolate Topping

16 oz. dark chocolate [I used Trader Joe’s 72% 1lb dark chocolate bar.]
1 teaspoon butter
1-2 teaspoons coarse sea salt


Shortbread Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 360°F.
  2. Line a 9×14 inch pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour mixture, brown sugar, coconut, butter, and cinnamon. Mix well on low.
  5. Press the dough into the baking pan so that it’s about 1/4-inch thick.
  6. Bake at 360° for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool a bit.

Dulce de Leche

  1. Combine the milk, golden syrup, and butter in a small heavy saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, making sure to stir constantly.  At one point, the mixture may start to get lumpy (like ricotta cheese), but just keep stirring and it will smooth out.  Cook until big bubbles form and the mix is thickened and a light caramel color, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Take the dulce de leche off of the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. Whisk in the cinnamon.
  4. Pour the dulce de leche over the shortbread base and gently spread it.
  5. Return the pan to the oven for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool.

Chocolate Topping

  1. Melt the chocolate and butter using a double boiler or in a glass bowl placed over a pot of boiling water. Stir until melted.
  2. Pour and spread the chocolate over the cooled caramel.
  3. Sprinkle with the sea salt. [I forgot to sprinkle the sea salt on my bars, but next time I’ll make sure to do so.]
  4. Refrigerate until the chocolate has set, about 2 hours.
  5. Let the cold bars site at room temperature for about five minutes, and then cut into bars [if you cut the bars right out of the fridge when they’re too cold, the chocolate may crack or separate from the dulce de leche].  Cut and serve or refrigerate the cut pieces in an airtight container.

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