There are three things I am loving right now. The first is surprises! Because who doesn’t love a good surprise? I know I do.
The second thing is babies. I mean, if you don’t like babies, does that mean you hate puppies and rainbows and unicorns and cupcakes and all things happy and cute, too? Nobody wants to be THAT person. In my mind, it’s safest to just love the cuddly creatures and get on with it <3
The third thing I love is…showers. Don’t get me wrong: the idea of a hot, luxurious bath at the end of a long day sounds as wonderful to me as it does to Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman. But since the idea of stewing in my own juices has always sort of weirded me out – showers it is.
And speaking of showers… Congratulations, you have stumbled across this surprise baby shower for our wonderful blogger friend, Courtney!
A group of 12 bloggers, including myself, have put our heads together on this lovely day to celebrate the amazing Courtney from Neighbor Food. I met this fantastic lady almost 2 years ago now, back when I was just a wee blogger with bright wide eyes looking for a friend or just a warm smile to welcome me into the big wide world of food blogging. Courtney was so gracious and was one of the rare few who would light up every single blog post of mine with a thoughtful comment, even when the photos were blurry or the writing was crap or my mind was plain jarbled up and my thoughts made zero sense.
In short, Courtney quickly grew to become a wonderful friend.
Now, with a wee one on the way in just a few short weeks, I’m so excited to be sharing a recipe with all of you today that epitomizes the best of all worlds when it comes to dessert time. These Twix Shortbread Millionaire Bars are based on one of those classic recipes that have been floating around the interwebs since the dawn of… well, since the dawn of the interwebs, basically. They are variously called “Twix Copycat Bars,” “Caramel Shortbread Squares,” or just plain enigmatic “Millionaire Bars,” but all versions share the same basic tried-and-true formula:
– a crumbly, buttery shortbread base
– a sweet, indulgent homemade caramel filling
– a rich, tempered chocolate topping
If you don’t think that’s a winning formula, does that mean you also hate puppies and unicorns and rainbows? Because I think it does. Just saying…
Anyway, with all this excitement and anticipation for her little boy, I’m sure Courtney would absolutely love to have some of these delectable desserts sitting in her lap right now. While I didn’t get to send any of these bars to her physically, I am most definitely sending buttery caramely chocolatey vibes her way….CONGRATS, Courtney & fam! I can’t think of anyone who deserves these (or an awesome surprise baby shower) than you do.
For the shortbread base:
- 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
For the caramel layer:
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
For the chocolate layer:
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
For the shortbread base:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x9-inch baking pan and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, and salt. Cut the butter into dry ingredients with a fork, distributing the butter throughout until the mixture becomes evenly crumbly.
- Press shortbread evenly and the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges.
- Cool completely before topping with caramel (see below).
For the caramel layer
- in a medium pot, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a low boil over medium heat; stir constantly as you allow the mixture to continue boiling for about 4-5 minutes. The mixture should be golden brown.
- Pour over completely cooled shortbread base. Allow caramel to firm up for 10 minutes in the freezer before topping with chocolate (see below).
For the chocolate layer:
- Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 30-second intervals, stirring vigorously between each interval until chocolate is smooth and completely melted. Pour over cooled caramel, spreading as evenly as possible with the spoon.
- Chill the bars for at least two hours before cutting into squares. Enjoy a few slices, and store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Happy baby shower, Courtney!!!
Celebrate with us! Check out what all of the other LOVELY bloggers are making for Courtney’s surprise baby shower today!
1. Twix Millionaire Bars from Wallflour Girl
2. Strawberry Cheesecake Bars from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
3. Spicy Tahini Palmiers from Food Lust People Love
4. Cream Soda Peach Floats from Jelly Toast
5. Raspberry Lemon Macarons from The Redhead Baker
6. No Churn Peanut Butter Ice Cream A Cookie Named Desire
7. Coconut Peach Slushie from Heather’s Dish
8. Mocha Coconut Frappuccino Pie from Melanie Makes
9. Watermelon Lime Mocktails from The Live-In Kitchen
10. Vegan Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread from Namely Marly
11. Mango Pineapple Agua Fresca from Pineapple and Coconut
12. Easy Apple Tart from gotta get baked