Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Recipe #103: Christmas Chocolate Bars...aka, Shortbread with a Filling of Cream Cheese, Chocolate, Almond Extract & Walnuts

I have had this recipe for 28 years, and it was given to me by my boss's daughter, who had just come on board with United Airlines back in 1987.   At the time, I was working in San Francisco at our maintenance base.  The recipe is not really holiday specific...I have made this at all times of the year.  It is a great cookie to bring to a pot luck, to a cookie exchange, to someone's house for dessert.  The filling is very rich...but rich, too me, is relative.   You can slice these as small, or as large, as you want to...they cut beautifully.  I have cut bars 3x4 inches and wrapped them in foil with a ribbon to give as gifts.  Except for making the filling, this is a one mixer bowl recipe...very easy, and very rewarding...you will really enjoy it...now, let's bake...

2 cups chocolate chips                                         1 cup sugar
8 oz cream cheese                                                1 tsp baking powder
1 small can evaporated milk                                2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup chopped walnuts                                        2 eggs
2 tsp pure almond extract                                    3 cups flour 

Combine the chocolate chips, cream cheese and evaporated milk and cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in the walnuts and almond extract.  Combine rest of ingredients in large mixer bowl.  Blend until coarse crumbs.  Be careful with this...you don't want a dough...coarse crumbs the size of peas..give or take.  Press 1/2 mixture into a 9x13 pan (you don't need to grease it).  Spread with chocolate mixture.  Sprinkle rest of crumbs over filling.  Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes, or until crumbs are just turning brown.  Bon appetit!  

this has gone almost too far for crumbs, but I can break up with my fingers...

first layer gets pat in with half the dough...pour the chocolate mixer and spread over whole pan next...crumble layer on top with other half of dough...no matter that it doesn't fill in everywhere...


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