In the days following Halloween, it’s not unusual to work through the candy overflow by having a candy bar with every meal. But after the initial euphoria and sugar high fade you’re still left with piles of leftover candy. One way to ensure the candy isn’t still lying around by next Halloween is to make a batch of these shortbread bars. The buttery shortbread crust is first baked, then topped with chocolate chips and the candy of your choice. We tried it out with dark chocolate peanut butter cups, but any chocolate candy would work. I asked Dennis for feedback and, in his words, you can’t go wrong with shortbread covered in chocolate and peanut butter. It’s like adding bacon to anything. Hmm, maybe that’s an idea for a future treat…
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups assorted chocolate candies or roughly chopped candy bars (12 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and salt on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. With mixer on low, add flour in three additions and beat until combined (dough will be crumbly). Press dough evenly into a 9x9 baking dish (a great way to do this is to press down through saran wrap so the dough doesn’t stick). Bake until golden brown and firm, 25-30 minutes.
Scatter chocolate chips on top of shortbread. Bake until soft, 1 minute. With the back of a spoon, spread chocolate evenly over shortbread. Scatter candies over top. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate briefly to set chocolate, then cut into 16 bars.