Tag Archives: sliced almonds

Dark Chocolate Almond Shortbread Squares

Dark Chocolate Almond Shortbread Squares @ NancyC

Dark chocolate and shortbread are two of my favorite sweets, and I discovered that they make a great combination as a cookie bar! Several years ago, I had found a recipe on the Eagle Brand® site and made it as directed, but was a little disappointed because my shortbread crust and the chocolate layer did not turn out as nice and thick as their recipe photo. But they had tasted good, so I decided to revisit the recipe, using dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet chips, and making them in a 9×9″ pan instead of 9×13.” I was hoping using a smaller pan would give me a thicker crust–and it did. I liked the way these turned out in the 9×9″ pan so much better!

Be sure to chill these bars for three hours before you try cutting them, because they’ll cut easier. The shortbread base will crumble some, so you need to cut them carefully.

DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND SHORTBREAD SQUARES by NancyC, adapted from Eagle Brand®

Makes a 9 x 9″ pan

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if you are using salted butter)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 (10-ounce) package dark chocolate chips
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or spray a 9 x 9″ baking pan with cooking spray.

Mix butter, powdered sugar, and salt in large bowl until fluffy (you can mix by hand or with a mixer). Add flour; mix well. Press dough evenly in prepared pan with floured hands (dough will be sticky). Bake 20 to 23 minutes or until lightly browned; remove from oven.

Melt dark chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk in heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat; stir in almond extract. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over the shortbread in the pan. Note: You can also melt the chocolate mixture in the microwave–heat for 30 seconds, stir, heat another 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until mixture is smooth and creamy, which takes about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Be careful not to overheat!

Garnish with toasted almonds,* pressing them down firmly on the chocolate mixture. Chill 3 hours or until firm. Cut into bars.

Note: To avoid scratching my non-stick pan with a cutting knife, I removed the shortbread from the pan first. I did this by loosening the shortbread and chocolate layers from the edges of the pan and carefully inverting the pan. I had a parchment paper-covered hand on the shortbread, to catch it as it came out upside-down, then I inverted the shortbread again onto my other parchment paper-covered hand so it was right-side up on the second piece of parchment paper, ready to cut. You could also try lining your pan with parchment paper and just lift the shortbread out of the pan when it’s ready to cut, but the sticky shortbread batter may be a little difficult to spread on the parchment paper.

*Toast almond slices by placing in a dry nonstick skillet and cooking over medium heat, shaking pan until almond slices are lightly browned.

I love the thick dark chocolate top layer and the thick shortbread bottom crust on these bars! And the light almond flavoring adds just the right touch. I’m glad I revisited this recipe. Do you have a recipe you’ve revisited with good results?

Sharing at Cookie Plan MondayFiesta Friday.

Advertisements

Chocolate Chip Cherry Granola

ncChChpChryGranola2nm

I was wanting to make some granola this past weekend, but I was also wanting something chocolatey. So I decided to combine the two and I came up with this Chocolate Chip Cherry Granola. I thought it would be a great healthy snack to munch on and keep me from being tempted to eat too much Valentine candy! It’s sweetened with honey, sweetened coconut flakes, dried cherries, and those cute little mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. So it satisfies my sweet tooth, but it still has very healthy things in it like oats, almonds, pecans, and sunflower seeds.

I love the combination of flavors in this granola and the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips are the perfect chocolate touch. If you want a healthy sweet to nibble on, too, you should try this out!

CHOCOLATE CHIP CHERRY GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes about 9 cups

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (do not use quick oats)
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds, salted or unsalted
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 3 Tablespoons non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cherries (or one 5-ounce package)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ or 13 x 18″ rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl or container, heat the honey for about 30 seconds so it’s thinner and easier to stir; then mix the honey, oil, and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the oats, sliced almonds, chopped pecans or walnuts, coconut, and sunflower seeds. Add in the honey, oil, and salt mixture and toss again, combining all ingredients well. Spread mixture on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325˚F for 20 minutes; remove pan from oven to stir and toss mixture for even baking. Return to oven for an additional 15 minutes, until mixture is golden, and remove from oven.

Stir granola, then let it cool completely on pan (if the granola isn’t quite crunchy, it will get crunchier as it cools). When completely cool, add in the dried cherries and semi-sweet mini chocolate chips. Store in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 weeks. Or package in mini treat bags and give as a healthy Valentine’s Day treat!

ncChChpChryGranolanm

Not only is this granola a great healthy sweet snack, you can have it as a cereal for breakfast, too–although you may want to leave out the chocolate chips…or maybe not! 🙂

Linked to Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.