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Millionaire Bars

July 15, 2009

I developed these a couple of years ago for a good friend’s birthday; everyone loves them.


Millionaire bars
3 cups pecans
1 and 1/2 cups unsalted butter, not cold, but not soft, either
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
pinch salt
1 and 1/2 (12-ounce) cans prepared dulce de leche*
12 ounces awesome bittersweet chocolate**
2 cups heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast the pecans in a roasting pan for approximately 10 minutes, until toasty and fragrant. Cool and coarsely chop pecans. Line a 11 by 17 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

2. Cream butter and sugar until light. Slowly add flour and salt until just combined. Spread into the pan evenly. This will be extremely messy and rather annoying. Bake approximately 20 minutes, until very golden and fallen. (incidentally, this is a great shortbread base that would be good for all kinds of things.)

3. Meanwhile, heat the dulce de leche on the stove until spreadable. Reserve a scant 1/4 cup of it in tupperware to eat over ice cream later. Then add pecans, stir, and spread over the shortbread crust. Bake an additional 10 minutes.

4. Make the ganache: chop up the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream on the stove until it’s not quite boiling and pour over the chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Reserve a scant 1/4 cup of it in tupperware to eat later with strawberries.

5. Spread the ganache over the dulce de leche-pecan layer and let cool on the counter for a while. Then place in freezer 20-30 minutes to set. Slice into smallish bars, or, if you’re in a hurry and Bree’s waiting outside in the car, biggish bars.

*I found prepared dulce de leche in the “ethnic” foods aisle at Safeway. If you can’t find it, make it in advance by cooking down sweetened condensed milk. It’s easy but time-consuming.
**I’m now absolutely converted to Trader Joe’s pound plus bars for baking chocolate. It’s excellent quality, imported from Belgium, and pennies on the dollar compared to other brands of comparable quality (Callebaut, Sharffen Berger).

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