Squares or triangles. Either way delicious. And addictive. I’ve made these four times this week. FOUR. Each time a little differently. Each batch was equally taste tester approved. I can’t decide if I want oats or not. I think it depends on my mood. I think adding oats makes these bars a respectable breakfast. Otherwise you don’t need them. If you want to add them you can add 1/4 cup to the top or 1/2 cup to the shortbread. It’s a crazy life full of crazy decisions. I will leave it up to you 🙂
These bars come together easily. While the base layer (shortbread) bakes you have time to work on the topping and the melting the chocolate for the middle layer. The dough seems tricky since you have to press & knead it a bit to come together but it’s not difficult at all. See pictures in the gallery above. In the bowl it’s crumbs but it holds together and bakes up beautifully. For the chocolate layer, I tried using whole chocolate chips (not melted, no oil added) but since the base layer is hot they partially melt on contact and it’s difficult to spread them out. If you prefer to add the chips this way then sprinkle them over the top slowly and evenly, do not dump them on and then try to smooth out. For me, it’s way easier to melt the chocolate and smooth it on. And then the topping. MMMmmm. Sweet, nutty, crunchy. You can also sprinkle a teeny bit of flake salt on top of the topping before you pop it back into the oven. YYYEEESSSSS!!!
PS The tops are soft and sticky the first night (yum) but then the next morning they firm up (set) more. If you are bringing them somewhere I suggest making them the night before. You can also set them a little faster in the fridge.
Pecan Chocolate Shortbread SquaresPrint Recipe
- One 8" x 8" greased baking dish fully lined with parchment paper (bottom and sides, leaving an extra inch up the sides to pull out later)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (not melted)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup flour
- CHOCOLATE LAYER:
- 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
- 1/4 tsp canola oil (or other flavorless vegetable oil)
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (preferably grade B dark, not maple "flavored" syrup)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/4 cups rough chopped pecans
- OPTIONAL: Pinch of flake salt (I use Maldon) to sprinkle on top.
Preheat Oven to 350°
Using an electric mixer on low speed beat butter, sugar and salt. Stop beater to push mixture out from beater cages and back into bowl as needed. Add flour and mix until fully combined. Crumbly bits of dough will start to form. Knead dough into a ball using your hands. Press into prepared baking dish, using your fingers to evenly spread out. Poke holes in dough using a fork (see picture in gallery). Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top starts to brown.
While the shortbread is baking combine all of the topping ingredients. Set aside.
When the shortbread is almost done baking melt the chocolate chips (see notes below). Once chips are smooth stir in 1/4 tsp canola oil.
When the shortbread is ready, while still hot, carefully spread the melted chocolate evenly over the shortbread. I use a silicon spatula. Then pour and evenly spread the pecan topping over the melted chocolate. (OPTIONAL: sprinkle top with a pinch of flake salt) Put back into the oven and bake for about 15-17 minutes, until the topping looks dry on top.
Remove from oven and let cool completely in pan (1-2 hours). Once cooled you can remove from the pan & cut into 9 squares, then diagonally into triangles if you want smaller servings. The top will be soft to the touch, they will set completely over night.
* You can microwave them in a small bowl. It will take a few 10-15 second intervals stopping to stir in between each interval until melted and smooth. Be careful not to over heat. If using a double boiler this step will take longer so time accordingly.