Saturday, January 19, 2013

Brown Sugar Shortbread

What a gorgeous morning in the Bay Area!  We have been experiencing a cold snap here for the last few weeks.  I know it is much colder in other parts of the country, but for the typically mild Bay Area, it has been extremely chilly.  Nice to see that starting yesterday, we seem to be easing out of the super cold weather.

Tonight I am having a small dinner party and getting everything together for our evening together with friends.  If you know me or have been following my blog for sometime, you know how much I enjoy entertaining.  The planning and preparation portion brings me much joy.  And of course, the actual event and spending time with friends is the best part.  I truly enjoy making people happy through my cooking and giving them something special by paying attention to all of the details of entertaining.

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Before I run back to my dinner party preparations, I made these cookies several weeks ago and have been waiting to share them with all of you.  Okay – a little know secret about me – I adore brown sugar.  I actually enjoy eating a spoonful right out of the jar.  It just brings me such pleasure. You can fess up now; if that is a guilty pleasure you share too.  If not, give it a whirl. Smile.

A quick tip I learned years ago about storing brown sugar so it doesn’t get hard and you have to throw it away.  I store mine in a large mason jar and it is always soft when I go to use it.  I have noticed that manufacturers are staying away from packaging it in the boxes and going to large plastic bags – much smarter in my opinion.

Hope all of you have a brilliant weekend and enjoy "any and all" plans you may have!

Brown Sugar Shortbread

Makes approximately 32 to 36 bars 

1 pound butter (4 sticks), room temperature
1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
4 Cups Flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 bag of Dark Chocolate Chips
Toffee Bits (Heath brand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Incorporate the flour slowly until combined.  (May need to use your hands at the end of the process)

Use a sheet pan.  I used a sheet pan that was 15 by 10 and a quarter would probably be perfect.  Put the batter into the sheet pan and press down evenly with your hands to cover entire pan.  Use a knife to flatten the edges and smooth over the batter.

Prick the batter down to the pan with a fork all over.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Next reduce the temperature to 300 degrees and cook for 30 to 40 more minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for literally 2 minutes, then cut the cookies to your desired size.  They will be soft but will stay in place.  Cool in the pan.

Take the cookies out of the pan and lay on a wire rack.  In the meantime, melt the dark chocolate in a microwave in 30 second intervals and stir in between, until smooth.  Spread one side of each cookie with the melted chocolate.  Sprinkle with the toffee bits and allow time for the chocolate to set.  You can pop into the refrigerator for 10 minutes to speed the cooling process.  Enjoy!


  1. Looks simply sublime Lisa! Have fun at your dinner party tonight;-)

  2. I love a good shortbread recipe, and this sounds lovely!

  3. I love brown sugar too, these are shortbread perfection! Have a great Saturday and enjoy your party tonight! :)

  4. Shortbread is my favorite! I have never seen anything like this recipe and you can bet I will be making it soon!

  5. Oh man those look sooo good! I always have been a big fan of short bread. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy Valley Chow

  6. these bars sound great Lisa and the photos are stunning!

  7. Yum!! These sound fabulous! I love the flavor of brown sugar, what a great shortbread!

    Hope you have a great night with your friends!

  8. One day I hope to be included in one of your dinner parties :) These look absolutely amazing, and I just adore shortbread any which way!

  9. Our cold snap finally ended here in So Cal too. Thank goodness. I'm a total wimp! Brown sugar shortbread sounds awesome. Looking forward to trying this.

  10. Anything with the word shortbread in it gets my radar antennas alerted! Love your version, it looks simple amazing! Hope your party went well, sounds like it's time for me to change into my "mouse clothes" ......... :)

  11. I'm sure your dinner party was a success--as usual. :) Love these bars, Lisa, and after revealing your secret here, I'll never look at brown sugar the same way again. Will have to have a taste sometime instead of just dumping it into a bowl with the rest of the ingredients! :)

  12. Ahhhh...I'm embarking on a grain-free, refined sugar-free "diet" and these are the things I'm going to miss!!! Oh well, c'est la vie! These are so yummy looking!

  13. These shortbreads are gorgeous! Can't wait to give them a try.

    It's really nice to get some warmer weather! I was enjoying the warmer temp. in L.A. too. I can't stand the chill! LOL

  14. This looks so delicious, Lisa...I never say no to shortbread! I hope your dinner party was wonderful! Have a great week!

  15. Looks delicious, but 4 stick of butter.. holy heart attack. Is it ok if I put less, or will it taste completely different?

    1. I know - a lot of butter - right? For shortbread, I would not reduce the butter, that is the key to a great shortbread cookie. I think it is one of those cookies you enjoy a few times a year. Smile.


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