Salted Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Bars

It is a sad, sad day in the Jones household.  We no longer have a baby to hold, snuggle and rock to sleep.  She is a full blown 2 year old who continually reminds us that she is a “big girl” and “no baby!”
Can you believe it has been two years since Micah was born???   It just isn’t fair.  In fact, when the day comes for me to stand before my Heavenly Father, I will definitely bring up the unfair balance between the baby years and the teenage years.  
(….please don’t look too closely at my store-bought cake…..I had just flown in from Dallas and didn’t have time to bake one.  Sacrilegious coming from me, I know)

Now that my “big girl” is so big, she loves to help me in the kitchen.  Today in fact, she opened the freezer, took out a popsicle and opened the package all by herself.  She was quite proud of herself.  I was shocked!

After she finished her popsicle, she climbed up on the counter and helped me with these bars.  They are so good and easy enough for a 2-year old to help.  In fact, if you are searching for an impressive, yet easy cookie to bake for Christmas, this is the one!  Once I added the sprinkle of coarse salt, the perfection was complete.

Salted Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Bars
adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
(makes 24 bars)
For the shortbread:
1 C butter, room temperature
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

For the topping:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 C toffee bits
3/4 tsp coarse kosher salt (not part of the original recipe, but completes the flavor!)

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with non-stick spray.
2.  In your electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of your bowl, add the vanilla and mix again.  Add the flour, salt, and cinnamon.  Mix just until the flour is incorporated.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and with a rubber spatula, mix in the 3 ounces of finely chopped chocolate.
3.  Transfer the dough to the baking dish and evenly press it down across the bottom.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until the shortbread is bubbling.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the chocolate chips.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes until the chocolate melts then spread it evenly across the cookies.  Sprinkle evenly over the top of the bars both the toffee pieces and the salt.  Use your hand to gently press the toffee into the chocolate.
4.  Allow to cool, then place the pan in your fridge to turn the chocolate hard.  To cut, remove the foil from the pan, the peel away the foil from the bars.  Use a sharp knife to cut into pieces.

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