SMiLes by Meg

Millionaire Bars

Last week, I promised to make something with halvah. This week, I bring you: Millionaire Bars.

I’m going to keep this post on the shorter side, since I’m typing it before going into the office on Friday, and I’ll be traveling to Portland for the weekend to see what the pacific northwest is all about.

Though these take a little bit of work (three separate layers, each with its own instructions), they actually were easy to make during the week. One night, I made the shortbread layer, and let it cool overnight. The next morning, I quickly did the halvah and caramel layers, and let it chill during the day. The next day, I cut them, brought them to the office, and they disappeared!

So starting with the shortbread. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch, and granulated sugar.

Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and turn it to medium speed. Slowly pour in the melted butter and beat until combined. You’ll probably need to scrape down the sides at least once to make this work.

Next, add the vanilla extract and reduce the speed of the mixer to low.

Finally, add in the flour and salt and beat on low speed until the dough comes together.

Press the dough into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool completely.

When you’re ready to move on, make the halvah layer by putting the halvah and tahini in a small bowl and mixing with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Spread the halvah mixture over the shortbread layer and use an offset spatula to make smooth.

The last step is the caramel. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Then, turn the heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil. Allow to boil until deep golden brown in color, which will take about 12 minutes.

While the caramel is boiling, you should prep your other ingredients. Put the cream and butter in one small dish and the tahini and salt in a second.

As soon as the boiling sugar turns golden brown, remove from heat and whisk in the cream and butter until the butter fully melts.

Then, whisk in the tahini and salt to combine.

Pour the caramel over the halvah layer. Allow to cool to room temperature, then transfer to the fridge to chill for at least four hours.

Once the bars are thoroughly chilled, use the parchment paper to lift them out of the pan and onto a cutting board. You may need to run a sharp knife around the outside of the pan to loosen them – caramel is sticky.

Cut into bars, about 1×3 inches.

Store in an airtight container, separated by layers of parchment paper, in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Millionaire Bars

Ingredients:

Shortbread

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (40g) confectioners sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons (35g) cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (40g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Halvah

  • 7 ounces halvah, roughly crumbled into pieces
  • 1/2 cup tahini

Tahini Caramel

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 7 tablespoons butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup tahini paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Directions:

Shortbread

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the confectioners sugar, cornstarch and granulated sugar.
  2. Turn the mixer on medium speed with the paddle attachment and add the melted butter, beating until combined.
  3. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla extract. Add flour and salt and beat until dough comes together.
  4. Press dough into the bottom of an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes, until golden. Cool completely.

Halvah

  1. To make the halvah layer, put the halvah and tahini in a small bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  2. Spread over shortbread layer, using an offset spatula to level.

Tahini Caramel

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts.
  2. Turn heat up to medium high and boil, without stirring, until deep golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream and butter, whisking until butter melts completely.
  4. Whisk in tahini and salt to combine.
  5. Pour caramel layer over halvah layer. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Remove from fridge and cut into bars.

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