October is a busy month in our home. We celebrate the adoption date of my oldest, then a week later, the birthdays of our other 2 children who are a day apart. Throw in a friend’s birthday party, our school Fall Festival and a Halloween party the same week and needless to say, it’s not only busy but its full of sweets and treats, like these amazing bars. Shortbread Fudge Bars, to be exact! I actually made these for my youngest as he was heading to that birthday party I mentioned earlier. One of his best friends share his birthday and had this really cool “Art” themed party with adorable cupcakes that looked like they were splashed with a canvas of colors. Unfortunately, they were not “allergy-safe” and I needed to bring an allergy free dessert for X-man.
I don’t know if you have ever been in that situation or not, but if you or your child have a restrictive diet, it can kinda stink to sit and watch everyone else eating cake or cupcakes while you’re chomping on a fruit kabob as a consolation treat. And although there are worse things in life to go through, I understand that for my son, this is a HUGE deal and so I choose to make it a little easier for him. I choose to make an AMAZING allergy-friendly dessert, whatever the celebration, that he can enjoy and not feel left out.
This time around, I chose to combine two of our favorites, shortbread and chocolate. What a hit it was!!! Not only did my little guy absolutely love them, but my non-vegan friends raved about them. You know you have something good when your dairy loving friends tell you they’d go vegan with desserts like this.
If there is a gluten restriction or allergy in your home, sub with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Flour. I also made it using this GF flour and it turned out just as wonderful.
Oh, and don’t forget to save a bit of the dough so you can add it as a crumbly top layer as well. Make your chocolate fudge with 3 ingredients: coconut milk, Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips & brown sugar.
When its liquid gold (or melted chocolate), simply pour on top of the shortbread layer. Use remaining shortbread batter and crumble on top (kinda like a cobbler topping).
Bake, cool then refrigerate. And don’t forget the refrigerate part because while its sitting, the magic happens. That warm, rich chocolate middle layer sets into a fudge-like center. So you’ll just have to be patient and plan ahead, or at least throw this together the night before and “WOW’ your loved ones the next day.
The hardest part is waiting, but it’s sooooo worth it!
Shortbread Fudge Bar
Yield 16 bars
Not-too-sweet, cookie bars made with a rich and buttery shortbread crust, layered with chocolate fudge.
- 2 C. all-purpose flour
- 1 C. dairy free butter (Earth Balance, soy free butter sticks)
- 1/2 C. organic brown cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp. pink himalayan salt
- 3/4 C. canned coconut milk (stirred well before measuring)
- 10 oz (1 bag) dairy free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life mini-chips)
- 1/4 C. organic brown cane sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 350°. Line 8" square pan with parchment paper and allow for extra to overhang the edges.
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, 1/2 C. brown sugar and salt until crumbly but blended. Reserve 1/2 cup and set aside. Press remaining dough into the prepared pan.
- In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, chocolate chips and 1/4 C. brown sugar. Stir over low heat until melted. Remove from heat and pour filling over shortbread crust.
- Crumble reserved dough over the top in large and small clumps.
- Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before refrigerating 8 hours.
- Once set, pull ends of parchment paper to release the bars and set on counter to cut into squares.
- Refrigerate until ready to eat.
*Use Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten free flour in place of All Purpose Flour for a GF dessert. **Make this dessert overnight. The fudge needs to chill and set in the refrigerator at least 8 hours.