Updated: December 2020
I tweaked them just a bit and ended up with rich, fudgy chocolate dessert bars.
Sometimes you just want to make something straightforward with ingredients you already have in your cabinets. I always keep condensed milk, almond extract, real butter, and bars of bittersweet and semi-sweet baking chocolate handy and use them quite a bit.
I guess I should keep more broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach – you tend to eat what you have – but they’re not as much fun to eat as a chocolate thingy with condensed milk and butter.
The shortbread on these bars is perfect. Light, almost flaky, and could be eaten by itself (as can the fudge). Spread that decadent, thick fudge-like chocolate mixture on top, sprinkle toasted almonds on top for a nice crunch, and you have terrific Almond Fudge Shortbread Bars.
You’ll need to cut these bars into very small squares and have a glass of milk standing by. They’re very rich and very, very tasty.
It’s a toss up on whether I like the shortbread or the fudge part better, but I’ve decided they go together perfectly to make the ultimate little dessert bite. Update: these are more awesome at room temperature than refrigerated.
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More fantastic dessert bar recipes!
- Lemon Blueberry Crumble Bars
- Chocolate Chip Meringue Bars
- Butterscotch Cashew Bars (amazing – one of our favorites!)
- 1/2 C (one stick) butter, softened
- 1/8 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 C powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- Fudge Topping
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 C sliced almonds, toasted
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray an 8x8" pan and line with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper and any of the exposed inside of the pan.
- Shortbread: In a large bowl, beat the butter, almond extract, powdered sugar, and salt until smooth and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just combined. Give it a final stir by hand to make sure everything is scraped up from the bottom and mixed in.
- Put the shortbread dough into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake 14-15 minutes until lightly browned around the edges. Set on a rack to cool while you make the fudge topping.
- Fudge Topping: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate, condensed milk, and butter. Microwave on at 50 percent power for 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat at 30 second intervals (about 3 more times), stirring between each until smooth. Remove from microwave, add the almond extract, and continue stirring for 15 to 20 seconds.
- Spread the mixture over the shortbread (it will be not quite as thick as fudge, but close) and smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and lightly press them into the fudge.
- Let cool at room temperature for about 10 more minutes, then refrigerate for about 2 hours until firm. Cut into very small squares to serve. (Best served at room temperature.)
Tips and Stuff:
I used Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet (60%) chocolate bar and Nestle's semi-sweet chips. You can use any combination, but I found that half baking bar, half chips is just about right.
To toast almonds, spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toast for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring once while they're toasting.
These would be good sprinkled with a little sea salt before refrigerating!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 26mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g