Could anything be more Irish than shortbread and Irish Whiskey? Don’t think so. Here we put them both together in Tricia’s new creation: butter shortbread filled with sweet & tart skillet roasted apples, then more shortbread dots the top. Not done yet. Grab that bottle of Irish Whiskey and make a glaze in about two minutes. Holy shamrocks!!
You’ll need an 8×8 inch baking dish that has been lined with foil. This is important so you can easily lift your baked bars right out of the pan and slice them which means you’ll end up able to eat them faster. A layer of shortbread dough gone into the bottom of the pan and is popped into the oven until baked through. While all of this is going on, you will be caramelizing your apples on the stovetop. See how rich they look?
The apples go on top of the pre-baked bottom crust, then another layer of shortbread is dotted on the top. But wait, how about some slivered almonds just for the heck of it. They add a nice, nutty crunch to the top of these guys. Back into the oven they go for a final bake.
And, since it is St. Patrick’s Day that we are celebrating, the glaze makes the day. Just stir together some powdered sugar, a tad bit of heavy cream, and a few teaspoons of Irish Whiskey. Not into whiskey? No worries – any self respecting touch of alcohol will do. And if you’d rather skip it, the glaze will still be delicious.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! xoxoxo
- SHORTBREAD BARS
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons butter
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 4 large apples (we used Honeycrisp)
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons Irish whiskey
- 2-3 teaspoons heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350.
- We recommend breaking up your recipe into five easy steps in order to construct your bars.
- Step 1: In a food processor, mix 1 cup of flour, ½ cup butter (cut into small pieces) and ¼ cup powdered sugar. Pulse and blend until the dough comes together, nearly into a ball. There will be some stray bits that are best blended by hand. Line an 8X8 glass pan with foil and spray with baking spray, then press the dough into the bottom of the pan with your fingertips and bake for 20 minutes. Note: You do not have to line your pan with foil, but we find it makes cutting the bars much easier.
- Step 2: While your dough is baking, place ½ cup sliced almonds on a baking sheet and place in to oven until lightly toasted, 7 to 12 minutes. You’ll want to watch these closely.
- Step 3: While your bottom layer bakes, peel, core and dice your apples. Place diced apples, 2 tablespoons butter, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom is a large pan. Stir and sauté until apples have released their juices and have caramelized. When they are done, the apples will be covered in a thick, dark, caramel coating and as they cool they will shrink, but do not be alarmed. Allow pan to sit and cool a bit.
- Step 4: While your apples cool a bit, in a food processor mix 1 cup of flour, ½ cup cubed butter and ¼ cup powdered sugar just as in Step 1 above. Pulse and blend until the dough comes together nearly into a ball. Place dough in a bowl and mix in the toasted almonds; this is done best by using your hands to gently incorporate the almonds.
- Once your bottom layer of dough is done, gently spread apple mixture over the dough. Then, using your hands, place flattened bits of the unbaked dough on top of apples until covered. This will not appear smooth, but that’s good. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely on rack and then refrigerate for at least a few hours.
- Step 5: Thoroughly whisk all glaze ingredients together. This glaze may need minor adjustments. It should be thin enough to drizzle, but still fairly thick. Think just a bit thinner than frosting. You may want to add a bit more whiskey, cream or powdered sugar to achieve your desired taste and texture.
- Lift foil from pan and set bars on cutting board. Gently peel foil away and cut into desired size. Drizzle with glaze and allow 20 to 30 minutes for glaze to set. You may refrigerate to speed the process. Serve cold or at room temperature.