Okay, so these are soooooo great, but I was confused as what to call them, but then my daughter came up with a new name, and I’m in full support.
I first heard them called Dixie Bars. At the time, I had no idea why they were called this, but I had access to all of the ingredients here in Mexico, so it was a no-brainer, I had to try them. They were an instant hit. The first time I made them I brought them to a gathering. We were fairly new to the area and not everyone at the gathering knew who our family was yet. At one point in the evening, I heard a loud voice asking “Who made these?” while holding one of my bars up in the air. I was instantly afraid. Did this man have a nut allergy? Was the shortbread crumbling all over him? Was the chocolate that was being melted by the Mayan Riviera humidity all over his clothes? I had no idea. I was afraid. And there was nowhere to hide.
I reluctantly admitted to be the baker. This gentleman looked at me, his face softened, and he proclaimed them to be his new favorite dessert and I should make them for all parties.
Whew. A waste of fear.
After a few years, I noticed bars looking mighty similar called Millionaire and Billionaire shortbread. I must have looked at a hundred recipes and they are all pretty much the same with a few variations. These bars seem more like millionaire, and adding a few more toppings to the chocolate is like billionaire. I figured since it’s not just caramel in the middle, but has an addition of pecans (that are great if they’re toasted too) and never-mind the glorious flakes of sea salt on the top, and we called it Zillionaire. I know it’s not a word. But I like it because I feel these are so good and so easy they just can’t be real.
Call it what you like. Just make it. I promise you will make them over and over again.
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 TAB corn syrup
- 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- 8 oz chocolate, chopped
- 1 TAB butter
Base: Heat oven to 350. Combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter with knives or a pastry cutter to form a soft dough. Press evenly into a greased 8 inch square pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Watch that it does not burn. Set aside to cool.
Filling: Combine condensed milk, sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat and boil for 6-8 minutes, stirring constantly, or until mixture thickens slightly and turns a caramel color. Remove from heat, stir in pecan pieces. Spread evenly over base. Chill.
Topping: In a small saucepan over lowest heat possible, partially melt butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and stir until completely melted. Spread over caramel layer. Garnish with sea salt flakes.
Adapted from: The Canadian Baker