Heavenly Hash Bars

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READY IN: 2hrs
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F
  • Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan, or line with parchment and grease the parchment.
  • To make the crust:
  • In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, salt, sugar, and vanilla, then beat in the flour.
  • The dough will seem very dry, and won’t seem to want to become cohesive at first. Just keep beating, and it’ll eventually come together.
  • Press the dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with your fingers or a mini rolling pin (pastry roller).
  • The dough will feel stiff, but just keep pressing on it until you’ve covered the bottom of the pan.
  • Prick the dough all over with a fork; this will keep it from bubbling up as it bakes.
  • Bake the crust for 35 to 40 minutes, until it’s golden brown around the edges and beginning to brown on the top.
  • Remove it from the oven, and loosen the edges with a heat-resistant plastic knife or a table knife.
  • Make the topping while the shortbread begins to cool.
  • To make the topping:
  • Place the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan.
  • Heat in the microwave, or over low heat on a burner, till the cream is steaming and barely beginning to form bubbles.
  • Remove from the heat, and stir.
  • The chocolate will gradually form a lump in the center of the bowl, then will start to expand as it absorbs the cream.
  • Eventually the chocolate and cream will become one; keep stirring till it’s very smooth.
  • If all the chocolate doesn’t seem melted, reheat very briefly, and keep stirring.
  • Spread the warm chocolate atop the cookie crust.
  • Sprinkle with the marshmallows, then the pecans.
  • Immediately use a knife, or a baker’s bench knife, to cut the bars into squares.
  • You’ll find it useful to run the knife under hot water and wipe it off every several cuts, to keep drag to a minimum.
  • The reason you’re cutting these bars immediately (admittedly, a somewhat messy proposition), is that if you wait till they’re cool the bottom crust is more difficult to cut.
  • Cover the pan, and place the bars in the refrigerator for about an hour, to set the chocolate.
  • Remove from the fridge, and use a spatula to transfer the bars from the pan to a serving plate.
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