Rocky Road Chocolate Shortbread Bars

These Rocky Road Chocolate Shortbread Bars can be made with any type of nut you’d like, but for goodness sake, toast them!!  When toasting nuts, you’re not only making them crunchier (oooh, texture!), you’re releasing their natural oils, thereby making them taste even nuttier.  And if you’re cooking or baking with nuts, why wouldn’t you want them to be nuttier? No one ever said, “nice, but those nuts taste too much like nuts!” After all, sometimes you feel like a nut, the rest of the time you’re wrong.

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Chocolate Shortbread Crust
 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  cup packed brown sugar, light or dark
 ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, the darker the better
 ½ tsp fine grain salt
 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
Rocky Road Topping
 ½ cup toasted almonds, walnuts, or your nut of choice, some whole, others chopped a bit
 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
 ½ cup mini marshmallows
 2 tbsp heavy cream

Chocolate Shortbread
1

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 8 inch square pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper so that there is overhang to act as handles to remove your finished bars.

2

In a food processor, pulse together flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Add butter and pulse just until combined. The dough should be crumbly, but should hold together when pinched.

3

Press dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until it is just beginning to get puffy, and remove from oven. Allow to cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes.

Rocky Road Topping
4

In a small bowl, mix together the marshmallows, nuts, and 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips. Set aside. To a microwave safe bowl add remaining chocolate chips and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Add the room temperature heavy cream and stir until fully combined.

5

Using an offset spatula spread ¾ of chocolate over the cooled shortbread. Sprinkle marshmallows, toasted nuts, and reserved chocolate chips over the top, reserving a bit for a final topping. Using the offset spatula, smooth out and press all the topping into the chocolate. Sprinkle the remainder of the toppings over that and gently press down to “secure” them to the top.

6

Drizzle the remaining chocolate over the rocky road mixture. Chill the rocky road in the refrigerator until set, at least one hour, then remove from the pan and cut into squares. Caution: it’s pretty darn good. You might want to put some aside for sharing, because that won’t come naturally.

Ingredients

Chocolate Shortbread Crust
 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  cup packed brown sugar, light or dark
 ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, the darker the better
 ½ tsp fine grain salt
 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
Rocky Road Topping
 ½ cup toasted almonds, walnuts, or your nut of choice, some whole, others chopped a bit
 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
 ½ cup mini marshmallows
 2 tbsp heavy cream

Directions

Chocolate Shortbread
1

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 8 inch square pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper so that there is overhang to act as handles to remove your finished bars.

2

In a food processor, pulse together flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Add butter and pulse just until combined. The dough should be crumbly, but should hold together when pinched.

3

Press dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until it is just beginning to get puffy, and remove from oven. Allow to cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes.

Rocky Road Topping
4

In a small bowl, mix together the marshmallows, nuts, and 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips. Set aside. To a microwave safe bowl add remaining chocolate chips and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Add the room temperature heavy cream and stir until fully combined.

5

Using an offset spatula spread ¾ of chocolate over the cooled shortbread. Sprinkle marshmallows, toasted nuts, and reserved chocolate chips over the top, reserving a bit for a final topping. Using the offset spatula, smooth out and press all the topping into the chocolate. Sprinkle the remainder of the toppings over that and gently press down to “secure” them to the top.

6

Drizzle the remaining chocolate over the rocky road mixture. Chill the rocky road in the refrigerator until set, at least one hour, then remove from the pan and cut into squares. Caution: it’s pretty darn good. You might want to put some aside for sharing, because that won’t come naturally.

Rocky Road Chocolate Shortbread Bars

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