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Fudge-Topped Shortbread




This is absolutely the best of both worlds.  Shortbread and fudge.  Sometimes you just want a piece of shortbread with a cup of coffee or tea.  Then there are other times you just need some chocolate.   But this is the goodness of shortbread and chocolate together.




1 cup butter, softened (no
  substitutions)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed     milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted (I chose not to use)



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 13x9 pan (I used a glass pan).  Here's a tip to easily grease a pan. Sometimes when I'm baking, I have a small amount of butter or margarine left over.  I store it in a sandwich zip-locked bag in the refrigerator.  When I need to grease a pan, I pull it out, turn the bag inside out over my hand and grease the pan with the butter.  When I'm done, I pull it off my hand, turn it right side out, zip it up and put it back into the refrigerator.


In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and salt until fluffy.  Gradually beat in flour.


Spread into the pan. 


 Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.  


In the meantime, in a microwave-safe bowl, combine condensed milk and chocolate chips.  


Microwave, unconvered for one minute.  Stir completely.  If the chocolate chips are not completely melted, put back into the microwave for about 30 seconds. Mix well.  Add the almond extract.  Mix again.

Spread over the shortbread.


Sprinkle with almonds, if you choose.  Refrigerate until firm.  Cut into small squares.


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INGREDIENTS

CAKE

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used dark)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. table salt
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate morsels

C…