Chocolate Pudding Shortbread Bars

with sea salt

Well, it finally happened last night. I left my wallet in a car. I was coming home late from a friend’s housewarming get together last night and decided that I would be responsible and call a car to take me home instead of walking back by myself. I should have just walked! The driver ended up sitting in front of the wrong apartment a block away for 10 minutes, then called me to yell about how he has been waiting, the whole time I’m sitting out on the stoop in the dark waiting for him. I was polite and apologized and thanked him for calling me, but he still overcharged me and I wasn’t even in the mood to fight it. I woke up this morning, and of course, I left the wallet in the car because I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Rookie mistake. I called the car service company and of course it is nowhere to be found. I looked on all of the streets around my neighborhood, too, but of course even if I had dropped it on the ground there is no way anyone in my neighborhood would make an attempt to return it. So, here I am without any ID, debit card, health care card, receipts or the cash I had. I feel like such an idiot and I know I am going to have a sick feeling in my stomach all day because I have a hard time letting go and accepting the fact that I left my wallet in a car last night like a total moron. Oh well. I get to make lots of fun phone calls today! Sigh. Please tell me about times that you also left things or lost things and convince me that I am not alone.

Chocolate Pudding Shortbread Bars

Fall offerings at the Union Square Greenmarket, tacos from Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos, party corn, and watching the magic happen at a Food52 & Tastemade event.
Whatever. Aside from the fact that I am dumb, the housewarming was fun last night and it was good to meet some new people in the surrounding area. We played Cards Against Humanity, which is always a good time, and I ate too much chips and salsa, but what do you expect when you put chips and salsa in front of my face? On Tuesday night, my friend Emily and I headed up to Harlem to finally check out Red Rooster, run by the incredible Marcus Samuelson. I had a lovely bourbon negroni, and we shared way too much delicious food. Chicken and waffles with collard greens, seafood salad with tomatoes and beets, shrimp and dirty rice, goat taquitos with pickled cabbage, and some of the most delectable, buttery cornbread that I have ever had with roasted red peppers. We were obviously fat and happy when we left. I don’t go uptown often, but I will definitely be making my way to Red Rooster again.

Chocolate Pudding Shortbread Bars

I’m still crying over my lost wallet, but I will try to forget about it and tell you about these chocolate pudding shortbread bars instead. These are one of those things that you bake when you don’t know what to bake and have minimal ingredients. I would imagine that everyone always has the ingredients that they need to make shortbread – it’s just butter, flour, sugar and salt. I would bet that a lot of you have all of the ingredients that you need to make the pudding, too, with the exception of heavy cream, but you can always use whole milk in a pinch! The shortbread is butter and just the right amount of crumbly while still staying together, as shortbread should be, and the pudding is rich and velvety-smooth. I sprinkled some sea salt on top for texture and because why not, but that is optional (though highly recommended). I made these a day ahead and brought them into my office, where they were immediately devoured. Now that it’s cooler out, pudding is something you can make without fear of it melting into a puddle, so make a batch of these simple bars and enjoy them as much as I did! May I also suggest freezing them for a future late night snack? Believe me, it’s a good idea.

Chocolate Pudding Shortbread BarsTasty food from the Food52 & Tastemade event, pretty wrapping paper from McCormick Gourmet, my new favorite bourbon negroni from Red Rooster, and a great play put on by our friends called Pickles & Hargraves and the Curse of the Tanzanian Glimmerfish – I will let you know when the next show of theirs is because it is hilariously fantastic.

Chocolate Pudding Shortbread BarsSo, you’ll need just a bit of butter for your shortbread.

Chocolate Pudding Shortbread BarsOnce you’ve made your shortbread dough, press it into your pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Chocolate Pudding Shortbread BarsThen make your pudding.

Chocolate Pudding Shortbread BarsPut ’em together and chill until set!

Chocolate Pudding Shortbread BarsSprinkle with a little sea salt, cut into bars and serve.

Chocolate Pudding Shortbread Bars

Chocolate Pudding Shortbread Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 25 bars
Rich, velvety chocolate pudding atop a buttery shortbread crust.
For the Shortbread:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Chocolate Pudding:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1¼ cup chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sea salt, for sprinkling (optional, but delicious)
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. First, make your shortbread. Beat your butter until smooth, about 3 minutes, then add in your sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about another 3 minutes. Add in your salt and your flour, ½ cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Your dough will seem a bit crumbly, but this is okay.
  2. Liberally butter/grease a 9x13-inch pan, then use your hands to press your shortbread dough into it in as even a layer as possible. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden and set. Set aside and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes (if you pour the hot pudding over the hot shortbread, the crust may collapse).
  3. While your shortbread bakes, make your pudding. In a medium sized pot, heat your cream until simmering over medium heat, then reduce to medium-low and add in your chocolate, stirring, constantly so that it doesn't burn, until melted. Remove the pudding from the heat, add in your sugar, eggs and vanilla, and whisk until fully incorporated. Return to the heat for 2 minutes, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, then remove from the heat again and set aside. Stir every so often if your shortbread isn't ready yet so that the pudding doesn't form a skin.
  4. When your shortbread is out of the oven and has rested, pour the pudding over the shortbread. Place the entire pan in the refrigerator and allow the pudding to set (this will take about 2 hours). If you want to sprinkle with some sea salt, do so just before the pudding sets, so that the salt sits on top and doesn't sink. When fully chilled and set, cut into squares with a clean knife, wiping the knife between each cut, and serve. I put mine in muffin liners for easy eating and clean up. These will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


17 Responses

  1. shortbread + pudding? seriously. never would’ve thought of this combo, but with the sprinkled sea salt on top? sold.

    wish I had a story to share + commiserate over the left behind wallet. I’ve made plenty of mistakes but this one has yet to happen to me [probably thanks to living in teeneh tineh Nashville and never having to take a taxi or hired car anywhere because..well..they don’t exist.] Hope the calls go smoothly + you get everything righted quickly!

  2. Oh drooling pudding and short bread, I am in love. SO new to put it together. That sprinkle of sea salt makes it.
    I am worst with wallets, over past four years I have lost my wallet 6 times. Yes 6, damn my forgetful mind and public transport.

  3. Fatima says:

    One time while rushing to Grand Central to catch a train to the in-laws I thought I’d be smart and grab a cab in order to get there in time. It was a great idea except 1) I left my phone in said cab and 2) I ended up missing my train and couldn’t even call anybody to let them know.

  4. A. Thyme says:

    I lost a wallet in a DC cab once. We caught it outside of Union Station, and I tipped the driver with my last dollar. Felt distraught, and while my friends were in the place we visited having fun, I was Googling DC cab company numbers and canceling credit cards. After I canceled all my major sources of cash, the driver returned to the place he dropped us off and handed me my wallet. He remembered us! It was a blessing.

  5. Anna says:

    You had me at salted chocolate. Hang in there!!!

  6. Stacey Evans says:

    When I lived in NYC, I had my wallet stolen from the back of a bar stool. I understand what you’re going through. It is a total feeling of helplessness and frustration! Hopefully these yummy Pudding Bars will make up for it!

  7. Margaret says:

    Poor you! What a horrid cabbie! When someone is nasty like that it makes it awfully hard to keep cool and stay organized. I hope you’ve gotten through all the paperwork and that these yummy-sounding bars have helped to console you.

    I’m happy to say that I have yet to lose a wallet or a passport — my two worst fears. I have just been lucky. Please don’t ask me whether I’ve ever lost bus passes, keys (including important work keys), cell phones, various kinds of id cards, ipods, flash drives, laptop power cords & attachments, knitting needles, notes for a talk (right before I had to give it), shoes, socks, sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves, scissors, camera batteries & memory cards, books, tickets, glasses……..

  8. Margaret says:

    Just have to add a P.S. because something totally weird just happened. I entered my reply about losing wallets and then went to read my e-mail. I had one note: from a student who just lost his wallet! (He wrote to me because we have a quiz tomorrow and we spot-check student ID cards.) It seems to be a universal experience. You are not alone.

  9. Ann says:

    Yes I have sad tale too. I was shopping in a supermarket, and put my purse in the child seat of the trolley….someone reached in while I wasn’t looking and took my wallet, I didn’t realise until I got to the checkout :-(( Now I use a shoulder bag.

  10. Jenny says:

    That’s not pudding–it’s custard! But still looks delicious :)

  11. I’m so sorry you lost your wallet. But just take a deep breath and remember worse things could’ve happened. Plus these bars are sure to cheer you up. Homemade pudding is the best!

  12. Tieghan says:

    Pudding on aber is so genius!! I have to give these a try since we are pudding freak over here!

  13. Looks awesome.Sucks about your wallet.

  14. Trish says:

    This looks incredible! I love choco pudding. AND shortbread. Oh my…….

  15. Aww, i`m sorry you have to make all those annoying phone calls. It`s okay, I forget my stuff all the time. I know a girl who`s lost her cell phone over 8 times in the span of 1 year!

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