I don't know why we call it New Zealand Shortbread, except that we do have family living over on that side of the world. So maybe that's where this recipe originated. I don't know. What I do know is that after the holidays, I can no longer fit into my pants. And I'm pretty sure these babies are to blame.
New Zealand Shortbread
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
Mix everything but condensed milk well and press 3/4 of the mixture into a buttered and floured 8x8 baking dish. Set aside remaining mix.
Pour condensed milk over shortbread in the pan and crumble remaining shortbread mix on top. Bake at 350F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. When completely cool, cut into 16 squares.
This recipe can be doubled, and in this house it usually is. They also freeze well, so you can make them weeks in advance and spend your actual holidays lounging around in front of the TV, occasionally getting up to sneak yet another one out of the freezer.
In case you can't tell, I am not a believer in self-deprivation during the holidays. December is for shameful, excessive celebration. I can restrain myself in January.