Monday, February 21, 2011

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread- Millionaire's Shortbread

I lived in Scotland for a while, where they have the most glorious cookie ever- Millionaire's Shortbread.  I think everyone here has heard of shortbread, but those Scottish top it with thick caramel and then top it again with a layer of chocolate!  Yum, kinda like a homemade Twix candy bar, only better! 

Salted caramel is not traditional in Millionaire's shortbread but really adds something fantastic to the taste. You don't have to add the salt if you're trying to cut down on salt, or if it doesn't sound good to you.

This recipe makes a 9x9 pan, and about 16-20 squares, but it might be a good idea to cut them into smaller 1" pieces as they are so rich.  I am sure that they have a ton of calories, so when you make them, you really should have someone to feed them to, or take them to pronto!   I, for one, do not want to be left alone with these things! I think I'd better find a way to get rid of these goodies asap.

The recipe that inspired me to try it was a big fat (but tasty) failure!  The caramel was delicious but was too SOFT and made a big oozy mess. So back I went to the Internet to read recipes for Millionaire's Shortbread.  The second recipe I made, the caramel was too HARD but delicious... (almost sounds like a Goldilocks story, eh?).  The hard caramel was like toffee, and the recipe is a definite keeper.  It was like Macintosh Toffee from Canada or Thornton's Toffee which is from the UK, the kind you smack on the counter and it breaks into hard shards that turn into a chewy, tasty gob in your mouth.  Stay tuned to the blog, and I promise to post that recipe before too long.


1 3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter

Salted Caramel:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1-2 tsp crushed sea salt, I used Maldon's flaky sea salt

Chocolate Topping:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
In a 9x9 pan, line it with foil, or parchment paper.   You need this in order to get these cookies out of the pan.  DO NOT skip this step or your cookies will be more broken up when you have to pry them from the pan.

Shortbread is supposed to be FIRM, and to get firm shortbread you need to handle it!  Here's what you do, combine the soft butter with the sugar until well mixed, add the flour and knead the dough for at least 5-10 minutes with your hands.  The goal is too give your shortbread a "tough" sturdy texture that can stand up to all that caramel and chocolate.
Press into a pan in a packed and even layer.  Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees until just starting to brown.

In a 2 quart saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 5 minutes.

Add sea salt, remove from heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes. Pour over baked crust (warm or cool). Cool until it begins to firm.

In a 2 cup microwave bowl, add 1 cup of chocolate chips and microwave for 30 second increments, stirring each time until it is melted.  Spread the chocolate over the cooling caramel and slightly tap the pan on the counter to smooth out any knife marks in the chocolate.  Let cool completely, which realistically takes about 4 hours. 

If you are in a hurry, you could try putting it in the fridge, but this can make your chocolate brittle so it doesn't cut in straight sided pieces.  Remove the cookies from the pan, using the foil edges and cut into small squares.  A large, long, sharp knife is best.  I use a cleaver.... it looks kind of scary, but it makes the cleanest cuts.

Other ideas:
  • Make the shortbread and caramel, cool completely and cut into long, narrow strips about the size of Twix candy bars and then dip into melted chocolate.
  • Add chopped pecans or walnuts into your caramel, or a layer of nuts between the shortbread and the caramel, top with chocolate as usual.
  • If you like the salted aspect, top the chocolate with a very light sprinkling of sea salt.
  • Use could use milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet, but it does make it a more sugary punch!
  • Chocolate shortbread (substitute cocoa powder for 1/4 cup of flour) and top with white chocolate. Wow....

1 comment:

  1. You mentioned you have a recipe that is similar to the toffee from canada. I would love to see that. I have old recipe's that call for the toffee but they no longer make them...:( Always stocked up on them when I would go home to Canads. Will you be posting that recipe??? I would be ever so grateful to you if you did. As well as my children they miss the treats too...:) Thx....Lynn