I know, I know. It’s been a billion years since I’ve posted anything officially. It’s not that I’m not still cooking, I’m just busy. Suddenly it’s Christmas, and I have three days left to finish all my baking. I adapted a new recipe this year, and it was a mistake. I made the first batch in late November, thinking to get the jump on holiday baking, and I haven’t been able to keep them in the house. I’ve lost track of how many I’ve made now. The current batch is hidden in an All Bran box in the hope that it will survive until Christmas Eve. I give you, ‘Millionaire Shortbread’! Merry Christmas!
1 ½ cups (375 mL) All Purpose Flour (dip, don’t scoop)
½ cup (125 mL) icing sugar
¾ cup (175 mL) butter, softened
Pinch of salt. Because everything sweet tastes weird without a little salt.
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons golden or dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Generous pinch salt
Note** No. You didn’t do it wrong. I doubled the recipe for the shots below. You might want to consider doing so also. Trust me.
A bag of the best chocolate chips you can find. I like Ghirardelli milk chocolate, but whatever blows up your particular kilt is fine.
Line an 8 X 8 baking pan with foil and spray generously with cooking spray.
If you have a mixer, use the paddle and combine butter, icing sugar, flour and salt until a soft dough forms. If you don’t, roll up your sleeves and get out your pastry cutter, then cut it all together until it looks like coarse crumbs, then knead until it is dough. Press into the bottom of your pan. I use a shot glass to roll it in pan to make sure it’s an even layer. Bake at 350 for 20-25 min until just slightly golden and set it aside to cool completely.
Place all the caramel ingredients into a heavy bottomed medium saucepan and whisk gently over medium heat. Don’t stop. You have 20-30 minutes to kill while the sugar dissolves and the butter melts. Good thing you have WiFi in the kitchen. It will boil gently. If it boils rapidly, turn it down a little or you’re going to have toffee, not caramel. This is boring. Stir continuously until it reaches a deep, golden colour, and you can let a few drops fall into a glass of ice water and be able to form them into a soft ball once cooled. Think, slightly stiffer than peanut butter. Remove from heat and pour over cooled shortbread, using spatula to scrape pan, and smooth evenly. Give it a minute or two to begin to firm up, then sprinkle your chocolate chips evenly over the whole surface.
Now go for a smoke, check Facebook, feed the cat.. whatever it is that you’ve been dying to do while you’ve been stuck standing in front of the stove stirring caramel. You have 3-5 minutes.
When you get back, use a clean spatula to spread the now melted chocolate chips into an even layer over the surface of the caramel. If so inclined, sprinkle a little sea salt on top.
Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.
Let them come up to room temperature again before cutting them, or the chocolate on top will shatter when you try to slice them into 24 bars, give or take. It’ll taste the same, but you’ll have ugly, ugly cookies of shame.
They can be stored at room temperature in an airtight tin for a week to ten days, but you won’t need to worry about that. You’ll probably have eaten half of them before they even make it to the tin.