Millionaire's Shortbread

Hey guys, look more cookie recipes. I was back at my parents' house in Moscow, Idaho for over a week this Christmas and I baked a lot of cookies. I am trying to catch up with them. I realize it lacks variety but really, who can complain about more delicious cookie recipes. I promise soon there will be non-cookie recipes (interspersed with even more cookie recipes, what can I say, I love cookies).

I don't always give credit to bar cookies because I think sometimes they aren't very fancy and I like things to be fancy. However, they are great because you don't have to shape individual cookies. And if you start with shortbread and add a layer of Dulce de Leche and then chocolate the end result is pretty fancy indeed!
I was suspicious of making Dulce de Leche. The two options were to cook it in a double boiler for like a million hours (1.5 to be exact) or microwave. I tried out the microwave option and it almost made a huge mess, but I caught it in time. It boiled up the sides and looked and smelled kind of weird. But I stirred it a bunch after and it smoothed out and tasted good. I don't know if I should have cooked it a little longer; it doesn't seem dark enough. The double boiler may be a better bet if you have more patience than I.
I spent a month in St. Andrews, Scotland when I was 17. I have always been into Scottish things: shortbread, bagpipes, kilts, Sir Walter Scott and, more recently, Scotch. I don't really know why, maybe because our town used to put on a Robert Burns dinner and it was always so much fun.
When in Scotland, I actually ate a lot of candy bars. We even tried deep fried candy bars, yes they exist and yes they are as amazing as you think. My favorite candy bar was Twix. There was a candy machine across the hall from my dorm room and I would get a Twix and make myself a cup of tea (every room had an electric kettle) and I would do homework. I mention my love of Twix so you understand how exiciting it is to me to say these cookies taste like even more delicious Twix bars.

Millionaire's Shortbread

3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 - 14 ounce can Dulce de Leche or sweetened condensed milk
6 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Grease with butter (or use a cooking spray) a 9 x 9 inch pan.
2. For shortbread: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just comes together. Press onto the bottom of your greased pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until pale golden in color. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
3. For caramel filling: If using Dulce de Leche then simply warm the caramel in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. If using sweetened condensed milk, pour the milk into a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cover and cook, over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 60 to 90 minutes or until the milk has thickened and has turned a caramel color. Remove from heat and beat until smooth. Pour the caramel over the baked shortbread and leave to set.
Note: You can also do this step in a microwave oven. Place the sweetened condensed milk in a large microwaveable bowl and cook on medium power for about 4 minutes, stirring halfway through baking time. Reduce the powder to medium-low and continue to cook for another 8 to 12 minutes, or until the milk has thicken and has turned a light caramel color. Remove from microwave and beat until smooth.
4. For chocolate topping: Melt the chocolate and butter either in the microwave oven or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate evenly over the caramel and leave to set. Cut the shortbread into pieces using a sharp knife.Store the shortbread in the refrigerator to keep the chocolate nice and firm.
Recipe from Joy of Baking

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1 comment:

  1. Here is a link to another way to make dulce de leche: