Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Heavenly little squares of joy!!!!

Have you ever come across a food where even the mere thought of it makes your mouth water? Tons of people have been jumping on the salted caramel bandwagon and I hate to jump in, but I'm in on this one - HEAD FIRST! It's the perfect balance of sweet and salty all in one.

The only thing that could possibly make salted caramel any better is by adding a shortbread cookie underneath it. That's right, ladies and gents, I am talked about Salted Caramel Shortbread Squares!!!!! I came across this recipe not too long ago on Erica's Sweet Tooth which is one of my favourite blogs of all time.

I'm melting on your behalf just looking at this photo!
Salted Caramel Shortbread 
Adapted from Erica's Sweet Tooth which was adapted from What's Gaby Cooking
For the shortbread layer:
10 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
1-2/3 cups flour
For the caramel:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp sea salt, plus more for sprinkling on top - I used pink Himalayan sea salt
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp heavy cream
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Line an 9x9 pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the sides to make removal easier.
In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and salt with a pastry cutter or fork.  Add the egg yolk and continue mixing.  
Add the flour and use your hands to combine the dough until coarse crumbs form.  Transfer the dough into the prepared pan and press it down into one even layer.  
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes, until slightly golden brown.  Set aside to cool.  
For the caramel, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, sugar, and heavy cream.  Bring to a boil and stir for about 5-10 minutes until caramel reaches the "soft ball stage" at around 230 degrees.  I didn't have a candy thermometer, so I just kept dropping droplets of the caramel in a glass of cold water and waited until it formed a ball in the water but that remained soft if I picked it up with my fingers.
Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and pour caramel over the shortbread.  
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, then sprinkle with sea salt and cut into squares.  Store caramels in the fridge until you're ready to eat them.

  • For the love of all things holy, do not do what I did in my last batch which was to add the amount of salt that's intended for the caramel into the shortbread. While your guests will still think it's delicious, you, like myself, may feel that they are a tad too salty!
  • This recipe doubles very nicely so please feel free to try making more than one! 
Just to give you a few other images to salivate over, here you go... my gift to you :)
Yup! I took a bite out of this one!!! Just for you! I'm that girl!
Thanks to my guest photographer, Dina, for taking this shot!!!!
 Now go and make these! I promise you will not regret them at all!

Happy Baking!


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