Is it a cookie or a candy? - Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Need a crowd pleasing sweet to take to a party or potluck or just want some melt-in-your-mouth luxury for coffeetime? This shortbread recipe offers everything a dessert lover wants - tender rich shortbread crust and chewy caramel covered in chocolate. The best part is that with this easy-to-follow recipe, you don't need to be a pastry chef to make these bars.

Because the shortbread and the caramel need to cool between steps, this recipe will take about 3-5 hours so give yourself plenty of time. It may take a while but this shortbread is so worth the wait.

You will need:
  • 8x8 or 9x9 pan
  • Cooking spray
  • foil
  • Food processor or pastry cutter
  • Heavy bottom saucepan
FOR SHORTBREAD
  • 4 Tbl butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
FOR CARAMEL
  • 6 Tbl butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbl corn syrup
  • 14 oz can of condensed milk
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

2. To Make the Shortbread: Combine the flour and sugar and then, using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture begins to hold together. You can also place the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture begins to hold together. Press the shortbread dough into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown.

3. To Make the Caramel: While the shortbread is baking, combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk in a saucepan. On medium heat stir until the sugar is melted and the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 6 - 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Caramel will burn easily so watch your heat and stir, stir, stir (I know, lots of stirring - but so worth it.). When the Caramel becomes thick remove it from the heat immediately. Be very careful, the caramel is hot! Even though it is tempting, don't lick the spoon or put your finger in the pot for a taste.

4. Pour the caramel over the finished shortbread and cool in the fridge until completely cool and the caramel is firm, approximately 2 hours.

5. Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 1- 2 minutes. Every 30 seconds stir the chips until melted. Let the melted chocolate cool to room temperature so that it is cool enough not to melt into the caramel but still spreadable. Spread the chocolate over the caramel and allow to cool until the chocolate if firm.

6. Cut your Chocolate Caramel Shortbread with a sharp knife and serve. If you have any left over (which is very rare), store in an airtight container.

Tips:
  • Since this recipe requires so much stirring it is a good idea to have a stirring buddy that will trade places with you when your stirring arm gets tired.
  • Try white chocolate chips or mint chocolate chips in place of the semi-sweet.
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