December 25, 2018

Millionaire's shortbread for cookie exchange

Millionaire's shortbread

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope everyone is enjoying their break.

We had a cookie exchange in our neighborhood earlier this month and this year, I decided to make something different.

You see, the favorite show for us to watch together now a days is the Great British Bake Off. Lil A and Tiny M are into it too and together we found ourselves cheering for Nadiya Hussain from episode one. Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry are rubbing off on them and they are becoming quite the judges when it comes to baked goodies.

In fact, when I take them grocery shopping now, they stop in the bread aisle checking breads with sentences like "yes, this sounds hollow", "what temperature was this cooked at," etc.

So we had to make something special and something British for the cookie exchange. We settled on millionaire's shortbread.

It was also my first time making caramel and I learned that light brown sugar make the caramel light, better to stick with the dark brown sugar.

I followed the recipe from America's Test Kitchen, modifying it a bit to my needs.  It came out quite well.

For shortbread:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tspoon salt
16 tbspoons or 2 sticks on melted and cooled unsalted butter

 For caramel:
1 can sweteened condensed milk
1 cup brown sugar. I used light brown, but a dark brown sugar will give a better color
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 tspoon salt
1/4 cup heavy cream (the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup, but I decided to reduce it and it worked for me)

For chocolate:
6 oz of bittersweet chocolate
3 tbspoon of whole milk or whipping cream

Take a pan and line it with a aluminum foil going across  making a X, so it is easy to take it out when all the layers are built together.

For Shortbread:
Sift all the dry ingredients together and then pour the melted butter in the flour mix and use a spatula to mix it in slowly.

It will come together like a thick dough. Spread it in the pan and press it lightly with your hands. Then take a fork and make some holes across the dough to help it cook evenly.

Cook it for about 20-25 minutes till it is cooked and light brown. When it comes out of the oven, press it down lightly one more time so it doesn't crumble everywhere.

Millionaire's shortbreadFor caramel:
Mix all the ingredients in a thick bottomed pan and cook on low-medium heat for about 18-20 minutes till it becomes a thick bubbling mixture. The temperature should be between 230-240 degF.

Pour the caramel over the shortbread and let it cool and set completely. It takes 2-3 hours.

For chocolate:
The original recipe calls for microwaving the chocolate, but I melted it using the double boiler method.

Heat a pan of water and once it is simmering, put the chocolate and the whipping cream in a bowl. Put the bowl over the simmering water and stir till the chocolate melts completely.

Pour the chocolate over the caramel and cover the entire layer with a nice thing layer.

Put it in the fridge to cool and set the chocolate. It is ready to cut and serve. I put some red and white icing on top to make it a little festive. Enjoy.

Millionaire's shortbread

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