Thanks to Pinterest, this year I was introduced to something called Millionaire’s Shortbread. I never heard of this before, but immediately knew that it would be delicious – shortbread, caramel, and chocolate. How can you go wrong?!
I had three different recipes for Millionaire’s Shortbread, and sure enough I tried all 3 to compare them to one another. This is the winner. It was so good, in fact, that I made it twice during a 2-week period for two separate occasions. (It was Halloween, after all, and this is like homemade candy!)
I will warn you that while making the caramel I did come across an anomaly that I had never seen before. That is, during the caramelizing process the butter separated from the sauce. This didn’t happen on my first batch, so I was really taken by surprise. I Googled it (because Google is never wrong) and apparently this is not terribly uncommon. It can be caused by any number of random things, from a cheap-o pot to abrupt temperature changes to the humidity of your kitchen. Some claim that you can reincorporate the butter by vigorous mixing off of the heat, but I tried that and it sure didn’t work for me – I just started all over. Fortunately, this didn’t happen on my first batch and the 3rd batch worked perfectly as well, so I’m going to cross my fingers for all of you that you have much success. But, if not, know that you’re in good company.
Also, with regard to the caramel, some people use a candy thermometer and I don’t abide by that technique. I just watch until the color is “caramel-y” and it’s pretty thick. When you swirl a spatula in the caramel, it should follow the spatula so well that you can momentarily see the bottom of the pot. It does take some trial and error (or luck) but, as they say, “you’ll know it when you see it.”
Lastly, I cut these really small – approximately 1″ cubes. They are sweet and salty and rich enough that this is truly all you need. Don’t be tempted to make brownie-sized pieces, you will be on a sugar high for the rest of the day and people will look at you weird.
adapted from: Annie’s Eats
For the caramel layer:
½ c unsalted butter, cut into pieces
½ cup sugar
2 T light corn syrup
dash of salt
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
For the chocolate layer:
4 oz. dark or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ t light corn syrup
¼ c unsalted butter, cut into pieces
flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line a 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir with a fork to blend, and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended, about 1-2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press in an even layer over the bottom of the pan.
- Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- To make the caramel layer, combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring continually, until the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, being careful not to let the pan overflow. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stirring constantly. Continue simmering and stirring until the mixture turns an amber color and thickens slightly. It will pull away from the pan edges with your spoon at this point.
- Pour the mixture over the shortbread layer, smooth the top, and allow to cool completely in the refrigerator.
- To make the chocolate glaze, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat, stirring ever 20 seconds or so, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour evenly over the caramel layer and smooth the top. Allow to cool for a minute or two and then sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
- Chill, covered, until ready to slice and serve. Cut small pieces, as they are very rich.