Monday, April 22, 2013

Caramel Shortbread

I have a confession to make. I can't stand "romantic holidays". They are mostly days where many loved ones get disappointed because they expect a grand gesture that doesn't come. Then if you do a grand gesture, you have to worry about next year and how you outdo what you just did this year.
What means so much more to me is when there is a romantic gesture done for no reason. It goes a lot further and leaves a big smile on my face. 
Romantic Tip: Do something special for your love for NO REASON! Don't wait for a birthday, or an anniversary. Those are just dates when you are expected to do something. Let them know their love is important to you every day, not just on a holiday. 

Now on to today's recipe. Time for a treat! My husbands two favorite things are caramel and shortbread. So I decided to put the two together for an extra special treat. These babies are so good. Make sure you have a lot of friends to share them with, or you may end up in a sugar coma!

Caramel Shortbread
Recipe adapted from Erica's Sweet Tooth

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
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Line an 8×8″ 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 until it has a damp sand consistency.

Add the flour and use your hands to combine the dough until you can start to form shapes with it. 
Transfer the dough into the prepared pan and press it down into one even layer.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use a fork to make little holes in the top of the chilled shortbread. This will help keep it from breaking and flaking apart. 
Bake for 25 minutes. 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.
Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and pour caramel over the shortbread.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, then cut into squares. 
Store caramels in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them.

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