As we continue our journey through Divine Chocolate Cookbook: Heavenly Chocolate Recipes with a Heart, here’s a recipe for one of my most favorite desserts in the world: shortbread. I’m not quite sure what it is — the buttery, salty, flaky nature of this cookie / dough — or the fact that it’s just so good by itself. Add some chocolate and caramel to the equation, though, and you’ve got a recipe for a perfect holiday treat guaranteed to wow everyone at your table.
Now, before I share this recipe, I’m including a warning. If you’re a great baker, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re great at making all types of sweets. What do I mean? Well, let’s just say that making caramel — or anything having to do with custard, pudding or tempering eggs — is not really my strong suit. In fact, I’ve managed to ruin many a good intention by leaving something on the stove a minute or two too long. The caramel in this recipe is no different. Watch. It. Carefully. or you’ll end up with the hard crack variety, and no one wants to break a tooth at the holidays. Trust me — the fudge and shortbread layers will make it all worth the trouble!
It’s worth mentioning that, in typical TRB fashion, I made some adjustments to this recipe. For starters, I prefer pecans to almonds, so I substituted them. I also used 2 bars of Divine Chocolate for the topping. (One was simply not enough!) And, to give the topping a little “kick,” I added Godiva Caramel Liqueur. Ohhhhh yeahhhhh!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
14 oz. can condensed milk
(1) 3.5 oz. Divine Dark Chocolate bar
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup toasted almonds (TRB used 1/2 cup of pecans; walnuts would work well too!)
2 tbsp. Godiva Caramel Liqueur
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put all the ingredients for the shortbread base into a food processor and process until pea-sized lumps of dough form. (TRB actually did this by hand; you can break up the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until pea-sized lumps of dough form). Pour into a greased 8-inch square tin and lightly press down to spread evenly. Prick the tin all over with a fork and then bake for 20-25 minutes until it turns a pale, golden color. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
2. When the base is cold, make the filling. Melt the butter with the sugar in a heavy non-stick saucepan. Stir in the condensed milk and gently bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly for 5-10 minutes until the mixture turns a light caramel color. Pour the boiling caramel over the base and leave to set.
3. To finish, gently melt the chocolate, then stir in the butter, Godiva Caramel Liqueur and toasted nuts. Spread evenly over caramel layer and leave to set. Cut into squares with a sharp knife.
Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. (Not suitable for freezing).
Other “Divine” Holiday Treats you might enjoy:
Really Rich Cupcakes
Do you love shortbread? What did you think of this recipe? Post a comment below.