Makes 40 cookies
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Millionaire’s shortbread is a fittingname for this impressively rich British cookie, which consists of a buttery shortbread base topped with a caramel-like layer, which is in turn topped with a layer of shiny chocolate. It’s a beautiful holiday gift —as long as the top chocolate layer maintains an attractive tempered sheen and snap. For the crunchy shortbread base layer, we simply whisked together flour, sugar, and salt and stirred in melted butter, then baked the dough until it was golden brown. The caramel portion of this cookie is unique, as it’s based on sweetened condensed milk, which gives it a luxurious creaminess. However, we found that the whey proteins in the condensed milk sometimes caused the caramel sauce to break. Adding fresh cream solved the problem, as its proteins haven’t been damaged by processing. For the all-important top chocolate layer, our tempering method resulted in a glossy, snappy blanket of chocolate on our gift-worthy shortbread. For the right texture for the caramel filling, monitor the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. We prefer Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Premium Baking Bars here.
2½ cups (12½ ounces) all-purpose flour ½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar ¾ teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup packed (7 ounces) brown sugar
- cup heavy cream
- cup corn syrup
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon table salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (6 ounces chopped fine,
2 ounces grated)
1 For the crustAdjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heatoven to 350 degrees. Make foil sling for 13 by 9-inch baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil; first sheet should be 13 inches wide and second sheet should be 9 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan.
2 Combine flour, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Add melted butterand stir with rubber spatula until flour is evenly moistened. Crumble dough evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Using your fingertips and palm of your hand, press and smooth dough into even thickness. Using fork, pierce dough at 1-inch intervals. Bake until light golden brown and firm to touch, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack. Using sturdy metal spatula, press on entire surface of warm crust to compress (this will make finished bars easier to cut). Let crust cool until it is just warm, at least 20 minutes.
3 For the fillingStir all ingredients together in large, heavy-bottomedsaucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture registers between 236 and 239 degrees (temperature will fluctuate), 16 to 20 minutes.
4 Pour over crust and spread to even thickness (mixture will be veryhot). Let cool completely, about 1½ hours.
5 For the chocolateMicrowave chopped chocolate in bowl at 50percent power, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted but not much warmer than body temperature (check by holding bowl in palm of your hand), 1 to 2 minutes (chocolate should still be slightly lumpy). Stir in grated chocolate until melted and smooth, returning chocolate to microwave for no more than 5 seconds at a time, if needed, to complete melting. Spread chocolate evenly over surface of filling. Refrigerate shortbread until chocolate is just set, about 10 minutes.
6 Using foil overhang, lift shortbread out of pan and transfer to cuttingboard; discard foil. Using serrated knife and gentle sawing motion, cut shortbread in half crosswise to create two 6½ by 9-inch rectangles.
Cut each rectangle in half to make four 3¼ by 9-inch strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 10 equal pieces, and serve. (Shortbread can be stored at room temperature, between layers of parchment, for up to 1 week.)