A winning combination, swirled like marble: good chocolate, caramel and a hint of salt.
Salt Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread
Make ahead: The dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. The caramel needs to set on the baked shortbread for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight. The finished shortbread can be stored between layers of wax paper in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Adapted from “The Picnic Cookbook,” by Annie Bell (Kyle, 2013).
For the shortbread:
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 1/2 cups plus 2 table spoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping:
7 tablespoons (from 1 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1 tablespoon Lyle’s Golden Syrup (may substitute dark corn syrup)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons homemade or store- bought dulce de leche (from one 13.4-ounce can)
1/8 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (60 to 70 percent cacao)
2 ounces white chocolate, broken into pieces
For the shortbread: Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking oil spray, then line with parchment paper so the paper hangs over two sides (for easy lifting).
Combine the butter, sugar, flour and vanilla extract in a food processor. Pulse to form a dough that holds together. Transfer to the pan and press the dough into the bottom; feel free to lay a piece of plastic wrap over the dough for this step. Use a fork to prick the dough. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Bake the shortbread dough, straight from the refrigerator, for 40 to 45 minutes; it should just be starting to brown. Cool in the pan.
Meanwhile, make the topping: Combine the butter, sugar, syrup, dulce de leche and salt in a small nonstick saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is melted and blended. Reduce the heat to low; cook for 8 or 9 minutes, stirring often, to form a caramel; when it’s ready, it will be darkened in color with a thinner, pourable consistency.
Pour the caramel directly over the center of the shortbread base; it will spread by itself. You don’t want to work it into the corners. Leave it undisturbed for at least 1 hour to set.
Heat a few inches of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Place the bittersweet chocolate chips in a bowl that fits over the saucepan. Once the chocolate has melted and can be stirred smooth, pour it over the set caramel. Use a bamboo skewer or cake tester to create swirl patterns in the chocolate.
Repeat the melting and swirling with the white chocolate. If either chocolate begins to firm up prematurely, transfer to a low-temperature oven just until softened.
Cool until the chocolate is set yet slightly soft. Use the parchment paper to lift and transfer the shortbread to a cutting board. A serrated knife works best for cutting into 16 or 32 squares. Allow the chocolate to set completely before serving or storing.
Per cookie (based on 32): 190 calories, 2g protein, 21g carbohydrates, 12g fat, 8g saturated fat, 25mg cholesterol, 40mg sodium, no dietary fiber, 15g sugar
As crisp as crackers, these have a nice toffee flavor and are great for dunking.
Chocolate Chip Heath Crunch Strips
Make ahead: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Adapted from “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer: All the Good Cookies,” by Gretchen Holt-Witt (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013).
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/3 cups (8 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup Heath English Toffee Bits
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on low, then medium speed for about 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Stop to scrape down the bowl.
On low speed, add the egg, then the egg yolk, then the vanilla, beating to incorporate after each addition. Stop to scrape down the bowl.
On low speed, gradually add the flour, baking powder and salt, beating to form a dough. Stir in the chocolate chips and Heath bits by hand until well distributed.
Lay a sheet of wax paper on the counter and lightly dust it with flour. Divide the dough into four equal parts; wrap two of the dough sections in the wax paper and refrigerate until ready to use.
Roll one of the remaining sections of dough into an 8-inch square and place it on one of the baking sheets. Repeat with the second section of dough, placing it on the second baking sheet. Bake on the upper and lower racks for 7 to 8 minutes, then rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, until browned and crisp.
While the two baked squares are hot, cut each one in half, then cut each half into eight 1-inch-wide slices. Cool on the sheets completely before serving or storing.
Repeat the rolling, baking and cutting steps with the remaining dough sections from the refrigerator. Makes 64 cookies.
Per cookie: 70 calories, no protein, 8g carbohydrates, 4g fat, 3g saturated fat, 15mg cholesterol, 25mg sodium, no dietary fiber, 6g sugar