Million Dollar Shortbread
I used to call them caramel and chocolate shortbread but someone once told me that Million Dollar Shortbread is what her family called these decadent little squares. I’ve also referred to them as homemade Twix™, although no one has ever declared war between the left side and the right side of the pan as they are equally as good*
Tip: do not make too long in advance as the caramel tends to harden over time (the cookie base will absorb a lot of the moisture). Although they are very easy to make and each pan yields a large number of squares, I do not recommend freezing these. They keep well (and taste much better) at room temperature but I do recommend refrigeration for longer storage.
*a bit of humour inspired by the very lame Twix™ television commercial
What you need:
¾ cup butter at room temperature
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 cups flour
½ cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 can sweet condensed milk (14 oz)
Chocolate Layer (ganache)
1 ½ cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp corn syrup*
4 tbsp heavy cream such as whipping cream
*if you prefer to avoid corn syrup, you can substitute with a thick liquid sweetener such as Lyle’s golden syrup, brown rice syrup, barley malt syrup or maple syrup
How to make it
Heat oven at 325°
- Grease 9X13 pan and line with parchment paper extending over long edges for handles. There are a few pitcures below that show an easy way to line a pan with parchement paper
- In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy.
- Stir in flour in 2 additions. Press evenly into prepared pan, but not too firmly. Bake for 30 minutes until barely golden at the edges and let cool in pan
- While the crust is cooling, melt the butter in a medium pot that has a heavy bottom, then add the brown sugar. Stir together a few minutes until well blended
- Add the sweet condensed milk, stir to mix well and keep on stirring until the mixtures starts to boil slightly. Stop the cooking process as soon as the mixture reaches the boiling point. Pour over crust immediately and spread evenly.
- Let cool for a bit
- Mix together chocolate, butter, corn syrup and cream in a heavy pan over medium low heat*.
- Stir until just melted to smooth (not hot).
- Pour and spread evenly over caramel.
- Using a toothpick, the tip of a knife or a bamboo skewer, score the chocolate layer in the number of pieces you would like to end up with. Scoring while the chocolate is still warm will help make nice, clean and even squares when the time comes to slice. Since these morsels are rich and sweet, I like to score into small bite sizes: 6 lines on the length and 8 lines on the width for a total of 48 pieces. Not bad for about 45 minutes worth of work!
- Refrigerate until the chocolate has set firmly, best is overnight or at least 6 hours. Tucking at the parchment paper, remove from pan and using a sharp warm knife (not wet), cut squares following the scored line.
*You can also melt the ganache in a microwave. Using a Pyrex dish, set at 60 seconds. Stir well to combine. If the chocolate is not completely melted, process in microwave in 30 second increments. Remember: the chocolate should be just melted, do not over heat.
They are hugely popular as Christmas gifts and at Bake Sales.