Millionaire Shortbread with a Hit of Salt
Is Millionaire Shortbread a cookie or candy? It has the best of both worlds combining a buttery shortbread base, a chewy caramel center and a chocolate topping. It is one of those recipes I have been aware of for quite a while and it was high time we took it to the Test Kitchen and came up with a Bakepedia version. If you are comfortable making caramel, this will be simple. If not, just take your time and pay attention to the recipe details. Just don’t walk away from the stove and keep stirring! Some versions have more of a ganache like topping but we went with more of a firm chocolate candy topping so that they are less messy to eat. Not that it matters. One look at a platter of these and folks just want to get them into their mouths as soon as possible.
The flaky sea salt that I like to use for the top of these cookies is a flaked sea salt. I like to use Maldon and since I didn’t want to ask you to use two different kinds of salt in the recipe, I re-worked it to use the Maldon for all three components. Speaking of components, the filling does ask for Lyle’s Golden Syrup, which we just love around here. It has a gorgeous golden color and tastes like liquid toffee. Yes, you can substitute light corn syrup but the results will not – I repeat, will not – be the same.
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup, or light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
- 1, 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (full fat)
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate,
- 1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil
- Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Position rack in center of oven. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, with overhanging edges, and coat with nonstick spray; set pan aside.
- For the Crust: Whisk together the melted butter, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in flour just until combined. Pat into prepared pan in an even layer.
- Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or very light brown all over the crust. Place on rack to cool while you make filling.
- For the Filling: Begin to melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the sugar, syrup and salt, stirring to combine, then stir in sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a low boil (a hefty simmer) over medium heat. Do not walk away! Stir practically constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof silicone spatula, allowing it to bubble vigorously for about 5 minutes taking care with stirring, as it is prone to sticking and burning. Cook until the mixture is golden brown (see image) and very thick. You should be able to scrape the bottom of the pan and the mixture should be thick enough to allow you to see the bottom of the pan for a few seconds from where you swipe your spoon/spatula. Immediately pour over crust, which should be completely covered. Allow to cool completely.
- For the Topping: Melt chocolate and coconut oil in top of double boiler or in microwave. Stir until smooth. Pour over firm caramel and sprinkle with Maldon salt while chocolate is still wet. Allow topping to partially set - you can refrigerate to hasten this process, then score topping with knife. Allow to set completely. Pull up on overhanging parchment/foil and place bars on work surface. Peel down the parchment or foil and use a sharp knife to cut into small squares. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight container in single layers. Bring to room temperature before serving.