Friday, December 07, 2012
Salted Caramel Shortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
3 sticks butter (3/4 pound), unsalted, room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
First, make the caramel. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pour the milk into a pie plate, stir in 1/4 teaspooon kosher salt, and cover it tightly with foil. Put the pie plate in a big roasting pan, and fill it halfway up the pie plate with hot water. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, adding more water if necessary. Let cool, then whisk until smooth.
Meanwhile, make the cookies.Set the oven at 350 degrees. The butter has to be room temp for this to work well, so what I did was set the butter out first thing in the morning, make the caramel, then about 15 minutes before that was done, I made the cookies.
Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer. Add the vanilla. Mix the salt with the flour, then add the dry ingredients a little at a time and mix until the dough comes together. I formed the dough into square logs (though you can make it into a plate shape and roll it out; I just hate doing cut-out cookies). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Slice or cut the dough into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick cookies (mine were like 1/3 an inch). They don't spread much, so you can get quite a few on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with reserved sugar. Bake for 20-24 minutes, switching the cookie sheets halfway through to get even cooking. Keep an eye on them because they go from perfect to burned fast.
Put wax paper under your cooling rack. Remove cookies from the oven, place on the cooling racks. Heat the caramel for 30 seconds in the microwave, then put it in a Ziploc bag and snip one end (to make a homemade pastry bag). Drizzle cookies with caramel, then sprinkle with kosher salt.
Eat. Repeat ;-)