We all get in a rut sometimes with our cooking or baking, and sometimes all it takes is an hour scrolling through Pinterest or IG to find exactly what you need to add some more excitement to the routine.
People who don’t know me well assume I have a huge sweet tooth since I bake so much.
Actually, I love to bake but rarely do I eat more than a half portion–or sometimes no more than a bite!– of whatever’s coming out of my oven.
I love the process of baking and the joy I get in the sharing, but I don’t usually crave sweets.
But if that sweet thing coming out of my kitchen rides that sweet and salty rollercoaster, than watch out.
Salted caramel is my jam and so when I saw a salted caramel shortbread recipe on Pinterest, I knew I’d have to give it a try.
At first glance, these cookies are very similar to my Salted Caramel Bars
but these cookies have a higher caramel-to-cookie ratio and they’re so pretty and simple.
(The caramel-to-cookie ratio is important for us salt hounds as let’s be honest; the cookie is mostly a delivery system here for that salted caramel).
If you have a little bit of cream in the fridge and some of those caramels left over from Halloween, chances are you can whip them up with what you have on hand.
Just start with the very rich shortbread dough. I had a number of people I wanted to give cookies so I doubled the recipe, and so I used one pound of butter.
Just a few minutes in my KitchenAid and the dough looked like this.
I rolled it out to look like this (smooth and evenly thick).
Now the recipe doesn’t call for this, but I like to chill the cut out shapes a little bit longer so they don’t spread while cooking (either in the fridge for 30 minutes or the freezer for 5-10). This extra step added to the cooking time but the edges were that much more defined after baking and they ended up the exact same size as they were going into the oven.
While the cookies are cooling
get your caramel ready.
Now, if I didn’t already have those wrapped caramels sitting around from Halloween, I’d have made a homemade caramel (so easy to do) but if you’re shy on time or energy, a really good jar of caramel would work here, too.
Only thing you mustn’t do is to skimp on the salt atop.
I tried both salts but I found the Maldon preferable because they are gorgeous crystals and they provide a really nice crunch.
Make these cookies. Today.
They are sublimely simple to make and give you (and any lucky recipient) inexpressible joy.
Not just that, one (or let’s be honest, a couple of these) alongside your morning joe
is guaranteed to start your morning right.
Happy Weekend, all.
- Shortbread Cookie
- 8 oz. (2 sticks) softened butter
- ½ C. powdered sugar
- 2 C. all-purpose flour
- Salted Caramel Topping
- 8 oz. caramels, unwrapped if necessary
- ⅛ C. heavy cream
- pinch coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
- Mix the butter and powdered sugar together until smooth and creamy (and scrape down sides in the process).
- Add the flour one cup at a time until a dough is formed (dumping it all in at once will make your life a lot more difficult).
- Shape the dough into a large ball. Dust your countertop with powdered sugar. Roll the dough about ¼ inch (if you want your cookies thicker, remember to compensate your cooking time). *
- Use a cookie cutter of your choice and carefully lift onto baking sheet (author recommends rounds on your first attempt as shapes tend to crumble).
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are just golden around the edges. Cool on a wire rack.
- If making caramel sauce with purchased caramels, combine those and heavy cream in a small saucepan over a low heat.
- Immediately top your cooled cookies with caramel using a knife or off-set spatula.
- Sprinkle sea salt over caramel.
- * I like to chill dough for a few minutes both after making the dough and cutting it into shapes so that it retains its shape and crisp edges -- adjust prep time and cook time appropriately