Salted Millionaires Shortbread

I wish I had grown up on these, they are a cross between a Twix bar and a cookie, what’s not to love, a shortbread layer, covered by a caramel layer topped with chocolate and a scattering of salt that takes this childhood treat and elevates it.

*Sadly I wouldn’t attempt to replace the butter or other dairy products here, this is a recipe that shows off its butter, and the better your butter, the better this treat will taste.

**Though you can make this recipe without the use of a sugar thermometer, it is far easier to work with one.

For Shortbread layer:

  • 250g (2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 180g (just under 13 tablespoons) butter, cold and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 75g (6 tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon table salt

For Caramel layer:

  • 1 can (400g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 200g (1 cup) dark brown sugar
  • 115g (8 tablespoons) butter, cut into small cubes
  • 170g (½ cup) golden syrup
  • 120ml (½ cup) double (heavy) cream
  • ½ teaspoon table salt

For Chocolate layer:

  • 200g (8 ounces) plain (bittersweet) chocolate, broken up into small pieces
  • ¼ -½ teaspoon flakey sea salt

To make the shortbread:

Heat oven to 180℃ (375℉).

Line a 20x30cm (9×13 inch) pan with two layers of aluminum foil, that you have placed perpendicular to each other, with a substantial overhang of aluminum foil on each side. Spray or grease the aluminum foil well with oil and be sure to press into the corners as well. Set aside.

In a bowl place the flour, sugar, and salt mix together, add the cold butter cubes, and rub the butter in until you have a wet sand consistency and butter pieces are smaller than pea-sized. Add a tablespoon of ice-cold water for the shortbread mix to come together. You are after a consistency that doesn’t crumble apart easily when mushed together. If it crumbles too easily add a teaspoon of ice water at a time until you have the consistency of crumbly playdough.

Press the dough into the prepared tin and level off, make sure to press into the corners as well, prick all over with a fork.

Bake until pale gold and set, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and using the bottom of a flat spatula, press the shortbread down to condense it, this will help it from crumbling too much when you cut the shortbread at the end.

To make the caramel:

Combine the condensed milk, sugar, butter, golden syrup, cream, and salt in a heavy bottom saucepan. Over medium heat, melt the ingredients. Clip-on a sugar thermometer and boil the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches 112-116℃ (236-240℉), this will take between 15-20 minutes. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, you are looking for a caramel that is deep amber and can hold its shape on the top of a spatula and doesn’t just runoff.

Pour the caramel over the cooked shortbread, and tilt the pan to ensure that the caramel reaches the corners of the pan. Allow to cool to room temperature (but not beyond, as you want the chocolate to adhere to the caramel) between 1 to 1½ hours.

For chocolate layer;

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20-second blasts, removing the chocolate and giving it a stir between blasts, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Alternatively, place the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stir the chocolate until melted.

Pour the chocolate over the set caramel, use an offset spatula to ensure that the chocolate covers the whole surface of the caramel. Sprinkle with flakey sea salt.

Allow to set in the fridge for about 10 minutes, until the chocolate is set but not hard. Slice into finger-shaped bars.

The millionaires’ shortbread fingers will keep for a week at room temperature in an airtight container, between layers of baking paper.