I guess you could say it’s been awhile since I posted anything on my blog…okay, it’s been at least 3 months. Truthfully, I haven’t exactly done anything terribly exciting that would be worth posting. The last trimester of my pregnancy has made it a little bit more difficult to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, not to mention my cravings still consist of cold cereal and pasta. I would be happy to post photos of my 18 boxes of cereal that sit in my cupboard if you really wanted me to! 🙂
I have two weeks left before Baby Girl makes her way into the world and we could not be more excited. The past week or so I have gone into full nesting mode, making me a little more motivated to cook and bake. My mom and I bake Christmas cookies every year and this year we tried 3 new recipes instead of old ones. Gasp! That’s right, we tried NEW things! And they were delicious. These sea salt caramel shortbread bites are amazing…I originally found a recipe on a blog, but the caramel recipe didn’t set correctly, and it turns out she had us cooking the caramel 15 degrees less than my mom’s recipe. So, I decided to redo the recipe using my mom’s caramel recipe and a couple tweaks to the shortbread and it turned out perfectly. These make great hostess gifts or a sweet and salty addition to any dessert table.
For the Shortbread
- 10 Tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temperature (1 stick and 2 additional tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 2/3 cups of flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare an 8×8 glass baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. Leave enough parchment paper hanging over the edge so that the shortbread caramel bites are easy to remove. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can also grease the dish, but the caramel is more likely to stick.
- In a large bowl or standing mixer, combine butter, sugar and salt together until well combined. Add in the egg yolk and continue mixing.
- Add in the flour and mix using a fork or standing mixer with a paddle attachment until a coarse crumb develops. Press the mixture into the baking dish and refrigerate for 25 minutes.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Edges will be a slight golden brown. Set aside to cool.
For the Caramel
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1 cup half and half
- ¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
- Combine ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Boil, stirring constantly until it reaches 240 degrees on candy thermometer. Immediately remove from heat and pour directly on top of the shortbread.
- 5-10 minutes after you have poured the caramel layer on the shortbread, sprinkle the top of the caramel with sea salt.
- Allow to set in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours until set