Monday, March 7, 2016

Millionaire Shortbread

 As I was searching for Irish recipes for St. Patrick's Day, I found a recipe called Irish Toffee Shortbread. It sounded great and looked delicious so I figured I'd give it a go. Then, after making it, I wondered "What exactly makes this dish Irish?" Is it the toffee? Well, no. One could argue that that is a British thing. Is it the shortbread? Nope. It's not that either. That's a definitely a Scottish thing.
 So I texted my sister in law, Claire (who just happens to be from the UK), and I asked her what makes this dish Irish. She said there is absolutely NOTHING Irish about it, and that it's usually called Millionaire Shortbread, also known as Caramel Shortbread. Well ok then! I guess it could be an Irish dish if you were to use Kerry Gold Irish butter, but other than that, not so much.
 So, even though it's not an Irish thing, I decided to post it anyway, simply because it's just too good to keep to myself! They're sweet, chewy, gooey, and buttery, and I love everything about them. They're absolutely delicious! I say make them anyway for St Patrick's Day. If you want it to be Irish, put a shamrock on it and call it a day. LOL! They won't last long anyway, so it won't even matter!

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream together the softened butter and sugar. Stir in the flour, mixing well. Press the batter into a nine inch square pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Let the shortbread cool.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, condensed milk, and corn syrup, and bring the mixture to a boil. 
Cook for five minutes, stirring continually. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. 
Pour the toffee over the cooled shortbread.

1 six ounce bag of chocolate chips
Melt the chocolate chips in a double broiler or in the microwave. Pour over the cooled toffee shortbread. Allow the chocolate to set and cut into squares.

The key to this recipe is to make sure you cool each layer before adding the next. Then once you have it completely assembled, let it chill for a couple hours before cutting into squares. Better yet, save time and make it the day before! The caramel will set up beautifully.
This is another perfect opportunity to line the baking pan with parchment paper and let it hang over the sides. Then you can use the paper as a sling to lift the entire batch out of the chilled pan before using a big sharp knife to cut into perfect squares.

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