Caramel Squares

Desserts | December 11, 2014 | By

Caramel Squares 2

12daysofcookies

Day 6: Caramel Squares

Caramel squares have been served during the holidays in my family for as long as I can remember. This recipe was passed down several generations, stemming from my Scottish great grandmother. I’m pretty sure the name “caramel squares” was invented by my mom when we were kids, as she liked to simplify names of things for us into what they actually were. (This name change wasn’t as bad as soda being called “bad soda” and cereals other than Cheerio’s being called “sugar cereals” in my household. You can only imagine how kindergarten went when I asked if I could have a “bad soda” at a friend’s house. Thanks Mom, brainwashed).

The actual name for these cookie bars is Millionaire’s Shortbread, which I learned while in the UK when I found them at a bakery and excitedly called my mom to tell her that the UK sold her famous caramel squares. I always thought they were just a family recipe, but even Starbucks in London serves millionaire’s shortbread. Turns out the UK has been feasting on these treats all along. However, none I sampled were as good as our family recipe.

These have always been my mom’s signature dessert, requested for any pot luck, holiday party or gathering. Growing up, everyone knew about Mrs. D’s caramel squares. They make great finger food, and they’re very rich so all you need is one little bite. The layers include a shortbread base, homemade caramel center and dark chocolate topping. They will easily impress your guests, but aren’t terribly hard to make.

Bon Appétit!

Caramel Squares 1

Caramel Squares

Shortbread Base:
4 oz unsalted butter
2 T granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unbleached flour
Directions:
Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Mix in flour and salt, creaming until a soft dough forms.  Press dough into the bottom of a 9″ square pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.
Caramel Filling:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4.5 oz unsalted butter
4 oz granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 T Lyle’s Golden Syrup
Directions:
Place all ingredients in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat.  Bring to a soft bubbling boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to low, and continue to stir while mixture is bubbling for 5 minutes. Pour over baked crust.  Let cool.
Topping:
6 oz good quality chocolate, melted.
Directions:
Pour over top of cooled caramel.  When set, score lines in top of chocolate to make 1″ squares. Cut and serve.

Caramel Squares 3   Caramel Squares 5Caramel Squares 4

 Caramel Squares 6Caramel Squares

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