March 21, 2012

Nobody likes a square. Unless it involves caramel and chocolate.

Which is exactly why you should make these. Because they are shortbread caramel chocolate squares for god sake. But more importantly, I heard they are popular all over Britain. And who doesn't want to eat what British peeps eat? They probably eat these with their afternoon tea. While dressed all proper and shit.

Last summer my roommate and I went to a random barbecue at a friend's of a friend's of a friend's house. In short, we knew no one. On that particular afternoon, said roommate decided she wanted to talk in a British accent. I mean, why not? We are just at this party with people we don't know. Trying to fit in...and make friends. British accent it is! But as the night wore on it, it turned into a sloppy rendition (booze may have been involved). Then it just turned into one line. Over and over again. "I feel 'eaps beh' a now!" Translation: "I feel heaps better now." Translation: "This statement has nothing to do with anything and I'm just super hammered."

This turned into her permanent response for all interactions during the remainder of the night.

"Where do you guys live?"
"I feel 'eaps beh' a now!"

"What are you up to later?"
"I feel 'eaps beh' a now!"

"Do you want another beer?"
"I feel 'eaps beh' a now!"

Surprisingly, we didn't make many friends that day. Not sure why. Jury is still out on that one.

Moral of the story: Feel free to make these so you can sound like you're from Britain LON DON.

The bottom layer of shortbread is dense and buttery. The middle is HOMEMADE caramel <----super impressive.
I got a tad crazy with the caramel, though. I felt it necessary to double the amount, because I live on the edge like that. You know when people say, "oh em gee this cake is soooo rich, I can't eat the rest!" Yeah that literally makes zero sense to me. I've never had that problem in my life. I'm not sure if that's really cool or really unfortunate, considering I can inhale large quantities of molton chocolate cake topped with ganache frosting and maybe even peanut butter without a second thought. Ok yeah it's unfortunate. 

For the sake of this recipe, and so you all don't go into a sugar coma, I left the amount of caramel the same as the original recipe. I did double the amount of shortbread though, because 1) it's magical, and 2) it won't get crunchy aka gross when baked.

Shortbread Caramel Squares
Adapted from
Makes 25 squares

For the Shortbread:
7 ounces butter
6 tablespoons sugar
2 ounces cornflour, sifted
6 ounces plain flour, sifted

For the Caramel Filling:
4 1/2 ounces butter
3 ounces brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

For the Chocolate Topping:
8 ounces chocolate, melted (I used semi-sweet. Dark chocolate would be good too)

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. To make the base, place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
3. Mix in the cornflour and plain flour, turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly.
4. Press into a greased and lined 7'' x 11'' shallow cake tin and bake for 25 minutes or until firm.
5. To make the filling, place the butter, brown sugar, and honey in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar melts and the ingredients are combined.
6. Bring to a boil and simmer for 7 minutes.
7. Beat in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla essence.
8. Pour the filling over the base and bake for 20 minutes longer.
9. Set aside to cool completely.
10. Spread the melted chocolate over the filling and set aside until firm, then cut into squares.
11. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

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