A sprinkling of sea salt really brings out the chocolate caramel flavor in these tempting Smoked Almond Chocolate Shortbread cookies. All photography courtesy America’s Dairy Farmers.
Butter Cookie Recipes
Page 6: Smoked Almond Chocolate Shortbread
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A rich, buttery crust is topped with almonds,
a dense, fudge-like chocolate and a
sprinkling of sea salt. Gift-wrap tip: Consider packaging your
gifts in a simple wooden
box with a festive bow tied
around it. Visit your local
craft store for interesting
containers to help you
break free of the typical
cardboard variety. Recipe yields 2 dozen bars.
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) smoked
(or roasted) almonds
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 10 tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) butter,
softened (plus additional for pan)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Chocolate Caramel Ingredients
- 11 ounces (about 2 cups) milk
chocolate, chopped or chips
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sea salt or smoked salt
- For shortbread, preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9x9-inch pan with parchment paper or foil; butter
the interior of the paper or foil.
- Grind smoked almonds in food processor until
the consistency of coarse corn meal. In medium bowl, whisk together ground
almonds, flour, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
- In large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and almond extract with electric mixer
until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture in two batches mixing until crumbly, but
sticky dough forms. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until
golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack.
- For chocolate caramel, place chocolate in medium glass or stainless steel bowl; set aside.
- In medium
saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook mixture over medium
heat 10 to 12 minutes, until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat.
- Add butter, cream and salt. Return to heat and simmer over
medium heat, stirring until smooth. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour mixture over
chocolate; let stand 2 minutes. Stir until smooth; let stand to cool slightly, about
- Pour mixture over shortbread. Allow to cool about 30 minutes and
then refrigerate overnight or at least 5 hours. Sprinkle with sea salt or smoked salt, if desired.
- To cut, run a knife around edges
of pan to loosen the parchment or foil; carefully lift the paper out of pan. Cut
bars with knife dipped in hot water and remove paper or foil. Store bars in
airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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