Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars


 
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
https://www.phaidon.com/store/food-cook/simple-and-classic-9780714878119/
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread

Hi hi! I’ve been wanting to share a caramel slice recipe on here for the longest time! Caramel slice was a classic bakery treat I grew up eating (we call a ‘bar’ a slice in New Zealand), and they are an absolute favourite of mine. They are essentially a baked shortbread base, which then has a salted caramel mixture poured over it, followed by a dark chocolate ganache topping, and, if you like, a heavy sprinkling of salt. I love to get them out when I am at a bakery, but they are also super easy to make at home, and make the perfect sweet treat. From a quick google, it seems as if this is called a bunch of things - salted caramel shortbread, millionaire’s shortbread, caramel slice, etc. They all seem to be iterations of the same recipe, but all super delicious.

This version comes from a beautiful new book I was sent by the lovely folks at Phaidon - it is the newest from Jane Hornby, called ‘Simple and Classic - 123 Step by Step recipes’. The idea behind it is super clever - it is jam packed with recipes, ranging from sweet to savoury, all with step by step photos accompanying each recipe. So often in cook books there will only be one hero image of each recipe, so it is amazing to see not only step by step photos of each part of the recipe, but also broken down ingredient shots. This book would be perfect for a visual learner, or for someone who is beginning to cook and needs a little more guidance in terms of breaking down the recipe steps. I have my eye on a bunch more recipes, and have already sent one to a friend as a gift!

This recipe is super simple, but tastes anything but. It starts with a baked shortbread dough, which is baked until golden brown in the oven. Once it is slightly cooled, a thick layer of salted caramel is poured on, and left to set. The whole thing is then finished off with a layer of dark chocolate, and loaded up with flaky sea salt. A little goes a long way with this, but once you start snacking on it, you somehow find it disappearing much faster than you thought it would. The best.

A few wee tips:

  • This looks a little complicated, but I promise that it is not - each component is super simple.

  • I left my caramel to cool overnight, but you can probably just leave it for a few hours if you need - it does hold onto heat for longer than you think!

  • I wanted the top of my slice to have some texture in the chocolate, so I poured the chocolate on, then popped it in the fridge for about 10 minutes, then used an offset spatula to swirl up the chocolate, then left it to set completely.

  • According to Jane, to make this traditional Millionaire’s shortbread, you can add only a pinch of salt in the filling, and leave it out from the top, and then use semisweet chocolate on the top (about 30% milk solids)

 

 

Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars

- Makes about 12 large pieces, or 24 smaller pieces -

Recipe reprinted with permission from ‘Simple and Classic’ by Jane Hornby

Crust
110g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
50g superfine (caster) sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
140g all-purpose flour

Salted Caramel
110g unsalted butter
200g dark brown sugar
80g golden syrup or corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 400g (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk

Chocolate topping
200g bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
1 Tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
1/2 tsp salt

Flaky sea salt, for topping

 

- PROCESS -

SHORTBREAD BASE

Lightly grease an 8” (20cm) shallow square baking pan, then line with parchment paper. Put the butter into a large bowl and beat well with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until creamy and pale. Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat again until even paler.

Sift the flour over the creamed butter and sugar. Using a spatula, gently work the flour into the mixture to make an even dough that starts to clump together.

Press the dough into the prepared pan, then level and smooth it with the back of a spoon. Prick it all over with a fork, then chill for 10 minutes, or longer if you like, until firm. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°f /160°c.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the shortbread is golden all over. Let cool completely.

CARAMEL

Melt the butter, sugar, syrup, and salt together gently in a saucepan, then stir in the condensed milk.

Bring the caramel to a simmer, stirring constantly with a spatula, and let it bubble for 4 minutes, or until it thickens and smells like creamy toffee. It should be thick enough for the spatula to leave a trail in the caramel for a few seconds. Don’t leave the pan or stop stirring during this step, because it can easily burn on the bottom.

Pour the caramel over the shortbread, then let it cool completely.

CHOCOLATE TOPPING

Melt the chocolate either over a saucepan of water or in the microwave. Stir in the oil, then pour this over the caramel. Sprinkle with the salt and let set at room temperature, or in the fridge if it is a hot day. The oil helps stop the chocolate setting too hard, which can make it difficult to cut.

When the chocolate is just set, mark it into squares, then chill until completely firm.

Cut into cubes to serve. For a really clean finish, wipe the blade of your knife with a slightly damp cloth between each slice. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread

Simple and Classic is copyright Phaidon Press Limited, and was written by Jane Hornby and published in 2019

The Ultimate Vanilla Bean Christmas Treat Box


 
The Ultimate Vanilla Bean Christmas Box. All of the christmas treats for your recipe planning for this upcoming holiday season! Chocolate Shortbread cookies with Vanilla bean Dulce de Leche filling, vanilla bean meringues, vanilla bean macarons, Vanilla bean shortbread, vanilla bean passionfruit fudge, vanilla bean salted caramel nut mix, and vanilla bean marshmallows. The perfect treat box for christmas!
The Ultimate Vanilla Bean Christmas Box. All of the christmas treats for your recipe planning for this upcoming holiday season! Chocolate Shortbread cookies with Vanilla bean Dulce de Leche filling, vanilla bean meringues, vanilla bean macarons, Vanilla bean shortbread, vanilla bean passionfruit fudge, vanilla bean salted caramel nut mix, and vanilla bean marshmallows. The perfect treat box for christmas!
The Ultimate Vanilla Bean Christmas Box. All of the christmas treats for your recipe planning for this upcoming holiday season! Chocolate Shortbread cookies with Vanilla bean Dulce de Leche filling, vanilla bean meringues, vanilla bean macarons, Vanilla bean shortbread, vanilla bean passionfruit fudge, vanilla bean salted caramel nut mix, and vanilla bean marshmallows. The perfect treat box for christmas!
The Ultimate Vanilla Bean Christmas Box. All of the christmas treats for your recipe planning for this upcoming holiday season! Chocolate Shortbread cookies with Vanilla bean Dulce de Leche filling, vanilla bean meringues, vanilla bean macarons, Vanilla bean shortbread, vanilla bean passionfruit fudge, vanilla bean salted caramel nut mix, and vanilla bean marshmallows. The perfect treat box for christmas!
The Ultimate Vanilla Bean Christmas Box. All of the christmas treats for your recipe planning for this upcoming holiday season! Chocolate Shortbread cookies with Vanilla bean Dulce de Leche filling, vanilla bean meringues, vanilla bean macarons, Vanilla bean shortbread, vanilla bean passionfruit fudge, vanilla bean salted caramel nut mix, and vanilla bean marshmallows. The perfect treat box for christmas!
The Ultimate Vanilla Bean Christmas Box. All of the christmas treats for your recipe planning for this upcoming holiday season! Chocolate Shortbread cookies with Vanilla bean Dulce de Leche filling, vanilla bean meringues, vanilla bean macarons, Vanilla bean shortbread, vanilla bean passionfruit fudge, vanilla bean salted caramel nut mix, and vanilla bean marshmallows. The perfect treat box for christmas!
The Ultimate Vanilla Bean Christmas Box. All of the christmas treats for your recipe planning for this upcoming holiday season! Chocolate Shortbread cookies with Vanilla bean Dulce de Leche filling, vanilla bean meringues, vanilla bean macarons, Vanilla bean shortbread, vanilla bean passionfruit fudge, vanilla bean salted caramel nut mix, and vanilla bean marshmallows. The perfect treat box for christmas!
The Ultimate Vanilla Bean Christmas Box. All of the christmas treats for your recipe planning for this upcoming holiday season! Chocolate Shortbread cookies with Vanilla bean Dulce de Leche filling, vanilla bean meringues, vanilla bean macarons, Vanilla bean shortbread, vanilla bean passionfruit fudge, vanilla bean salted caramel nut mix, and vanilla bean marshmallows. The perfect treat box for christmas!
The Ultimate Vanilla Bean Christmas Box. All of the christmas treats for your recipe planning for this upcoming holiday season! Chocolate Shortbread cookies with Vanilla bean Dulce de Leche filling, vanilla bean meringues, vanilla bean macarons, Vanilla bean shortbread, vanilla bean passionfruit fudge, vanilla bean salted caramel nut mix, and vanilla bean marshmallows. The perfect treat box for christmas!
The Ultimate Vanilla Bean Christmas Box. All of the christmas treats for your recipe planning for this upcoming holiday season! Chocolate Shortbread cookies with Vanilla bean Dulce de Leche filling, vanilla bean meringues, vanilla bean macarons, Vanilla bean shortbread, vanilla bean passionfruit fudge, vanilla bean salted caramel nut mix, and vanilla bean marshmallows. The perfect treat box for christmas!

It’s finally (but suddenly already) December, which means it is time for the best part of Christmas - Holiday Cookie Boxes! I’m totally hooked on making these after last year’s one, so was super super excited when Heilala Vanilla asked me to come up with a Christmas treat recipe. I couldn’t help myself and went all out with this vanilla inspired cookie box.

I’ve spoken about Heilala in the past and how much I love not only their products, but the people behind the company and what they stand for, and I couldn’t be prouder to work with them. Not only do they control the production of the Vanilla from cultivation to processing, but they are doing amazing things in Tonga in terms of injecting money into the economy and increasing employment opportunities for Women. The company is New Zealand owned, and run by amazing people who are so passionate about what they do and giving back. Their vanilla truly is the best I have ever used, and I almost can’t bake without it.

I wanted to focus a little more on the treats that are made around Christmas this time around, rather than cookies. In New Zealand, it is hot at Christmas time, so we don’t have the same cozy baking traditions I have come to learn are common over here - everyone is too busy staying cool and spending time at the beach. What we do usually have though, is lots of little yummy bits and pieces to snack on or to bring out when guests come - things that you can make a lot of ahead, and keep in a couple of airtight containers to bring out when needed (that’s what happens in my family anyway).

I started out with a tradition in my family - my Great Great Grandmother’s Shortbread recipe. This was one of the first things I ever learnt to bake with my Grandma, and was always around at Christmas, so I knew it had to be included. They are super simple to make, and the recipe can easily be doubled, so are perfect for times when you will have a lot of people around. I also added my favourite chocolate shortbread cookie, which was sandwiched with a vanilla bean dulce de leche filling. These cookies also make a great roll-out cookie for decorating with royal icing, and are a nice twist on the standard sugar cookie.

Macarons had to make an appearance, so I stuck with a Vanilla Bean macaron with a Vanilla Bean Swiss meringue buttercream. I added some vanilla bean meringues to the lineup - they are super easy to make, and you can pipe out a bunch of different sizes to use as part of desserts through the holiday season too. I then made a quick batch of vanilla bean marshmallows, using honey and Heilala’s Vanilla sugar. These can also be batch made (you can double the recipe I have here very easily), and last forever kept in an airtight container. They also make perfect S’mores!

My favourite parts of this treat box are the Vanilla bean Passionfruit fudge, and the Vanilla bean salted caramel nut mix. Both of these, to me, scream Christmas - little treats to pick at, or to pop out for an easy dessert or sweet addition to a cheese board. Both are pretty easy to put together, and make loads, so you will be fully stocked up, although you’re probably going to need to make more of the nuts - I made a big batch two days ago, took them to the studio, and they got totally destroyed. The passionfruit fudge is a total nod to home for me - it is my absolute favourite fruit, and was the perfect addition to fudge to compliment the Vanilla bean.

So there we are! My Vanilla bean Christmas treat box. These are all perfect in a holiday cookie box, or you can mix and match with some of your favourite recipes too. If you are looking for good christmas gifts or stocking stuffers, I dunno about you but I would be stoked to get a jar of Vanilla. Happy Holidays!

Here’s what we ended up with:

  • Vanilla bean shortbread

  • Chocolate shortbread with vanilla bean dulce de leche (plus a few piped with royal icing, and a few cut out with stars)

  • Vanilla bean meringues

  • Vanilla bean macarons with a vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream

  • Vanilla bean marshmallows

  • Vanilla bean salted caramel nut mix

  • Vanilla bean and passionfruit fudge

A few wee tips:

  • I used this box to make this cookie box - Rich cut me little dividers on the laser cutter, but the craft wood is soft enough that you can use a craft knife and a ruler. I then just taped the dividers in.

  • Most of the components need to be stored in airtight containers, so make sure that if you are making a cookie box, you account for storage!

  • Mix and match the heck out of this box - use any recipes you like, and arrange the dividers any way you like. There are more ideas here - which actually all utilise vanilla bean too!

  • If you have any questions whatsoever please please feel free to ask - I will do my very best to help out!

 

 

Vanilla Bean Shortbread

- Makes about 24 -


225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp Heilala Vanilla bean paste
270g all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp Corn Starch
1/4 tsp salt

 

- PROCESS -

Preheat the oven to 300˚f / 150˚c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Sift together the flour, corn starch and salt, and add to the mixing bowl. Mix on low until combined.

Turn out the dough onto your work surface and divide into two. Shape into two rectangle shaped logs, then using a sharp knife, cut slices approximately 1cm (0.4”), and place on the prepared lined baking sheets, leaving room for spreading.

Bake the shortbread for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pans half way through, until very lightly golden. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.  

 

 

Chocolate Shortbread Sandwich Cookies with Vanilla Bean Dulce de Leche

- Makes about 18 Sandwich Cookies -

Notes: The Dulce de Leche requires some prep ahead work - boiling a can of condensed milk, so make sure you leave time for this + cooling if you make. I cut out some of the dough into larger circles and made Royal icing to decorate - I used a piping bag and a wilton #1 tip.

Shortbread recipe adapted from Now, Forager

Vanilla Bean Dulce de Leche Filling
1 400g (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk, or one can of premade Dulce de Leche
1 tsp Heilala vanilla bean paste

Chocolate Shortbread
185g unsalted butter, at room temperature
80g powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp Heilala vanilla bean paste
185g all-purpose flour, sifted
50g cocoa, sifted

 

- PROCESS -

VANILLA BEAN DULCE DE LECHE FILLING

Peel the wrapper off a can of condensed milk, and place it on its side in a large pot. Cover with water by at least 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer the can for 3 hours, checking often to make sure the water is well above the level of the can, and topping up when necessary. Remove from the pot with tongs and allow to cool completely.

CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. Add the sifted flour and cocoa powder, and mix just to combine. 

Dump the dough out onto a large piece of parchment, and place a second piece over the top. Roll the dough out between the two pieces of parchment, until is is approx 1/4" (6mm) thick. Place the dough on a baking sheet, and place into the freezer for 15-20 minutes, or until very firm.

Remove from the freezer. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the top piece of parchment, and cut 2" (5cm) circles using a fluted cookie cutter. Place them on the baking sheet, with a little space between. Place the cut-out cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes, then, using a small cutter in your desired shape, cut out holes in the centre of half the cookies. Re-roll scraps as needed, freezing briefly before cutting out.

Bake the cookies, one tray at a time (or two if your oven is good), for 11-12 minutes, or until set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

ASSEMBLY

Pair the cookies so each pair has a solid cookie, and a cookie with a cut-out. Open the cooled can of Dulce de Leche, and transfer to a small bowl (be careful not to scrape out completely as sometimes sugar gathers on the bottom of the tin). Add the vanilla paste, and mix well until combined and smooth. Transfer to a small piping bag, and snip a small hole in the end.

Pipe a small blob onto one half of the cookie pair (the solid half), and top with a cut-out half. Press carefully to sandwich. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Best eaten on the day they are made - if you would like to prepare ahead, store the filling and cookies separately until ready to serve.

 

 

Vanilla Bean Meringue Kisses

- Makes about 60 meringue kisses, or about 24 nests -

Note: This recipe is very scaleable - the ratio of egg whites to sugar is 1:1.5, so adjust to your liking. Because the meringues are essentially ‘dried’ rather than cooked, you can pipe various sizes and bake all together.

200g egg whites
300g granulated sugar
1 tsp Heilala vanilla bean paste
Red Sprinkles to finish, optional

 

- PROCESS -

MERINGUE

Preheat the oven to 225˚f / 110˚c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Line a large piping bag with your tip of choice (I used an Ateco #826).

Measure the egg whites and granulated sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or other heatproof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture, whisking often and watching the edges carefully, until it no longer feels gritty when rubbed between your fingers, and it registers at least 70˚c / 160˚f on a thermometer. 

Carefully transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, approximately 4-5 minutes. Transfer to piping bag.

Pipe 'kisses', onto the baking paper lined sheets, leaving a small amount of space between each (they will not spread in the oven). You can pipe whatever shape you would like here - blobs, nests, kisses etc. Finish with red sprinkles if desired.

Place the baking sheets into the oven. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until they feel firm and no longer sticky, and peel cleanly off the paper when you lift them up. Turn off the oven, and leave them in there for at least an additional hour to dry out and crisp up.

Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

 

 

Vanilla Bean Macarons with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream

- Makes about 24 Macarons -

Macaron Shells
One batch of these macaron shells, leaving out food colouring and using sprinkles of your choice

Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream
60g egg whites
100g granulated sugar
½ tsp Heilala vanilla bean paste
225g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes

- PROCESS -

VANILLA BEAN SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing! Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Once the buttercream has finished mixing, and is smooth and silky, add in the vanilla bean paste. Mix for a further 2-3 minutes, then switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for one minute to remove any air.

ASSEMBLY

Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a round attachment (such as an ateco #805) Match the macaron shells up so that they are in pairs of equal size.

Pipe a blob of buttercream on one half of the macaron, and place the second half on top, pressing lightly. Macarons are best after an overnight rest in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before eating.

 

 

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

- Makes about 36 square marshmallows -

Marshmallow recipe adapted from Bravetart

30g corn starch
30g powdered sugar
14g (2 packets) powdered gelatine
76g cold water
103g liquid honey
76g water
265g Heilala vanilla sugar, or granulated sugar
1 tsp Heilala vanilla bean paste
pinch of salt

 

- PROCESS -

Sift together the corn starch and powdered sugar. Spray an 8” baking tin (20cm) with cooking spray, or grease with butter, then liberally dust with the corn starch and powdered sugar mixture. Set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the first measure of water and gelatine. Mix well with a fork, and leave to bloom while you prepare the sugar syrup. 

In a medium pot, combine the water, corn syrup, vanilla, and sugar. Heat over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until the syrup reaches 240˚f /120˚c, then remove from the heat and leave to cool to 210˚f /100˚c.

Turn the mixer on to medium, and mix for a few seconds to help break up the bloomed gelatin. With the mixer running, VERY carefully pour the hot sugar syrup into the mixer. Turn the speed up to high, and whip for 4-5 minutes, until the marshmallow has doubled in volume, has turned white, and holds somewhat of a peak when you stop the mixer and lift out the whisk. Scrape into the prepared baking tin and spread with an oiled offset spatula, smoothing as much as possible. Dust liberally with the corn starch mixture and allow to cure for at least 1-2 hours. Turn out onto a board, dust with more corn starch mixture, and cut into squares using a knife dipped in the corn starch mixture. Roll cut marshmallows in the corn starch mixture.

Store in an airtight container.

 

 

Vanilla Bean Salted Caramel Nut Mix

- Makes about 3 cups of Nuts -

Note: This recipe is very scaleable - it would double very well, and the nuts keep for a long time in an airtight container. Toasting them really helps to bring out the depth of flavour. You can use any nuts you like here.

1 cup skinned hazelnuts (I used skinned, if you have nuts with the skin on, rub them together after toasting to remove skins)
1 cup walnut halves
1 cup pecan halves
250g granulated sugar
45g (3 Tbsp) water
15g (1 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp Heilala vanilla bean paste
1 Tbsp flaky sea salt (such as maldon)

 

- PROCESS -

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Spread the nuts onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes, shaking the baking sheet frequently, until they smell toasty. Remove from the oven, skin the hazelnuts if needed by rubbing them together in a tea towel, and pour into a large heatproof bowl. Wipe the baking sheet down and line with a silpat mat or parchment paper.

Place the sugar and water into a medium heavy bottomed saucepan. Place over low to medium heat, without stirring, and washing down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the mixture is amber in colour. Remove from the heat, and add the butter, whisking well to combine. Use caution as it may splatter. Stir in the vanilla, and whisk to combine.

Pour the caramel mixture over the nuts in the heatproof bowl, and toss well using a silicone spatula to combine.

Working quickly, dump out onto the lined baking sheet, and separate using two forks. Sprinkle with the flaky sea salt. Leave to cool and harden. Break apart and store in an airtight container.

 

 

Vanilla Bean and Passionfruit Fudge

- Makes about 36 pieces -

Notes: I used passionfruit pulp to make this - you can either use fresh pulp from fruit, or you can purchase the pulp packaged from some supermarkets - make sure it is unsweetened. You will need a candy thermometer for this - make sure that in the first step you cook the sugar and milk together very slowly to dissolve the sugar so the end product is not grainy.

Recipe adapted from Edmond’s Cookbook

900g granulated sugar
190g whole milk
225g sweetened condensed milk
190g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 tsp salt
140g (1/2 cup) passionfruit pulp
2 tsp Heilala vanilla bean paste

 

- PROCESS -

Grease an 8” square (20cm) baking tin with butter, and line with two pieces of parchment, extending over the edges of the tin to form a ‘sling’. Set aside.

In a heavy bottomed pot, combine the sugar and whole milk. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat slightly and add the condensed milk, butter, salt, and passionfruit pulp. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 115˚c / 239˚f on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Alternatively, use and electric mixer and beat directly in the pot.

Beat the fudge mixture on high speed for approximately 6 minutes, until it has thickened and lost its gloss. Pour into the prepared tin and spread with an offset spatula. Chill until hardened, then cut into pieces with a sharp knife. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

The Ultimate Vanilla Bean Christmas Box. All of the christmas treats for your recipe planning for this upcoming holiday season! Chocolate Shortbread cookies with Vanilla bean Dulce de Leche filling, vanilla bean meringues, vanilla bean macarons, Vanilla bean shortbread, vanilla bean passionfruit fudge, vanilla bean salted caramel nut mix, and vanilla bean marshmallows. The perfect treat box for christmas!
The Ultimate Vanilla Bean Christmas Box. All of the christmas treats for your recipe planning for this upcoming holiday season! Chocolate Shortbread cookies with Vanilla bean Dulce de Leche filling, vanilla bean meringues, vanilla bean macarons, Vanilla bean shortbread, vanilla bean passionfruit fudge, vanilla bean salted caramel nut mix, and vanilla bean marshmallows. The perfect treat box for christmas!

Thank you so much to Heilala Vanilla for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Lime and Pistachio Shortbread Sandwich Cookies with Lime Cream


 
Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie
Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie
Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie
Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie
Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie
Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie
Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie

Hiii I'm just popping in to share this recipe quickly! I made these the longest time ago, shot and edited the photos, posted on IG and promised the recipe, then promptly forgot about the whole thing. Soz. 

These came about after I saw Edd making lemon cream on his stories to put in some beautiful wee lemon tarts, and because I suffer from intense internet fomo, I had to try it myself immediately. I wasn't doing food things when lemon cream broke the internet a few years ago, so like most things, I am very late to the party (the article I got the recipe from was written in 2012, lololol), but I'm gonna give you this recipe anyway. 

Lemon cream (or in this case, lime cream), is a crazy wee thing. It is essentially a curd, but with a slightly different process. Instead of putting everything in a pan at the beginning and cooking until thick, you heat all of the ingredients, apart from the butter to a certain temp, then let it cool slightly, before emulsifying the butter in with an immersion blender. The result is this insanely creamy, thick cream (hence the name), which is as punchy as curd, but has enough structure to use as a filling or frosting, or spooned directly into your mouth (apparantely, anyway). I'm not sure I'm going to be able to go back to regular curd after this. Cream definitely is more labour intensive, but it is 100 times worth it. 

Seeing as I had a beautiful punchy filling, I wanted to keep the biscuit component of this simple. I went for a quick and easy shortbread, adapted from Helen Goh and Ottolenghi's book Sweet, which is one of my faves. The shortbread has a hint of lime, and the taste of pistachio compliments the filling perfectly. 

A few wee tips:

  • Make the Lime Cream the day before to give it time to thicken. The dough needs an overnight rest in the fridge too!

  • The Lime cream takes a while. Make sure you bring it right up to 180˚f / 80˚c. This will make sure that it is thick enough so that when it cools, it gets super thick.

  • That being said, it will look super sloppy when you finish emulsifying the butter. Don't worry - just bang it in the fridge overnight, and it will thicken nicely!

  • These are best eaten the day of, but leftovers keep well separately, so just assemble just before you eat! I ended up eating them a bit like chips and dip toward the end - using the cookie as a scoop. Tragic but delicious. Would definitely recommend.

  • If you don't have a sugar thermometer, you should get one asap! I have a digital one with an alarm that I love!

  • The cookies will probably have a 'right' side and a 'wrong' (bottom) side when they are done - make sure that you have both the right sides facing out when you sandwich the cookies, so their bottoms are facing inward and you have the pretty tops facing out!

 

 

Lime and Pistachio Shortbread Sandwich Cookies with Lime Cream 

- Makes about 20 Sandwich Cookies -

Shortbread Recipe adapted from Sweet, Lime cream adapted from Tartine

Lime Cream
150ml lime juice (1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp) 
3 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
150g (3/4 cup) sugar
Pinch salt
225g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Lime and Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
185g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g sugar
zest of 3 limes
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
50g unsalted pistachios, finely ground
250g all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

 

- PROCESS -

LIME CREAM

Create a 'double boiler' by placing a medium pot of water over a medium heat, and bringing to a simmer. Place a heatproof glass or stainless steel bowl over the pot, making sure that the bowl does NOT touch the water. 

Combine the lime juice, egg yolks, eggs, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl, whisking together immediately to stop the sugar from cooking the egg yolks. 

Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it reaches 180˚f / 80˚c. This may take some time (approx 15 minutes). Be patient, and make sure you do bring it right up to the required temperature. 

Remove the bowl from the heat, and set aside, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is 140˚f / 60˚c. Strain through a sieve into a clean mixing bowl. Add the butter, a chunk at a time, blending well with an immersion blender until completely combined before adding the next chunk. Alternatively you can do this in a blender. The cream should be pale and thick by the time you are finished. 

Transfer to an airtight container, press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the cream, and cover. Refrigerate overnight, or until ready to use. 

 

LIME AND PISTACHIO SHORTBREAD

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and lime zest until pale and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add the ground pistachios, and mix until incorporated. Add the flour and salt, and mix briefly until a dough forms. 

Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a rough rectangle. Wrap tightly, and refrigerate overnight.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge, and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes in order for it to be easier to roll. Divide the dough in two, and roll out to approx 1/4" or 5mm thick. Cut out 2.5" circles, and arrange on the baking sheets. Re-roll scraps to cut out extra cookies.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until set and the edges are beginning to go golden. I tend to do one sheet at a time because my oven can only handle that, but if yours can do two, then you can bake both at once - you may have to adjust the baking time slightly, and rotate the pans half way through.

Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, before removing to a cooling rack and allowing to cool completely. 

ASSEMBLY

Match up the cookies into equal sized pairs.

Place the cream into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (alternatively you can use an offset spatula to spread the cream). 

Pipe a blob of lemon cream onto the bottom of one cookie, and sandwich with a second cookie.

Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie