Hellooooo, December! And you know what that means. Crank up those ovens, good friends, it’s that time of the year for cookie exchanges, dinners, parties, and all-round gluttony! While my sugar intake tends to spike dramatically during this month, I bear no regrets – and neither should you. Thank god for my Zumba and Fitness instructors who keep me motivated to attend class; they’ll be my saving grace until the new year.
Since we’re not counting calories (right?), tis’ the season to be indulgent. I’m jumping straight to the good stuff: Millionaires’ Shortbread. It’s a popular dessert in Scotland, and for a good reason: a shortbread base, a caramel center, and chocolate on top. It really does taste like a million dollars but won’t cost you anything, except the ability to resist a sweet temptation. Like I said, we’re not counting calories, so we may as well kick it up a notch.
Say hello to Peppermint Millionaires’ Shortbread. Tender whipped shortbread on the bottom, creamy salted caramel (a pinch of fleur de sel does the trick in balancing out the sweetness in this dessert) in the center, chocolate on top, and the festive star of the show, lovely bits of crushed candy cane.
Whip up the shortbread, bake, and let cool completely. Make the dulce de leche filling by cooking condensed milk in a double boiler until it caramelizes and turns a nice amber brown. Sprinkle in the salt and spread over the cooled shortbread.
The chocolate swirl topping you see was completely unexpected. The original plan was to use dark chocolate. Seriously, who runs out of chocolate without knowing it (apparently, me)? So instead, I used white chocolate and swirled in the little bit of dark chocolate available. As you can see in the picture, creating the swirled effect is pretty easy; drop teaspoon dollops of the dark chocolate over the white chocolate. Using a knife, swirl from the dollops of dark chocolate outwards. Before the chocolate has a chance to cool, sprinkle over crushed candy canes. Let the chocolate harden before cutting into small squares. Since it’s fairly sweet, this dessert goes a long way and feeds a crowd. This batch was sliced and wrapped up for my sister, who celebrated her birthday earlier this week (happy birthday, sis!).
Can’t wait to share more holiday recipes and ideas with you. I’ll be posting more DIY Edible Gifts as well as a post on my top ten stocking stuffers for cooks.
What are you favourite holiday treats? Comment below!
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- pinch of fleur de sel
- 150 grams white chocolate
- 50 grams dark chocolate
- ¼ cup crushed candy canes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment that overhangs the edges.
- In a medium bowl, whip together the butter, salt, and sugar until very creamy and fluffy, 1-2 minutes if using an electric mixer.
- Blend in the flour until the mixture becomes crumbly.
- Spread the mixture into the prepared pan, pressing down to compact (flour your hands if the mixture becomes sticky).
- Bake for 25 minutes, until the edges just become browned. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Remove the shortbread and the parchment from the pan.
- In a double boiler over medium heat, pour in the condensed milk and cover the double boiler with aluminum foil. Cook for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the condensed milk caramelizes and turns brown. Stir in the fleur de sel and spread over the cooled shortbread. Let cool.
- In two separate double boilers, melt the white chocolate and the dark chocolate.
- Spread the white chocolate evenly over the dulce de leche. Drop in teaspoon dollops of the dark chocolate. Using a knife, swirl the chocolates together.
- Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the chocolate. Let cool completely. Once the chocolate has hardened, cut into small squares.