But so much more decadent than that. Shortbread, vanilla bean caramel, bittersweet chocolate and grey sea salt all combined to make one of the most perfect and praised treats I've ever made.
Now I tweaked this rather significantly from Annie's Eats, most notably by replacing the caramel recipe entirely with a half batch of the caramel that I make at Christmas, after discovering that the original didn't work too well.
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 lb. butter
1 lb. brown sugar
8 oz corn syrup
1 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp rum(optional)
1/2 tbsp vanilla paste
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 stick butter
To make the shortbread layer, preheat the oven to 325° F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir with a fork to blend, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended, about 1-2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press in an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
In a large kettle melt butter, stir in brown sugar, rum and salt. Gradually add corn syrup and milk, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat until it reaches firm ball stage(245 to 250). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour over the crust and allow to cool until firm.
Melt the chocolate and butter together, stir until smooth. Spread over the caramel and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
Use the parchment to lift the bar out of the pan; cut into 1-inch squares. Store in the refrigerator.