Saturday, August 6

Sharing is Caring (Salted Caramel Shortbread)

As a brand spanking new nurse, I have a preceptor for several weeks who's there to make sure that I'm comfortable taking care of all my patients and to answer the 1001 questions that I have every day.  My preceptor, Kelly, is pretty awesome, and I'm very lucky to have her to learn from.  Plus, we eat lunch together and get coffee in the afternoons.

Last week she had a handful of salted caramels from the gift shop.  Since she's a nice person, she shared one with me.  Since I'm pregnant and love caramel, it's all that I've thought about all week.

Soooooo, to satisfy my salted caramel craving, I decided to make some shortbread cookies topped with caramel and sea salt.  And since I had a few toffee bars in my cabinets, I figured that I would throw those in the cookie dough, too.  

Good things happen when we share.

As for the caramel...well, I can make that too, right?  It's just superheated sugar.  How hard can that be?  Throw some sugar and water in a saucepan, stick in my candy thermometer, and let the stove take over.  Moments before it gets to the proper color, remove it from the stove and cool the pan in some cold water.  Right?  I'll spread it on top of the cookies while it's warm, sprinkle on some sea salt, and be on my way to caramel deliciosity.

Two burned saucepans, a cracked candy thermometer and hours of frustration later, I accepted that maybe I'm just not meant to make caramel.  I can do many things in this world.  Turning cold, white sugar into warm, sticky, caramelly sweetness is just not one of them.  It burned.  It scorched.  It crystallized.  It seized (didn't even know it could do that).  I cursed.  I cried.  I threw things.  I scared the dog. 

So I did what any normal pregnant woman would do.  I got in my car, found a bag of store-bought caramel candies and melted them over a double boiler.  

Then I filled up my stemless wine glass with milk and ate some delicious salted caramel shortbread cookies.  Go ahead, judge me.  At least I'm happy.  :-)

All the cool peeps drink milk from stemless wineglasses.

Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cup flour
2 teaspoon vanilla
3 Heath Bars/other toffee candy bars
1 bag chewy caramels
Sea salt, for sprinkling

Time and temperature:  325 for 15-18 minutes

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until well mixed.  Add the flour, stirring until just combined.  Coarsely chop the toffee bars and fold them by hand into the dough.  Turn the dough onto a piece of waxed paper and roll it into a square, 1/4" inch thick.  Using a pizza cutter, cut into squares/rectangles/whatever shape you want.  Bake on a cookie sheet covered with parchment for 15-18 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned.  Cool completely.  Melt the caramels over a double boiler and spread a glob on the top of each cookie.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Smile and eat.

Stack between waxed paper, or they will stick together and you'll be sad.


  1. Haha, you are too funny! ;) No shame in eating melted caramels - it sounds delicious!

  2. Your shortbread sounds delicious. This is my first visit to your blog and I must tell you how much I enjoyed the time I spent here. A browse through some of your older posts convinced me I'll have to return more often. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  3. I crave for salty and sweet food too during my pregnancy.

    I must apologise for visiting your blog for a while. Hope that your preparation to motherhood has been an exciting journey...

  4. These look fantastic! I'd love one with the cup of tea I'm having right now :D

  5. Thanks for the compliments, ladies!! :)


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