Browned Butter Apple Cider Shortbread with Salted Caramel Drizzle
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
- Scant ½ cup brown sugar (about ½ cup minus 1 ½ tablespoons)
- 2 envelopes instant hot cider mix (optional, but if not using, increase sugar to the full ½ cup)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (use a little less if using table salt)
- 3 cups flour
- ½ to 1 cup salted caramel chips, optional (http://www.target.com/p/hershey-s-sea-salt-caramel-chips-10oz/-/A-51111240) or wilton salted caramel candy melts (http://www.joann.com/wilton-drizzle-pouch-2oz-salted-caramel/15139553.html?gclid=CjwKEAiA4dPCBRCM4dqhlv2R1R8SJABom9pHbSYtUrj5gdYYZ7I0w566W2p3Ml5umMPxyuHzaFnC9BoCY8Lw_wcB)
- OR milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips instead (also optional)
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- In a medium saucepan on medium-low heat, melt the butter and bring it to a boil. Swirl the pot consistently and continue to boil the butter until the milk solids begin to brown and the butter turns an amber color. Allow the butter to cool completely and becomes solid again. You can allow the butter to do this all at room temperature, or you can chill the butter in the refrigerator to firm it up quickly, but you will need to bring it back to room temperature before continuing.
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Coat a 10- inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Cut a parchment paper round to fit in the bottom of the pan. Place the round in the sprayed pan and spray again. Or do the same with a 9X13 cake pan. Or spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line with parchment if you are going to cut with cookie cutters. Set aside.
- Once the butter is solid, and at room temperature place in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer). Add the brown sugar and hot cider mix if using and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed until pale in color.
- Add in the salt and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour, mixing until combined. The dough will be dry.
- Press the dough into the prepared pan or roll to about ½” thick and cut with cookie cutters.
- Bake for 45 minutes for the 10” pan, about 30 minutes for the 9X13 pan, or roughly 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your cookie cutters, or until the edges are golden brown, and the center is set.
- Allow the shortbread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen and then remove the sides of the pan if using the tart pan.
- Cut the shortbread into wedges or squares while it is still warm, but don't remove the slices from the pan until completely cooled.
- Once the shortbread is cooled, carefully remove each slice from the pan.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl melt the chips or candy melts in 30 second increments, stirring after each. Dip the edge of the shortbread into the melted chips or candy melts and place on to the parchment lined pan. Or drizzle the melted candy or chips over the pan of shortbread.
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