Millionaire shorbread with sea salt, rum, and meyer lemons

Millionaire shortbread with sea salt

Apparently there’s a woman who successfully sued nutella because they made her believe their product was healthy. She fed it to her daughter daily, with dangerous results. Well! I feed nutella to my son on a regular basis, but I don’t kid myself that it’s healthy! I know it’s got lots of sugar and fat. But I spread it on a sandwich made with unsweetened peanut butter and whole wheat bread. And I know those are good for him. I believe it’s important to find a balance. A little bit of sugar is okay if it’s part of a relatively healthy combination. Sugar whipped together with chemicals in candy is a very rare treat. Chocolate in a cookie, on the other hand, is a good reward for a meal well-eaten. Especially if it’s a cookie that we make together! I’m suspicious of processed foods. Even “healthy” processed foods. I’m not a fan or margarine, low-fat cheese, or sugar-free anything. These products remind me of the saying, “Americans will try anything to lose weight, except eating less food.” And the food companies will try to sell any kind of diet that involves products they can market to people trying to lose weight. Which, let’s face it, is probably a majority of Americans. I’d rather have a small amount of real butter or real sugar than a large amount of a substitute that tastes like chemicals. Everything in moderation. As long as you have lots of vegetables and fruits and foods with protein and vitamins, it’s fine to have something special and sweet once in a while.

Which brings us to millionaire shortbread with sea salt, rum, and meyer lemons. Let’s see. There are ground almonds in the crust! That’s good for you, right? A little? Well, you wouldn’t want to make these every day, but they’re ridiculously delicious, and I think we need to eat sweets like this every now and again (health permitting)! I cut them small, and I almost think of them more as candy than cookies. Let me tell you about them…they have an almond shortbread crust with some rum in it. They have a layer of caramel with meyer lemon zest & juice and a bit of rum and sea salt. And they have coarse sea salt sprinkled on top. I had fun making the caramel, but it was a slightly anxious time. I’ve made caramel in the past to spread over a cake. I wanted this to be a little harder, but not hard enough to crack anybody’s teeth. I thought I might have made it too hard, so I added an extra tablespoon of butter and milk. And it turned out perfect! I’ll have to try it again and see if I can repeat the feat.

Here’s Mississippi John Hurt with Shortnin Bread. He’s the best!

THE SHORTBREAD
2 sticks (1 cup) very soft unsalted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 t vanilla
1 T rum
2 cups flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly butter and flour a large roasting pan or baking sheet with sides. Mine is 10 X 14 ish.

Cream the butter till fluffy. Add the sugar, vanilla and rum. Add all of the dry ingredients and mix well. The dough will seem crumbly at first, so get your hands in there and knead it till it all comes together. Press it into the baking pan in an even layer. Bake for 20-30 minutes till it’s just starting to turn golden-brown on top, and just pulling away from the sides slightly.

Meanwhile, make the …

CARAMEL

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 T water
1 T rum
zest and juice of 1 meyer lemon (or half a regular lemon) (zest very fine – microplane, baby!)
2 T. butter
1/3 cup milk
1/2 t sea salt

Have extra butter/milk around, just in case!

Combine the sugar, rum, water, lemon zest and lemon juice in a thick-bottomed sauce pan. Put on a burner over medium-low heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves, and keep stirring till it starts to boil. Let it boil for a minute (still stirring!) and then take it off the heat and add the butter and milk and salt. Put it back on the heat, and stir for 10 or 17 minutes, until it starts to coat the spoon. If you have a candy thermometer, bring it to the “soft ball” stage. I had one, but it was old and unreliable, so, instead, I delighted in the fact that IF YOU DROP A TINY PIECE INTO A GLASS OF COLD WATER IT REALLY WILL FORM A SOFT BALL IF IT IS THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE!! I wanted it to be a little more solid that soft ball, so I cooked it an extra 2 minutes. The I was worried it would be too hard, so I stirred in one T butter and one T milk. It turned out perfect! Spread it over your shortbread as evenly as you can. Set it aside to set as you make the…

CHOCOLATE COATING

1 bag dark chocolate chips
2 T butter

Melt these things together in a small saucepan over a larger saucepan of boiling water. I use my slotted spoon propped underneath to hold the smaller saucepan up. Don’t let a single drop of water get into the chocolate or it will seize up and make you want to cry. Stir every once in a while. When everything is melted and smooth, spread it over the caramel.

Sprinkle some coarse sea salt over everything, and set it all aside to set. Cut into small squares. (It’s very sweet!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s