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!
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
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 …
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…
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!)