Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Million Dollar Shortbread

Million Dollar Shortbread

Dorcas Annette Walker

Want to feel like a millionaire? Then try my recipe of Million Dollar Shortbread from Scotland. Since my mother’s side is English my sister always had a hankering to take a trip over to Europe. Last year Lois got her heart’s desire when she and her husband went on a tour of Ireland. Being an avid tea drinker my sister was in seventh heaven enjoying all the teas and scones. Her husband, Ted, who prefers coffee, was not quite as enthusiastic. Among their tour group was a couple from Scotland whose husband loved to cook. My sister and this Scottish chef compared different eating cultures. Before parting he gave my sister a recipe for a Scottish favorite often used at tea time. During cold winter days this rich tasting recipe will make you feel like a millionaire.

Scotland is credited with the birthplace of shortbread that evolved from a medieval-type biscuit of a twice-baked enriched bread roll. When butter was first substituted for yeast shortbread was born. The word shortbread comes from the word shortening. Although shortbread was probably made as early as the 12th century, Mary, Queen of Scotts is attributed to its popularity. Round shortbread was cut into triangles or made into individual round biscuits or rectangular shapes known as fingers. There are many varieties of shortbread, but traditional shortbread consists of three main ingredients: flour, sugar, and butter. In the beginning shortbread was a luxury reserved for holidays or special occasions like weddings. Today shortbread is an everyday favorite and enjoyed around the world.

Some quick facts about shortbread: January 6th is National Shortbread Day, in Shetland a decorated shortbread is broken over a bride’s head before entering her new home, one specialty shortbread manufacturer will put customer’s photos on their shortbread cookies, shortbread is packaged in airtight containers (often a tin box or canister) to keep its desired crispness, and shortbread was classified as bread by bakers to avoid paying a biscuit tax.

My recipe of Million Dollar Shortbread consists of a crisp cookie layered with gooey Carmel and topped with a thin layer of chocolate that will instantly appeal to anyone with a sweet tooth. This rich indulgent treat can be eaten with a cup or hot tea or coffee, milk, or hot chocolate and makes an ideal sweet snack. Preparation time for my Million Dollar Shortbread is around twenty minutes and this recipe makes 48 triangular pieces.

Million Dollar Shortbread

Mix together and press on a greased cookie sheet:
2 sticks of real butter (melted)
½ c sugar
3 c self-rising flour
Bake at 350ยบ for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

While the shortbread is baking bring to a rolling boil in a small saucepan:
1 stick of real butter
1 can of condensed milk
1 c brown sugar
¼ c of light corn syrup
Lower heat and cook for ten more minutes stirring constantly until thick and Carmel colored. Pour over baked shortbread and let cool for thirty minutes.

Microwave for one minute:
½ 12 oz pkg of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Stir until runny and spread over top of firm Carmel. Let cool for fifteen minutes. Cut the shortbread into two inch squares and then in half to form a triangle. Store in an airtight container!

Weekly tip: Easy chocolate garnishes: after melting chocolate spread in a thin layer on a cookie sheet, cool, and then push a metal spatula along the edge of the firm chocolate to form curls or cut out shapes with cookie cutters and refrigerate until ready to use; dip fruit or nuts partway into melted chocolate and let harden on waxed paper; or melt chocolate in a closed zipper-style sandwich bag, snip a tiny edge off the bottom corner, and holding tightly to the top drizzle over brownies, cookies, cakes or other desserts!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: dorcaswalker@twlakes.net. For more recipes check out her Creative Mountain Cookin page and blog at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com


Anonymous said...

The shortbread looks delicious and the recipe looks pretty easy. I am going to have to give it a try.

Darius T. Williams said...

LOVE this recipe for shortbread - I'm going to make a variation of that right now.

Sharron said...

I don't know how much butter a stick is. I'm from Canada and we use cups to measure butter.

What is self rising flour? Is that written on the bag?

I make my shortbread with all-purpose flour at home. Is there a difference in the results?

Thanks, Sharron

Dorcas Annette Walker said...


Welcome to my cooking blog!

1 stick of butter/margarine= 1/2 c. I shall also put this up on my side measurements for future use.

Self-rising flour is written on the bag versus plain flour- at least down here in America. The difference is that the self-rising flour already has salt and a rising agent in it whereas the plain flour needs salt added and usually either baking powder or baking soda to get the same rising effect. I use self-rising flour most of the time as it is quicker not having to add more ingredients.

Using self-rising flour to make shortbread versus plain flour would mean that my shortbread is a bit lighter and taller compared to making it with plain flour.

I hope that this helps. If not "holler back" and I'll try to clarify it more.

Meanwhile happy cookin and feel free to browse around my other recipes!


Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I know this is a year late, but I almost jumped up and down screaming when I found your recipe. When we were in Scotland at Eilean Donan Castle we tasted their Million Dollar Bars and found them SO good we went back the next day for another treat. It looks like your recipe is so very close to it. I can't wait to give it a try. Leave it to a cook from Tennessee to have it. Love your part of the world!!

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

Dear Paisley,

Like they say it is a small world, huh? And the neat thing about recipes is that is doesn't matter how old they are or when you find them just as long as you do discover the one you'd love to have. So go for it!

Happy cookin-

Sadia said...

Thankyou so much for this recipe.i made this recipe today and it turned out great.thankyou thankyou thankyou :D

Anonymous said...

Aloha from hawaii..It's the holiday season...my favorite time of the year and I plan to bake so as to save some money!!! I am going to try your recipe and am sure it will come out delicious...Mele Kalikimaka and Hauoli Makahiki Hou...which means Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

And a Happy New Year to you!