Now that I live away from home I really look forward to visiting my parents. We have always had a special relationship and I view them just as much my friends as my parents. When I walk through the door it’s like being enveloped in a big warm hug, well usually it involves multiple big warm hugs and lots of slobbery kisses from one three-legged rascal dog. When I come home, I try never to come empty handed because I know by the time I leave the next day I will usually have a bag full of extra groceries that Mum ‘just happened to have’ and useful bits and bobs (like a toolbox) that Dad ‘thought might come in handy’. How do you thank two people who have taken care of you since before you were even in the world and keep doing so every single day?
My answer is cookies (or cake, or slice – you get the point). I bring my offering to the door of the people who have loved me longest and best because that is all I can do in the face of this enormous love.
Last weekend I brought these buttery chocolate chip shortbread sandwiches along on Saturday night for a treat for the three of us (Chris was out with the boys). I usually enjoy a firmer shortbread but these were slightly softer and oh so cocoa-y. There are only eight ingredients (or six if you don’t need it to be gluten free) in this easy to make shortbread and you will love the fact that you can make the shortbread dough up to a month ahead of time, and freeze it for when you need it. Chilling the dough has the purpose of ensuring the cookies are flaky because of the solidified buttery pockets inside the dough, and also means that you have cookies on hand whenever you require them. On second thought, that could be dangerous knowledge. Like the fact that freezer brownies taste even better. Now that you know it, you can’t forget it.
The bitter-sweet shortbread was the perfect foil to the sweet salted caramel filling inside. Speaking of the filling. I could eat this off a spoon by itself. I may have eaten it off the spoon by itself at one point. It’s so easy to make too: I took the caramel from my Salted Peanut Caramel Chocolate Slice, omitted the peanuts, cooled it to room temperature, and then spread it generously between these biscuits. And then I ate them. Well, my fair share at least.
Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Salted Caramel Filling
Makes 10 sandwich cookies | Gluten Free | Egg Free | Adapted from BBC Good Food
Note: if you do not require these to be gluten free, you can substitute 200 grams (~1 1/2 cups) plain flour for the almond meal, white rice flour and buckwheat flour.
Storage: Unbaked dough can be wrapped carefully in clingwrap and frozen for up to a month. Baked and filled cookies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
For the cookies
- 175 grams (3/4 cup) butter, softened
- 85 grams (1/3 cup + 1 tbs) caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 50 grams (1/3 cup) white rice flour
- 50 grams (1/2 cup) almond meal
- 100 grams (3/4 cup + 1 tbs) buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
For the caramel
- 400 gram tin sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 60 grams (1/2 cup + 1 tbs) butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a large mixing bowl using either a wooden spoon or a handheld mixer beat together butter, caster sugar, and until creamy and smooth.
- Whisk together cocoa powder, white rice flour, almond meal and buckwheat flour and add to creamed mixture. Mix in well.
- Add chocolate chips and incorporate into dough. This will be quite stiff so you may have to use your hands to get the chocolate chips fully incorporated.
- Split the dough in half. Roll each into 5 cm round logs and wrap tightly in baking paper and clingwrap. Chill for at least an hour or up to 3 days.
- Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 160C (320F) and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Slice dough into 1 cm thick rounds and place on baking trays leaving 5-6 cm between to allow for slight spreading.
- Place cookies in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will still be quite soft so allow them to cool completely on their trays before spreading with salted caramel and sandwiching together.
To make the caramel:
- place sweetened condensed milk, golden syrup, and butter into a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir until butter is melted and caramel is golden brown in colour and thickened slightly.
- Remove from heat and mix in vanilla essence and salt.
- Pour into a heatproof container and allow to cool to room temperature before using to sandwich cookies together.