Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177
degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
with butter (or use a cooking spray) a
9 x 9 inch (23 x
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter
and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt and beat until
the dough just comes together. Press onto the bottom of your greased pan and
bake for about 20 minutes, or until pale golden in color. Remove from oven and
place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
FOR CARAMEL FILLING:
If using Dulce de Leche then simply warm the caramel in the microwave or in a
heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. If using sweetened
condensed milk, pour the milk into a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over a
saucepan of simmering water. Cover and cook, over low heat, stirring
occasionally, for 60 to 90 minutes or until the milk has thickened and has
turned a caramel color. Remove from heat and beat until smooth.
Pour the caramel over the baked shortbread and leave to set.
Note: You can
also do this step in a microwave oven. Place the sweetened condensed milk
in a large microwaveable bowl and cook on medium power for about 4 minutes,
stirring halfway through baking time. Reduce the powder to medium-low and
continue to cook for another 8 to 12 minutes, or until the milk has thicken and
has turned a light caramel color. Remove from microwave and beat until
FOR TOPPING: Melt the
chocolate and butter either in the microwave oven or in a heatproof bowl set
over a saucepan of simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate evenly over
the caramel and leave to set. Cut the shortbread into pieces using a sharp
Store the shortbread in the
refrigerator to keep the chocolate nice and firm.
Yield: 16 - 2 inch
(5 cm) squares