Oh. My. Goodness.
Do you need a pick-me-up? Because if so, you’re in luck.
I imagine these incredible treats might be a seasonal delicacy at Winterfell, perhaps made to celebrate the opening of the Winter Town. The caramel might even be tweaked to include freshly pressed cider from that year’s harvest, or a pinch of spices after a year of successful trading.
The shortbread is soft and buttery, the caramel a bit firmer, but both melt in the mouth. The honey flavor in particular comes through strongly, and as it’s one of my favorite things in the whole world, that makes me very happy. A dash of sea salt on top balances the sweetness, so overall, it’s one of my favorite things I’ve made in quite a while. Yum!
Recipe for Honey Caramel Shortbread
Ingredients for shortbread:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup ground almond meal
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups flour
Ingredients for Caramel:
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbs. butter
- pinch of coarse salt, for top
Begin by making the shortbread: Preheat the oven to 350F. Cream together the butter and sugar, then add in the almond meal and salt. Begin adding in the flour until you have a good mix that holds together and is just shy of too crumbly.
Pat out on a baking sheet in a roughly rectangular shape no thicker than 1/2 inch; don’t worry if the edges look messy. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the shortbread is beginning to turn slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven, and while it’s still hot, make several cuts with a large knife to divide the shortbread into squares. Taste some of the trimmings to make sure they’re good. Allow to cool completely while you make the caramel topping.
Combine honey, sugar, and cream in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir occasionally while it cooks. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches soft ball stage, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Let sit, stirring occasionally, for several minutes, until the caramel starts to cool and thicken a bit. Using a large spoon, drizzle the caramel on top of the shortbread squares in whatever pattern you like. Personally, the more caramel, the better, but you can also zigzag drizzle it across.
There should be plenty of caramel for the amount of shortbread.
Eat the rest with a spoon. No regrets.