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Caramel Squares


(or Millionaire's Shortbread, Caramel Shortcake, Caramel Shortbread)

Rectangles of cut shortbread biscuit, typically 3 ins square, but also in other shapes, topped with a very thick, soft, sticky caramel confection, topped with chocolate.

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread (Top R)
Image: Australian Women's Weekly, 25 February 1981

Known at least since versions appeared in Australian journals and magazines, most persistently in the 'The Australian Women's Weekly' from the 'Caramel Shortbread' receipt of 21 October 1970 to the definitive version given below. The name 'Millionaires' Shortbread' seems to first appear in Scotland about 1990 (OED).

Original Receipt from 'The Australian Women's Weekly' of Wednesday 25 February 1981

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

125g (4oz) butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup plain flour

400g can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup
125g (4oz) butter or margarine

90g (3oz) dark chocolate
30g (1oz) butter or margarine

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, stir in sifted flour in two lots. When mixture becomes too difficult to stir, use hand to press ingredients together; knead lightly until smooth. Press evenly over base of greased 28cm x 18cm (11in x 7in) lamington [sic] tin, bake in moderate oven 20 minutes, or until golden brown, leave to cool in tin. When base is cold, pour hot caramel mixture over, leave until cold, then spread with icing, refrigerate until set.

Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan with heavy base, stir over low heat until butter is melted and sugar dissolved; continue stirring, increase heat, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer, stir- ring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Pour hot caramel mixture over cooled base.

Melt chocolate over simmering water, add butter, stir until melted, spread evenly over cold caramel mixture.

Approximate cost: $1.70.

Caramel Squares
Image: Aurore D

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