Monday, June 20, 2011

Pine Nut Caramel Shortbread

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter, cubed
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups pine nuts
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coarse salt, optional

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Pat onto the bottom of a greased 15-in.x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Prick dough thoroughly with a fork.
Bake at 375° for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce temperature to 325°.
In a large saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, honey, sugar, cream and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer reads 234° (soft-ball stage). Remove from the heat; stir in pine nuts and vanilla. Spread evenly over crust.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Place pan on a wire rack.
Sprinkle the top with coarse salt if desired. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 4 dozen.

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