Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies

Featuring a combination of sweet and salty, these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies are the perfect sweet treat for finishing an evening!

Featuring a combination of sweet and salty, these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies are the perfect sweet treat for finishing an evening!These Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies are salty in the best way possible.  In fact, shortbread cookies are one of the few times that I’m willing to break my rule about always baking with unsalted butter.  I used salted butter to make the cookie base for this dessert.  And then I went and sprinkled a few Maldon sea salt flakes on top of each of these cookies once they were done.

Flaked sea salt is one of my secret weapons when it comes to garnishing certain desserts!  (Also, I recently learned that Maldon makes smoked sea salt flakes – how good would those flakes be on these shortbread cookies!?  I just put those in my Amazon cart, btw.)

Featuring a combination of sweet and salty, these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies are the perfect sweet treat for finishing an evening!As I was sprinkling that flaked sea salt on top of these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies, I got to wondering.  How exactly do they make flaked sea salt?  Turns out it’s pretty simple.

Maldon is a region in England about an hour east of London.  There, Steve, a 4th generation saltmaker, simply pumps water from the nearby River Blackwater and then lets that salt dry out in large, shallow trays.  The process does involve a bit more than that – like maintaining the right temperature for drying out the salt – but it’s a fairly straightforward process.  Kinda cool, huh?  If you’re interested, I recommend this article from Bon Appetit on the history of Maldon Salt.  It’s a good read.

Featuring a combination of sweet and salty, these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies are the perfect sweet treat for finishing an evening!

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies

For these cookies, I started with my go-to shortbread cookie recipe.  Those cookies are delicious on their own right, and a batch or two of these often appears in our house around the holidays.

From there, I added a layer of ooey-gooey caramel and then topped the whole thing off with chocolate.  All together, this sweet-and-salt dessert is addictingly delicious!  (I dare you to eat just one square!)  In fact, these cookies are somewhat similar to a homemade Twix candy bar…which just so happens to be one of my favorite candy bars ever!

Featuring a combination of sweet and salty, these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies are the perfect sweet treat for finishing an evening!I opted to cut these cookies into small 1″ squares.  They’re perfectly poppable at that size.  I won’t blame you if you pop a couple!  They’re just too good to stop at only one.  In fact, Laura noted that these would be a good party dessert.  I agree with her…except for the simple fact that I’d probably eat half the tray before people arrived.  Oops.

I hope you get a chance to make these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies.  They’re delicious!  And don’t forget to finish ’em off with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes.  Cheers!

Featuring a combination of sweet and salty, these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies are the perfect sweet treat for finishing an evening!

Did you make these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies at home?  Leave a comment.  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!

Featuring a combination of sweet and salty, these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies are the perfect sweet treat for finishing an evening!

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies

Featuring a combination of sweet and salty, these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies are the perfect sweet treat for finishing an evening!
4.93 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Resting Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 64 1" squares
Calories: 103kcal

Ingredients

For the Cookies

  • 8 oz. salted butter room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Caramel

  • 10 oz. soft caramel candies unwrapped
  • 2 Tbsp evaporated milk

For the Chocolate

  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 oz. salted butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Instructions

For the Cookies

  • Line an 8”x8” brownie pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. (Tip: Make the parchment or foil sheets extra long so that they extend over edges of the pan. This will make it easy to lift the brownies out later!)
  • Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes on medium speed).
  • Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and flour. Mix on low speed until a stiff dough forms. Cover dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared pan. (Note: A flat-bottomed glass helps quite a bit here.)
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until tops of cookies turn light brown.
  • Set pan aside to cool.

For the Caramel

  • Place the unwrapped caramels, evaporated milk and 1 tablespoon of water in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval. (Note: It took me 5 rounds before mixture was fully melted and smooth.)
  • Spread caramel mixture evenly on top of the shortbread cookie layer, using an offset spatula to push caramel to the edges of the pan.

For the Chocolate

  • Using a small saucepan, add the semi-sweet chocolate, butter and heavy cream. Place over low heat and cook, stirring often, until chocolate and butter have melted and mixture is smooth.
  • Pour mixture on top of the caramel layer, using an offset spatula to push chocolate to the edges of the pan.
  • Cover pan and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  • Lift the bars out of the pan and cut into 1”x1” squares.
  • Store cookies in the refrigerator prior to serving.

Featuring a combination of sweet and salty, these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies are the perfect sweet treat for finishing an evening!

Looking for more delicious cookie recipes?  Check out some of these other favorites, too:

Surprise!  These Chocolate Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies are stuffed with a layer of melty chocolate.  Yum!Chocolate Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

These Gingerbread Button Cookies are a fun way to add a twist to the holiday cookie tray!Gingerbread Button Cookies

The crisp Fall air (and baking season) is back!  Celebrate the season with a batch of these tasty Frosted Maple Sugar Cookies!Frosted Maple Sugar Cookies

Spiced® is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that spicedblog.com receives a small commission by linking to Amazon.com and other sites at no cost to the readers.

37 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    You do not even know how much I love sweet and salty combos! That salt over top is just the icing on the cake or, er, shortbread cookie here, my friend! Chocolate, caramel, buttery shortbread and flecks of salt??? Pure perfection! I wouldn’t mind receiving a few of these in the mail 😉 Definitely giving these a go soon! I know they’d be devoured!

    1. I used to be a bit skeptical of salty desserts. I thought “those shouldn’t go together.” But I’ve totally changed my tune in recent years. Now a good salty + sweet dessert is my jam! Chocolate covered pretzels? Pass me the bowl! These shortbread cookies? Pass me the entire tray! 🙂

    1. The sea salt flakes on top of these cookies were magical, Gerlinde! I don’t use salt flakes very often, but there are times when you just need some in the pantry…like for these shortbread cookies! 🙂 Thanks so much!

  2. Now I bet you can’t eat just one of those bad boys. I also bet you can’t eat one without licking your fingers. My kind of treat.
    Maldon salt is wonderful and it’s the salt you’ll find in our salt pig. Now one might say that’s fancy, but not really it’s not so expensive over here (for now) and we don’t get kosher salt here. I love the crunchiness of Maldon salt.

    1. Yeah…I might’ve eaten 1 – or 4- of these cookies as soon as the photos were taken. Oops! The salt on top really seals the deal.

      So no kosher salt over there? That one is surprising! I thought kosher salt was pretty ubiquitous. Lucky for you that Maldon is so inexpensive. It’s not all that bad here as long as you use it for finishing dishes rather than main go-to cooking salt. You should try the smoked version! (I ordered some…it’s awesome.)

  3. 4 stars
    Sounds like a decadent cookie. I’ll make them for the next luncheon I host. By the way, I picked up a box of smoked Malton salt at Target! Who would have guessed?

    1. Hey Sherry! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. And smoked Maldon salt at Target!? I mean I do love Target, but I would never have guessed they’d have Maldon salt there. I ordered a box of the smoked Maldon on Amazon, and it’s delicious. Now I need to make these cookies again and top ’em with smoked sea salt. Either way, I hope you enjoy this recipe. It’s one of my favorites for sure!

  4. 5 stars
    Salty sweets are the best! And it’s hard to go wrong with chocolate and caramel–I could definitely do serious damage to a batch of these :). I’m thinking they’d be great for a basketball watching party next month (or this weekend, because I don’t know if I can wait till March Madness to try these).

    1. Oh, I might’ve already done the aforementioned damage to these cookies, Kelsie. I mean someone had to eat all of the crusts that I sliced off. And then someone had to eat the rest of the cookies. Might as well be me, right? 🙂 And I hear ya about March Madness. Bring on the fun! Go Devils!!

    1. Yes! I got that box of smoked Maldon, and it’s insane. I don’t use it for normal cooking, but it’s perfect for finishing dishes…or for topping desserts. Now I need to make another batch of these shortbread cookies so I can try the smoked Maldon on top. Thanks, Matt!

  5. oh yes i love a bit of salt on my chocolate. so delish, and just adds a bit of piquancy to the overall experience. these are known as millionaire’s shortbread in our territory:-) So yum.

    1. Interesting! I’ve never heard the term Millionaire’s Shortbread, but I totally agree with it. I felt like a millionaire after I ate the plate of these. Haha! 🙂 Thanks, Sherry!

    1. Maldon salt is SO good! We don’t use it for regular cooking, but I frequently reach for it when finishing a dish. That smoked version? Holy cow! And, yes, I highly recommend this recipe, Alexandra. It’s delicious…especially with that pinch of Maldon on top!

    1. I’m with ya on the smoked salt, Kelly! I used regular Maldon salt on these, but you better believe I ordered that smoked version. Now I just need to make another batch of these to try with the smoked salt…maybe today! Happy Valentine’s Day, my friend!

  6. Caramel. Chocolate. Shortbread. Cookies. What is this? A list of my favorite things? Tell me that Ruth Bader Ginsburg heped you bake them, and that Richard Madden is going to deliver them to me on a motor scooter while I’m vacationing in Italy, and my life is complete!

    1. Yes! Definitely add some of that Maldon salt to your Amazon list, Kathy. And while you’re at it, add the smoked version, too. Think of how many ways it could be used! I want to try the smoked version on these shortbread cookies…but I need to make another batch of cookies first. Maybe today! Happy Valentine’s Day, my friend!

  7. 5 stars
    Nice! These are known as millionaire’s shortbread here in the UK because they’re so RICH and decadent. There’s no scrimping on delicious flavours or taste here David. I love these!

    1. I’ve heard that term millionaire’s shortbread pop up a couple times now! I’ve never heard it before, but I think it’s a great name for this treat. So good!! Thanks, Neil!

    1. These really are delicious cookies, Dawn! A couple is an understatement. 🙂 I might’ve eaten all of the edges that I sliced off…you know, they’re just the scraps, but we can’t let ’em go to waste! Haha.

  8. 5 stars
    I love sweet / salty desserts – every weekend we watch a movie and indulge in buttery popcorn and good, dark chocolate. So these bars are right up my alley, David! SO good!

    1. Oh man, buttery popcorn and dark chocolate sounds like a delicious combo, Marissa! I love that weekend tradition. 🙂 Next time, you’ll have to use some of that dark chocolate in these cookies. Salty + sweet really is one of my favorites!

  9. 5 stars
    Twix Candy Bar is one of my favourite bars (Perhaps, it goes just after snickers) so these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies are right up my alley! Gooey, rich, and buttery – what can you ask for more? (Actually, some toasted nuts never hurt this combo!) And a good pinch of flaky salt is a great way to balance out this dulcet dessert!

    1. Haha! Snickers are right up there near the top of my list, too, Ben. (Truth be told, Heath Bars and Skor Bars are my all-time favorite candy bar.) But Twix are definitely in the Top 5. I like your idea of adding some toasted nuts to the top of these. That could be arranged next time!

  10. In addition to ending the day with these, I might just start the day with them, too. After all, they’d be delicious with coffee. I’m a big fan of Maldon sea salt flakes, and they’re the perfect touch to your dessert. 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. Haha! I think chocolate and caramel goes well with coffee! I’m on board with starting my day with one of these cookies, too. I like the way you think, Valentina!

    1. Oh man, the sweet + salty combo is so addicting! It seems kinda strange to think about a salty dessert…but just a touch of sea salt (or these Maldon flakes!) makes such a difference. Thanks, Nicole!!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting, Gemma! I truly appreciate it. And I hope you get a chance to make these cookies…they’re delicious! (The only problem is you can’t eat just one. Haha!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating