Salted Caramel & Walnut Shortbread BarsBy Mable Tan • Jan 25th, 2011 • Category: Baking Projects
It really feels good to be home. I’ve been out of action for more than six months and I had to wipe the dust of my Kitchen Aid. Did you miss me? I know my food testers did.
I have been keeping very quiet about a project I was involved with last year. And now that it’s out I can finally tell you what it is. The project is called Foodies of the World and it’s a compilation of more than 100 recipes from food blogs all over the world.
My favourite blogger, Béa of La Tartine Gourmande has also been featured, alongwith Fig & Cherry, Honey and Jam and, Steamy Kitchen. The book is very, very well done and the photos are simply beautiful (all done by the bloggers). Some of the recipes are just incredible and I’ve already bookmark ones I’m aiming to make. It is indeed a fantastic effort by all us foodies.
You can purchase the book online and for every book sold under Happee Monkee, I will be donating $5 to the Queensland Flood Appeal. I’m not sure if you’ve heard but it’s definitely big news here in Australia. Whilst our summers are usually scorching hot and flaming with bush fires, this year we were hit by massive floods.
Thousands of people lost their homes, livelihoods and, in some cases, family. The tragedy wasn’t just restricted in Queensland but also Victoria — which meant more homes were inundated by the floods. Houses were completely destroyed; covered with mud, rubbish and all sorts of stuff you don’t want and expect to have.
G. and I were stuck in Adelaide when we were due to drive home to Melbourne because the roads were closed. When we took an alternative route, we saw patches of water in paddocks and fast rising waters in rivers. We were redirected at one point because water had totally engulfed a bridge. The following week, things just got worst and it was sheer nightmare for those towns.
With your help, the money raised will go to the flood survivors in Queensland for them to rebuild their lives. So, not only will you get a copy of Foodies of the World, you’ll receive my utmost gratitude and appreciation. And if you’re a great networker, please spread the news to your church friends, local community and book clubs. You can hold dinner parties based on the great recipes in the book and tell your friends how they can help.
In case you missed the link, here it is again, please click: Foodies of the World.
To share with you one of the recipes in the book, first on my list is Sarah Easterling’s Salted Caramel and Toasted Walnut Shortbread Bars. Her blog is called Blue Ridge Baker and she writes from North Carolina, USA. She describes the bars as, ‘rich, buttery (without being greasy), and almost creamy‘. And I absolutely love them! The bars were gone almost in an instant and I’d definitely make them again.
By the way, this may come a little belated but Happy New Year everybody!
Salted Caramel & Toasted Walnut Shortbread Bars (makes 16 squares)
- 130 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 50 grams dark brown sugar
- 25 grams white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 150 grams unbleached white flour
- 85 grams unsalted butter
- 50 grams brown sugar
- 40 grams white sugar
- 1/4 cup agave nectar (Note: I’d used honey)
- 1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 110 grams walnut, toasted until golden brown and coarsley chopped
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Coarse sea salt, to finish
- Preheat oven to 190°C.
- With baking paper, line a square 20cm baking pan so the paper hangs over the edges.
- To make the crust, cream butter, both sugars and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy – about 2 minutes.
- Add flour and combine.
- Press mixture firmly and evenly into pan, prick all over with a fork and refrigerate for 20 mins.
- Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, or until golden brown, then cool on rack.
- For the filling, reduce the oven temperature to 160°C.
- Place butter, both sugars and agave nectar (or honey), cream and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
- Continue to boil for 3 minutes, or until caramel is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and stir in toasted walnuts and vanilla.
- Pour onto the cooled crust and place in the oven to bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until it has begun to bubble.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool. When lukewarm, lightly sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Cool completely before removing from the pan by gently lifting the overhanging paper.