Grain-free Shortbread with Salted Caramel

Last week I shared my recipe for Grain-Free Shortbread Wedges, crumbly and buttery and just in time for the holidays. Now it is time to share how I morph that recipe into delectable shortbread bars that are delicious on their own, but go completely over the top when dipped in caramel and sprinkled with sea salt. They are perfect on their own, but really shine when paired with afternoon tea, or piping hot coffee or hot cocoa.

Shortbread is one of my favorite recipes to make. The ingredients are wholesome and simple, plus the finished bars are not too sweet. I find that I need less sweetness these days now that I eat real food on a regular basis. A small amount of good quality honey is all it takes to make these shortbread bars the perfect bite after a holiday meal. And since shortbread is traditionally lightly sweetened, these grain-free shortbread bars are perfect to pair with a touch of sweet caramel on occasion.

Grass-fed butter is rich in vitamin K2, which is responsible for proper absorption of vitamins A and D. I prefer using grass-fed butter in cookies and baked goods because the vitamin K2 is not broken down in the heating process. So when I eat my salty-sweet shortbread bar, I know that it is at least my best version of a homemade treat that won’t make me sick.

grain-free shortbread with salted caramel

By Jenny Published: December 22, 2011

    Shortbread bars with a salted caramel coating

    Ingredients

    • for the shortbread
    • 1 3/4 Cups almond flour
    • 1/4 cup coconut flour
    • 1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (cold, cut into small pieces)
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • for the salted caramel
    • 1 cup heavy cream (not ultrapasteurized)
    • 1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
    • 1 cup honey

    Instructions

    1. to prepare the caramel
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    3. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, and salt. Pour honey over the top. Add butter pieces and vanilla. With a pastry blender, or with your hands, combine ingredients until they form small crumbs. The dough should stick together if you pinch some in between two fingers. Lay out a long piece of parchment and dump the crumbly dough into the center.
    4. Between two pieces of parchment paper, roll the dough out into a long rectangle. Using the pizza cutter or a knife, cut the rectangle lengthwise in half, then cut across every 2 inches or so creating a pair of shortbread bars end to end with each cut. Using the small spatula, transfer the bars to a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
    5. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and immediately slide parchment to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before dipping into caramel.
    6. Prepare a shallow pie plate by filling it halfway with cold water. Set aside.
    7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    8. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and salt over a medium heat until bubbles start to form alongside the edges of the pan. Add the honey and stir until completely heated through.
    9. Turn the heat up and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Attach the candy thermometer to the side of the pan, taking care that the thermometer not touch the bottom of the pan.
    10. Lower the heat to medium to keep the mixture at a slow simmer. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes or until it reaches 255 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn off the heat.
    11. Carefully lower the saucepan into a bowl half-way full of cold water. Mix with a wooden spoon as the caramel cools and thickens. Tilt the saucepan to the side so that the caramel pools on one side. Dip completely cooled shortbread bars halfway into the caramel and then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt immediately.
    12. Transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator to harden completely. Store in an airtight container.

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