For the shortbread cookies
- 2 cups unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
For the caramel layer
- 2 11- ounce packages Kraft or other similar caramels**
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
For the chocolate layer
- 2 11.5- ounce packages good quality milk chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- Various sizes of candy eyeballs
- Preheat oven to 325°F with a rack in the center.
- Place butter and sugar in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer). Beat on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
- Add the flour and stir in gently with a spatula or wooden spoon until incorporated. Gather dough into your hands and squeeze it together until it forms a ball. If you like, you can divide it into two parts, since it will roll out quite large.
- Dust work surface and rolling pin with flour and gently roll dough into a 1/4-inch thick disk. Cut into 2 to 2 1/2-inch rounds using a cookie or biscuit cutter. (I made some larger and some smaller and got about 40 cookies.) You can re-roll any scraps and use them to make a few more cookies.
- Transfer cookies to cookie sheets lined with parchment and [chill in the fridge for 15 minutes to help cookies retain their shape in the oven.]*
- Bake 12 to 16 minutes, until cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
- When cookies have cooled completely, make the caramel layer by melting the unwrapped caramels and the cream in a large bowl in the microwave. Your mileage may vary, but it took a couple of minutes in my microwave, during which I stopped and stirred every 30 seconds after the initial minute. When caramel is melted, place about a tablespoon (depending on cookie size) in the center of each cookie and let it spread on its own. It won’t be perfectly round, but I like that some of the caramel peeks out from under the chocolate so that people understand what they’re about to eat. Let caramel set before proceeding. This should happen within a few minutes.
- For the chocolate layer wash and dry the bowl used for the caramel, then melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together in the same fashion. Spread about a tablespoon of chocolate onto each cookie. You can smooth it as much as you like. I don’t always have a lot of patience for these things and thought (maybe to justify my impatience, but hey) that the texture gave the faces some cute individual personality.
- While the chocolate is still melty, place arrange the candy eyeballs. It was warm and humid the day I made these, and the chocolate took its time hardening. You can pop them in the fridge to harden in about 10 minutes, but then bring them to room temperature with a piece of parchment covering them so they don’t develop a layer of condensation. Unless you prefer your cookie faces sweaty.
- * Real talk: I don’t always do this, and it’s fiiiiiiiine, so.
- ** You’ll still have just about enough if you eat a couple, or so I’ve HEARD.
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- Adapted from BBC Food and Chef in Training
- Category: Dessert