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Caramel Chocolate Shortbreads

Shortbread alone is a treat, but when topped with layers of caramel, chocolate and toasted coconut, it becomes akin to a candy bar. Using mini chocolate chips makes this recipe super easy -- they melt right into the cookie.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 12 pieces
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Ingredients

3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (see Cook's Note)

One 11-ounce bag caramels, pieces unwrapped

Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the spoon

1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving about a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides. Spread the coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter, vanilla and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix on low until just incorporated. Beat in the flour in 2 batches to make a smooth dough.
  3. Lightly flour your hands and press the dough into the prepared baking pan. Bake the shortbread until the edges are firm and the top is dry, 28 to 30 minutes. Top the shortbread with the caramels in an even layer. Return to the oven along with the baking sheet of coconut and cook, tossing the coconut once, until the caramels are melted and the coconut is golden, about 10 minutes.
  4. Spray the back of a spoon with cooking spray and use it to spread the caramel all over the shortbread. Sprinkle with the chocolate and let sit until the chips are melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
  5. Using the foil overhang as handles, lift the shortbread out of the pan and cut into 12 pieces.

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)

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