We are always browsing for new sites and YouTube channels to follow, and about a month ago we found Ireland based Donal Skehan, who’s not only a YouTube star, but an amazing food bloger, author (4 books), food photographer and TV presenter. We are loving all of his videos… specially now that he went already twice to visit Sarah Carey over at the Martha Stewart’s Kitchens. Check out their collaboration videos here and here. So when we saw Donal making these Chocolate Squares we knew it was just a matter of time before we made them ourselves.
These bar cookies, a cookie shortbread based, and just after its baked, you add the hot caramel, bake it off a bit and after it cools completely, you pour the chocolate. This treat’s origins apparently are in Scotland in the Elizabethan-era (between 1558–1603). During that time, it was common to use ground oats rather than wheat flour. When baking chocolate and condensed milk started being available, they merged into the recipe and is what we now know as the Millionaire Shortbread or Millionaire Chocolate Squares. What makes them Millionaire? The rich and delicious layer of chocolate on top of caramel!
Donal’s version is perfect. I’ve tried my hand at making caramel before, but with the addition of condensed milk and a little bit of corn syrup, the mix is stabilized, resulting in a smooth and golden caramel. Donal uses golden syrup, but you can also use corn syrup or honey. I made them for a birthday dinner and they were a hit! I converted the recipe from grams to cups and tablespoons, but feel free to check out Donal’s original version linked below.
I hope you can make them at home too. They are perfect to make ahead!
Millionaire Chocolate Squares
Recipe adapted from Donal Skehan
Makes 16 squares
Ingredients, for the shortbread base:
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup and 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon of baking powder
3 ½ tablespoons of sugar
Ingredients, for the topping:
14 ½ tablespoons of sugar
½ tablespoon sea salt
4 tablespoon corn syrup
7-oz. unsalted butter
1 400-g. tin of condensed milk
2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with butter. Line it with parchment paper and butter it again. This will make removing the baked cookie from the tin much easier.
- In a bowl, use your fingertips to rub together the butter and flour until it resembles wet sand and then, then mix in the sugar. If you see that the base is not coming together, you can add one tablespoon of cold water as you would with a pie crust. Press the mix into the pan as uniform as you can, and bake it for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Leave the oven turned on.
- While the base is cooking, prepare the caramel. Place the sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter and condensed milk in a saucepan over a low-medium heat and allow to melt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until you get a nice toffee-caramel color, stirring regularly to avoid the caramel to burn.
- Immediately after you remove the shortbread base from the oven, pour the caramel over it place back in the oven to cook for 8 to 10 minutes. When done, remove the baking tin from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. When melted, pour the chocolate over the cooled caramel, and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Let it sit until cool. You can pop it into the fridge until you need to slice them into pieces, just make sure you take them out at lest 10 minutes before.
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