You ask my momma what her favorite cookie is, she’ll always tell you “oh, definitely shortbread. Nothing else compares.” Now my dad and I are more fans of the classic chocolate chip cookie, but I will never turn down a good shortbread cookie.
After spending a few hours at Sterling’s brunch in Reno, Nevada (yes, I’m talking HOURS, and yes, the majority of those hours were spent in the dessert area… no shame), I found my favorite dessert item – the salted caramel shortbread cookie. Once my momma and I bit into the cookie, our eyes lit up. We may have stuffed a few into a napkin and attempted to bring salted caramel shortbread cookies home with us in our purses (again, no shame), however, we were too consumed with the exciting thought of eating them in the car that we didn’t think about how the caramel would stick to the napkin. *cue multiple face palm moments*
I guess the upside to this was that I knew I had to make my own salted caramel shortbread cookie. And that’s exactly what happened! I realized, in order to get that flakey, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie, you need extraordinary amounts of butter and flour. Of course, adding vanilla extract gives you a much sweeter shortbread cookie, but it balances out with the salted caramel topping perfectly.
When I surprised my mom with these salted caramel shortbread cookies, her jaw dropped on the ground and she did her little happy dance. She was so excited!!! And just like my reaction in the video below, momma’s eyes rolled into the back of her head. She was in cookie heaven!
Check out the video below to see how to make these beauties and then you’ll understand why I ate all twelve in a matter of 20 minutes. Not even mad about it!
- 3/4 cup soft, unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 bag unwrapped caramels
- 1 tbsp milk
- coarse sea salt
- 2 baking sheets
- 3 sheets of parchment paper
- electric mixer
- microwavable safe bowl
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place off to the side.
- Using an electric mixer, mix the butter on medium high speed until nice and creamy.
- Add vanilla and sugar.
- Slowly add the flour in small increments until just combined.
- Transfer the crumbly dough onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Using another sheet of parchment paper, gently push down on the dough to make a slab of cookie dough.
- Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Remove from fridge. Keeping the top sheet of parchment paper on the cookie dough, roll out the dough to about 1/3 inch thick.
- Place back in fridge for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove dough from fridge. Using a circle cookie cutter, cut out shapes onto a new baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes.
- In a microwavable safe bowl, melt the caramel and milk in 30 second increments at half power until fully melted.
- Using the back of a spoon to help spread the caramel, drop a teaspoon of caramel onto each cookie. Top with course sea salt.
- Keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.