Monday, April 16, 2012

Coconut and Caramel Shortbread

A hostess gift from one of girlfriends!
Can you say fantabulous?
For my luncheon this afternoon I made two desserts and served fresh berries which is a departure from my usual trio of baked desserts.  This was a nod to the weather - bathing suit season is almost upon us. This is the first of the two baked desserts.

I tried out a recipe from a new cookbook that I purchased which is all about sugar - deadly to say the least.  I took the concept of the dessert and used my own recipes.  The finished product garnered oohs and aahs from the girls and they suggested that I submit this recipe for my next dessert contest!  Will do ladies.

The recipe is one that has quite a few steps, refrigerating the dough and two bakings so be prepared to take some time with this one.

Coconut and Caramel Shortbread 
 Serves 14-16 for dessert

Ingredients for Shortbread
2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1 1/4 cup of butter
1/2 cup white sugar 
2 cups of flour
pinch of salt

Ingredients for Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 tbls. butter
Sea salt
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place coconut in pan and put in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until light brown.  Remove from oven and set aside.

In a medium bowl stir flour, sugar and salt.  Add softened butter and mix with your hands until it resembles corn meal.  Add 1 cup of the toasted coconut.  Pat into a 8X13 inch pan that has been lined with parchement paper. (make sure that there is an overhang on the ends - this will facilitate taking the shortbread out)  Place in the refrigerator of at least 30 minutes or until hardened.   Take a fork and dock the shortbread (this will prevent it from bubbling up).

Place in the middle rack of the oven and cook for 24-26 minutes or until the shortbread turns lightly brown around the edges.

To make the caramel sauce:  put the sugar in a heavy non-reactive saucier pan and put the heat on medium high.  Do not stir the sugar at all.  It will start to melt around the edges.  When it starts to melt you can use a wire wisk and stir vigorously until all the sugar is melted.  Cook the sugar until it has turn a golden brown.   When it has gotten to that stage add the heavy cream all at once.  Be careful as it will bubble up.  The mixture will now appear clumpy.   Continue to whisk until the mixture starts to melt again.  Allow it to boil for 3-5 minutes making sure that it does not burn.. Turn off the heat and add the butter, salt and vanilla.  Stir until smooth.  Add the coconut and make sure that it is thoroughly mixed with caramel.

Place the caramel mixture on top of the cooked shortbread and return to the oven for 30 minutes or until the caramel is bubbling uniformley.

Remove from the oven and allow the caramel to set.  I allowed it to set overnight and it was perfect.

Lift the shortbread out of the pan using the over hanging parchement paper.

Cut into 16-20 pieces.

Coconut and Caramel Shortbread
on my grandmother's cake stand


  1. This shortbread looks out of this the cake stand too!

    1. Thanks Brooks - the shortbread is in fact amazing - my grandmother placed many a cake on this cakestand!

  2. shortbread actually looks's a great experience visiting your website.

  3. wow just look it looks so delicious.

  4. just look at it,it looks fabulous.
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  5. coconut and caramel shortbread is the amazing dish to have in our breakfast.
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