Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread

Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread | oatmilkandcookies.co.uk
Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread

Every time I make these, I wonder why on earth I don’t whip them up them ALL the time. A bit more than just a biscuit, a millionaire shortbread is not just a plate-worthy Twix. They feel a bit luxe. Like they should be served alongside a fancy coffee in a sparsely decorated cafe. And yet, they are so easy to make – especially when you discover the joy of almost instant caramel made with coconut powder. Yes! You will thank me for this (and also find endless ways of using it. Warm and drizzled over banana ice-cream? Well why blimmin’ not?)

This vegan millionaire’s shortbread recipe is based on the Salted Caramel Millionaires recipe I posted on this blog a few years ago. I suppose, if you wanted to, you could roughly follow the original recipe by substituting a tin of vegan condensed milk (tricky to find and eye wateringly expensive) and even some shop-bought vegan shortbread-type biscuits for the base (also tricky to find); but honestly, why bother? It’s a lot less hassle, not to mention cheaper, to make your own – as I’m about to show you.

The vegan coconut milk powder I use here is one of the most useful ingredients I have in my cupboard. I like the Coconut Merchant brand, cheaper by the kilo from Amazon. Really useful for making small amounts of coconut milk (when you don’t want to open a tin) and essential for making my Instant Vegan Condensed Milk too! Actually, when I originally started playing with this recipe, I was making up a batch of condensed milk first for the caramel, until I realised I could actually cut time by using an all-in-one method in the pan. Much easier and rapid caramel to boot! What if you don’t like coconut? Well, I suppose you could just as easily substitute soya milk powder  (I think it exists) or perhaps learn to love coconut, being vegan and all – and the taste here is not overwhelmingly coconutty.

This makes 16 squares. You could try to cut them smaller but the shortbread base is quite crumbly, so it could get a bit messy. You’ll need an 8 inch or 9 inch square tin, greased and lined with baking paper.

For the shortbread base:

50g caster sugar
100g vegan butter (I love Flora Buttery)
1 tsp natural vanilla paste or extract
150g plain flour

For the caramel:

85g vegan butter
125g soft light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
25g golden syrup
25ml water
60g coconut powder

For the top:

200g dark chocolate
Sea salt flakes to sprinkle

Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread | oatmilkandcookies.co.uk Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread | oatmilkandcookies.co.uk
Prepare your tin and preheat the oven to 170c / 325f / gas mark 3. I like to use a fork to mash the butter, sugar and vanilla together until creamy; you can use a mixer instead if you prefer but it’s really not necessary. Then add the flour and combine (with a spoon or spatula) until you have fairly crumbly dough. Distribute evenly over the base of your tin and use your hands or the back of a spoon to flatten.

Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread | oatmilkandcookies.co.uk Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread | oatmilkandcookies.co.uk
Prick with a fork and pop the tin in the fridge just until the oven is ready, then bake for around 20 minutes or until the edges are just turning golden. It firms up as it cools so don’t be tempted to over bake! Set aside and crack on with the caramel.

Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread | oatmilkandcookies.co.uk Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread | oatmilkandcookies.co.uk

Gently melt the butter, sugar, syrup, salt and water in a pan over a medium heat. When you have a golden liquid, carefully whisk in the coconut powder and bring to the boil (stand back in case it spits) then reduce the heat a little and keep stirring very carefully for around 3 minutes until it looks smooth and creamy.

Leave the caramel to cool down for around 15 minutes, giving it a stir now and again. When the caramel is just warm, pour it over the cooled shortbread base, using the back of a spoon or a palette knife to ease it into the corners.

Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread | oatmilkandcookies.co.uk Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread | oatmilkandcookies.co.uk
When the caramel is cold and pretty much set (this won’t take long, maybe ten minutes or so), melt the chocolate* and use your palette knife again to smooth it into place, before sprinkling with crushed sea salt flakes. Do this before the chocolate sets!

*I melt chocolate in the microwave. Chop it up, place in a bowl and melt using 20-30 second increments, stirring in between. I’ve never had an issue using this method and the words ‘bain marie’ make my blood run cold. Slice before the chocolate sets rock hard, as it is prone to cracking. These delectable squares will keep for a few days in an airtight tub (good luck with that).

Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread | oatmilkandcookies.co.uk Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread | oatmilkandcookies.co.uk

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