These Caramelized Sugar Shortbread Cookies are made with caramel dust or caramelized sugar that has been blitzed into fine ground. They are much like the classic shortbread cookies, without any fancy flavoring, yet with a tiny hint of caramel sweetness in their crumbs.
First, let it be known that this caramelized sugar shortbread cookie recipe is specifically made to give an idea on how to use left over caramel dust. You can very well substitute granulated sugar if you just want to make some good ole’ classic butter shortbread cookies. And those will still be totally delicious. But if you’ve spent the time to play with caramelized sugar and made caramelized sugar dust from it, you will need some ways to use it. And this is a delicious one!
How to make butter shortbread with caramel dust
Making shortbread cookies has got to be one of my favorite activities. Shortbread cookie recipe tends to be very simple. The ingredient list is short and most likely you already have everything you need in your pantry, unless you’re trying to make matcha shortbread or strawberry shortbread, which will require a special ingredient to create the flavor. As for these caramelized sugar shortbread cookies, you do need a very special ingredient, caramel dust!
- Add caramel dust, softened unsalted butter and a splash of vanilla to your stand mixer bowl.
- Beat together until creamy, fluffy and well incorporated.
- Now add the flour and salt mixture. Start mixing on low speed to incorporate the flour without kicking it up everywhere. Increase mixer speed and mix until a dough comes together. If the dough looks sandy, it could be because the butter was still too cold or not beaten well enough. This is an easy fix, continue to beat it a little more and it should come together.
- As soon as the dough forms, stop the mixer. Turn it out on a floured counter top or right on top of a piece of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into a disk or rectangle, wrap well and refrigerate for about half an hour to allow it to relax and rehydrate.
- Roll the dough out to between 1/4” to 3/8” and cut with cookie cutter. Alternately, you can cut into squares or rectangles with a knife to simplify this step and avoid having to re-roll the scraps. I used a 2.5” flower shape cookie cutter here and this recipe yielded 10 really good size cookies.
- Place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle caramel dust on top generously and bake.
Unless you have a very sensitive palate, you may not detect any difference in flavor between these caramelized sugar shortbread cookies compared to the classic version. I’d like to think the caramel dust adds a little bit of complexity to these simple yet always tasty and buttery shortbread cookies.
More Amazing Shortbread Cookie Recipes
- Coconut Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Espresso Shortbread Cookies
- Lemon Shortbread Cookies
- Almond Shortbread Cookies
- Valentine’s Day Stained Glass Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies
- Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies
- “Narutomaki” Shortbread Cookies
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!
Caramelized Sugar Shortbread Cookies
- 4 ounce unsalted butter ((113 g, room temperature))
- 1/3 cup caramelized sugar dust ((61 g))
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ((2 g))
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour ((143 g))
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt ((1 g))
- 1 tablespoon caramelized sugar dust for sprinkling ((12 g))
- Add softened butter, caramelized sugar dust and vanilla extract to the stand mixer bowl and beat with the paddle attachment on medium low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Mean while, add flour and salt to a small mixing bowl and whisk to distribute evenly. Reduce mixer speed to low speed, and slowly add the flour mixture. Gradually increase mixer speed to medium and mix until dough comes together. It should start pulling away from the side of the mixing bowl.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board or counter top, and shape into a disk. Wrap well with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Roll dough to between 1/4” to 3/8” thick and cut out cookies with desired size cookie cutter. Re-roll the scrap dough and cut out more cookies until finished.
- Place the cookies in a container in layers with parchment paper in between and freeze for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F while the cookies are resting in the freezer.
- When the oven is ready, place cookies on a parchment line baking sheet an inch or two apart, sprinkle caramelized sugar dust over the top of cookies generously and bake for 15 - 16 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- This recipe is specifically made to give an idea on how to use left over caramel dust. If you substitute granulated sugar, then it will just be a classic shortbread recipe.
- I used a 2.5” flower shape cookie cutter and the recipe yielded 10 full cookies.
- This recipe can be doubled or tripled easily for more cookies if desired.
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