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Salted peanut butter caramel shortbread

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

Salt and sweet is one of those completely delicious combinations that is dangerous to have in the house. I adapted this recipe from an old guardian food pull out, it’s by the fantastic Ruby Tandoh! I altered it slightly as I use pecan nuts as alas no peanuts (I would stick with peanuts though if you have them) & I made it even more ridiculously tempting with a crunchy caramel praline topping… To die for… quite literally.

For the shortbread:

110g butter, softened

50g soft light brown sugar

150g plain flour

80g pecans or peanuts - roughly chopped

For the caramel:

400g tin condensed milk or a 400g tin of dulche de leche (depending on how lazy you are feeling!)

150g crunchy peanut butter

125g soft dark brown sugar

25g butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

Maldon salt flakes

For the chocolate:

100g dark chocolate

50g milk chocolate

Maldon salt flakes

For the caramel praline brittle:

150g white caster sugar

2 tablespoons water


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/ 350°F

  • Prepare a 20cm long brownie tin with baking parchment

Shortbread layer

  • Beat the butter and sugar together well until fluffy, add the plain flour and chopped nuts

  • Mix well and press into the prepared tin, pop the tin with the dough in the fridge for 15-20mins (this is a trick to ensure the biscuit doesn’t break once cooked)

  • Bake the shortbread for 30-35 minutes, remove from the oven and leave in the tin, as it cools it will harden

Caramel layer

  • If you are using the dulce de leche to make your caramel combine this in a bow with peanut butter, pour over the cooled shortbread and put into the fridge for at least 1 hour (you can leave for longer to ensure it has set)

  • If you are making your own caramel combine the condensed milk, brown sugar and peanut butter in a pan over a medium heat, once it starts to bubble stir continuously for around 5 minutes until it thickens and darkens in colour

  • Take off the heat and then beat in the butter and vanilla extract, then leave to cool and pour over the cooled shortbread, sprinkle with the salt and then leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour (you can leave for longer to ensure it has set)

Praline topping

  • Make your praline by preparing a tray with some baking parchment

  • Then combine the sugar and water in a pan, then putting onto a mid to low heat and leave until the sugar starts to caramelise once this begins to happen turn up the heat to mid to high until it starts to turn into caramel, this will suddenly happen very quickly so watch it closely, as soon as it has all turned to a golden brown caramel pour over the baking parchment and sprinkle with flaky salt and then leave to set

Chocolate layer

  • Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a bain-marie, remove from the heat and then pour over the cooled caramel shortbread

  • Your caramel praline will have set, carefully bash it up with a rolling pin into gravel size brittle, sprinkle over the melted chocolate on the shortbread

  • Place the shortbread back into the fridge for at least 20 minutes to set

  • A little trick to ensure it doesn’t splinter when you cut into squares is to heat the sharp knife in boiled water so it cuts smoothly through the chocolate!

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