Crumbly, buttery, melt in your mouth shortbread with Werther's Original butter candy bits.
The idea for this recipe came about when I was initially thinking of making a salted caramel shortbread using a homemade salted caramel brittle that you could then break into pieces and add to the shortbread dough. While this would be an easy component to make from scratch, I also had the idea of what the texture of the caramel should be, but then - I had an epiphany! To save time and respectfully bearing in mind my dear readers, I thought, surely there is already such an ingredient, that is ready-made, and you could just buy from a shop? Sure enough, yes, there is! I don't know why I've never thought of it before! Werther's Original butter candies - AKA Grandpa and Grandma candies. These are always knocking around the grandparent's house next to the mint imperials, tea cosy and the latest copy of the Radio Times.
hammered down on them with Thor's hammer (rolling pin) and the mighty power of Odin
I know some of you are across the pond, I'm not sure if Werther's are available where you reside, but I know I have seen them in the US that much I'm sure. The candies are hard lozenge shaped sweet and buttery flavoured...erm, lozenges'?
One thing I discovered is these little oval blighters are as hard as nails! My first attempt at smashing them into small pieces was thwarted. I sandwiched them between a folded tea towel and hammered down on them with Thor's hammer (rolling pin) and the mighty power of Odin! But alas and never the less, my disappointment was soon realised when I lifted the bruised cloth to reveal the candies staring back up at me, mockingly, still intact and as if the were made of iron and no match for my pin.
I had to enlist the help of a Ninja...
Where there's a will, there's a way and if its not my way then its the way of a "modern" convenience, meaning I had to enlist the help of a Ninja...A Nutri Ninja! If you are not familiar with a nutri ninja, it is a high powered blender mostly used for making smoothies but I have to admit, it has a lot more utility than just an expensive piece of cupboard furniture or a dusty relic used once a year when one decides a health kick is needed. I cautiously proceeded to add a handful of the Werther's to the cup, unsure of how much to add, closed the toothy lid and placed it atop the whizzy bit, hit start, quickly realised I should have pressed pulse then hastily flicked and fumbled the off switch! "Oh, dear", one extreme to another, "B*****cks"! I had turned the hard, shiny pebbles into a powder. It looked like what I would describe as a mini diorama of the Saharan desert or one of those 'sand art' souvenirs you find at gift shops in seaside towns.
This brings me to tip number 1. If you are going to use a blender of some description, make sure you use the pulse function. You may have to sieve some of the powdered candy from the chunks, but at least it won't all be powder. I think another way of crushing the cadies would be to use a mallet of some sort - something I did not have to hand at the time of making and writing this recipe. Failing that, find a steam roller!
All joking aside, these cookies are relatively simple to make. In fact, shortbread is arguably one of the easiest cookies/biscuits with a basic recipe consisting of just three ingredients - Flour, butter and sugar. The best part about this recipe is that when they are baking the candy pieces will melt into little pockets and then solidify when cooled, creating a great contrasting texture of crumbly biscuit and chewy bits.
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I already have an Idea of how this recipe could be improved (not that it isnt already great), at some point I will revise it, maybe "Butter Candy Shortbread Cookies 2.0?". Maybe some clarified brown butter and even, maybe, try adding Daim bars?
Hope you enjoy and let me know if you try it...