- 1 stick Butter unsalted softened
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 large Eggs beaten
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 large Egg White beaten
- 2 1/4 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 Madagascar Vanilla Bean
- 2 1/4 cups Sugar
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1 3/4 sticks Butter unsalted
- 2-3 tsp Sea Salt
- For the Shortbread:
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on the short sides to lift the completed bars from the pan.
- Cream the butter and confectioner’s sugar at low speed.
- Add the whole eggs and beat until incorporated. Beat in the flour, salt, and cinnamon.
- Press the dough into the pan in an even layer, about 1/4 inch thick. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.
- Put a layer of parchment paper on the chilled shortbread and top with pie weights or dried beans.
- Bake 35 minutes. Remove the weights and paper, brush the shortbread with egg white, and bake another 20 minutes or so, until it’s golden and cooked through.
- For the Caramel:
- While the shortbread is baking, put the cream in a heavy saucepan.
- Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the cream, and drop the scraped pod in too.
- Bring to a simmer, cover, and keep warm.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves.
- Cook over moderate heat until it forms a deep amber caramel, about 7 minutes.
- Gently swirl the pan while cooking to insure even heating, but DO NOT STIR or the caramel will crystallize.
- Remove the caramel from the heat and carefully add the warm cream.
- When the bubbling subsides, add the butter.
- Cook over moderately high heat, stirring with a wooden or silicon spoon, until caramel reaches 240 on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
- Discard the vanilla pod and stir in the salt.
- Pour over the shortbread. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- To serve, bring to room temperature and sprinkle with fancy sea salt.
- Remove from pan and cut into small squares.