A buttery shortbread topped with a halva "nougat" and tahini caramel, this Middle Eastern Millionaire's Shortbread is sinfully delicious!

Sometimes, you just need a dessert that is as rich as Bill Gates. Aka a very, very rich dessert. 

A buttery shortbread topped with a halva "nougat" and tahini caramel, this Middle Eastern Millionaire's Shortbread is sinfully delicious!

And this, my friends, fits that Bill (bill. Bill! get it?!) exactly. A buttery shortbread base, topped with a halva “nougat” and tahini caramel.

OOOOF YES.

Even though it’s a lot of richness, it’s not cloyingly sweet. The shortbread is rather plain (in the best way), and the halva nougat is nicely balanced from being mixed with pure tahini. The tahini caramel is the same way.

A buttery shortbread topped with a halva "nougat" and tahini caramel, this Middle Eastern Millionaire's Shortbread is sinfully delicious!

I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but it comes from the cookbook Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi. His cookbooks, particularly Sweet and Jerusalem, are possibly my favorite cookbooks.

There’s something about a well-done cookbook that makes me so happy, and I’ve never had a recipe from one of his books that I didn’t love. In fact, Friday’s recipe comes from the Jerusalem cookbook. heheh.

And no, this is not sponsored at all. I just really like his books 🙂

A buttery shortbread topped with a halva "nougat" and tahini caramel, this Middle Eastern Millionaire's Shortbread is sinfully delicious!

Even though these bars have 3 layers, I have to say I was pleased with how easy the process was. The shortbread comes together in a jiff, the halva layer takes like 2 seconds, and as intense as it sounds, homemade caramel is easy peasy.

A buttery shortbread topped with a halva "nougat" and tahini caramel, this Middle Eastern Millionaire's Shortbread is sinfully delicious!

Alright, HAPPY WEDNESDAY and happy baking, friends!

A buttery shortbread topped with a halva "nougat" and tahini caramel, this Middle Eastern Millionaire's Shortbread is sinfully delicious!

RECIPE

Middle Eastern Millionaire's Shortbread

Ingredients

For the shortbread

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, and set aside to cool slightly
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the halva nougat

  • 7 oz halva, roughly crumbled into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup tahini

For the tahini caramel

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Directions

For the shortbread

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, making sure that the paper rises up over the edges of the pan.
  2. Sift the confectioner's sugar and cornstarch into the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, then add the granulated sugar and mix on a medium speed. With the machine still running, slowly pour in the melted-but-cooled butter and beat until combined.
  3. Add the vanilla and reduce the speed to low, then sift in the flour and salt and continue to beat until the dough comes together. Tip the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands to pat and even out the surface.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside until completely cool: this will take an hour or so, so don’t start making the caramel too soon or it will have set by the time the shortbread is cool.

For the halva nougat

  1. Place the halva and tahini in a small bowl and mix with a wooden spoon to combine.
  2. Once the shortbread is cooled, spread the mix over the cooled shortbread and use the back of a spoon to smooth it out to an even layer.

For the tahini caramel

  1. To make the caramel, place the sugar and water into a small saucepan and place over a medium-low heat. Stir occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat to medium-high.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook – still at a boil – for about 12 minutes, until the sugar is a deep golden brown.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the butter and cream: take care here, as the mixture will splutter. Whisk to combine and, once the butter has melted, add the tahini and salt. Whisk to combine again, then pour evenly over the halva layer in the pan, so that all of the halva is covered.
  4. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours until set, before cutting into bars, about 2 inches square. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the middle of each bar and serve.

by

Recipe Notes

Recipe from the cookbook Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi

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7 comments

Reply

I have to try these Sarah! They look totally divine!

Reply

Halva and tahini ? Brilliant ! I’m in !

5.0 rating

Reply

Love the sound of these! Will have to give them a try!

Reply

These look amazing ! Wondering if they can be stored at room temp? And if so for how long? Planning ahead for holiday gift giving!

Reply

Hi Sarah,

I´m a big fan of you. I love all your recipes and beautiful pictures.

Love ,
Kathrin

5.0 rating

Reply

You should have named it billionaires shortbread 😉🤑

Reply

I need to make this, looks absolutely awesome!

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