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Middle Eastern Millionaire’s Shortbread

5 from 2 reviews

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

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

  • Author: Yotam Ottolenghi
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
  • Author: Yotam Ottolenghi
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
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  • Author: Yotam Ottolenghi
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes

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

Instructions

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.

Notes

Recipe from the cookbook Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi