From the first time I’ve known my good friend Lorraine I’ve always heard her talk about her carrot cake! Grrrr…no….no…no! I make the best carrot cake! One day before spin class started, we were quizzing each other on what we put in “our” carrot cake. It went something like this, “well do you put pineapple in your carrot cake?……do you put raisins in yours?” You would think we were like two high school girls competing over the title of being the Quarterbacks girlfriend! Despite our friendly competition, I’m glad God brought us together thru the love of food & fitness!
Then as you all know, I blew my back out. Darn it! Now I feel more guilty about eating my desserts. I can’t get my workout in to justify my guilty pleasures. Tears….tears…tears! I’m now a serious closet eater. Here is the scene…..It’s midnight, the boys are in bed…fork, cake and a glass of cold milk…..ahhhh we’re reunited once again!
Oh yah, back to Lorraine. She called me up asking if I would like some carrot cake. What nerve! Kick a girl when she’s down! (She was very sincere!) “Of course I would like to judge, I mean try your cake.” Lorraine came to my door with a WHOLE CAKE ON A PEDESTAL! Seriously! We chatted shortly, blah, blah, yah, yah, yah…thanks for the cake, good bye. I couldn’t wait to try the cake! I never even got a plate. I sat the layered cake on the counter limped over and got a fork. I picked the perfect spot to dive right in and….Oh My Goshhhhhh……delish! Fork full after fork full trying to figure out what’s in her’s compared to mine. It didn’t matter I was in carrot cake bliss! Ok, our carrot cakes are on equal playing fields!
F.Y.I, I didn’t eat the whole cake. We had a church potluck that I took it to. I cut out my part and gave away the rest. And everyone at church kept asking each other “do you know who made that carrot cake?” “Did you try the carrot cake? It’s soooo good!”
Now, that I got you all hungry for carrot cake, I will get to my actual recipe I’m sharing with you today. I love shortbread, love love love caramel, and who doesn’t love the combo of sweet and salty?! Seriously prove me wrong!!!! Just try…. Well, if there is one of you out there then try this recipe and you will soon be an addict like the rest of us on this planet!
Lorraine sent me this delectable recipe quite some time ago. People send me recipes all the time. I either try it out or forget about it, eekk…sorry! But this recipe I never have forgot. And it always helped getting a friendly reminder from Lorraine asking me if I made this recipe yet. 😉 love that girl!
So here it is Lorraine.
Start with the bottom layer. The yummy shortbread. Cream together the butter, sugar & egg yolk. Make sure your butter is room temperature. I use my mixer for this step
I seriously don’t know why I continue to make molting hot sugar lava in a pan that is too small (I made this mistake with the Addicting Caramel Corn post) Bring to a boil for 5-10 minutes. Or, until it reaches temp. I don’t have a candy thermometer (chewed it up in the garbage disposal)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp sea salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp heavy cream
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the sides to make removal easier.
In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and salt with a pastry cutter or fork. Add the egg yolk and continue mixing. I used my stand mixer for this part.
Add the flour and use your hands to combine the dough until coarse crumbs form. Transfer the dough into the prepared pan and press it down into one even layer.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Set aside to cool.
For the caramel, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, sugar, and heavy cream. Bring to a boil and stir for about 5-10 minutes until caramel reaches the “soft ball stage” at around 230 degrees.
Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and pour caramel over the shortbread.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, then sprinkle with sea salt and cut into squares. Store caramels in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them.
*Add nuts to the shortbread. If adding nuts to the caramel, add them after you are done making the caramel to the soft ball stage. Make sure the nuts are toasted first, better flavor that way!
*You could add orange zest to the shortbread for a twist in flavor.
*A drizzle of chocolate w/ pecans in the shortbread; hello turtle bite!
*recipe made for Lorraine, but adapted by: “What’s Gaby Cooking”