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Salted Bourbon Caramel Shortbread Cookies

4.5 stars (6 ratings)

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Buttery shortbread and soft caramel are perfectly matched in these salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies. A delicious addition to any holiday party.

Buttery shortbread and soft caramel are perfectly matched in these salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies. A delicious addition to any holiday party.

The holidays are coming and so are the holiday parties! Whether you’ve planned a huge family function or small gathering of friends, nothing makes a holiday party magic quite like a plate of homemade cookies.

From snickerdoodles to spiced molasses cookies, there are so many varieties to choose from when it comes to baking for your guests. One of my personal favorites to make are these salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies.

The shortbread melts in your mouth with a nutty, buttery flavor that isn’t too sweet. On their own, they are pretty tasty, but not quite holiday material. So I topped them with my bourbon caramel sauce and a sprinkle of salt and for a wonderful holiday treat.

Buttery shortbread and soft caramel are perfectly matched in these salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies. A delicious addition to any holiday party.

There are two parts to making these cookies: the shortbread and the caramel topping. The caramel sauce must be made right before you use it, but the shortbread dough must be made at least 4 hours in advance, preferably the day before baking. To prevent the shortbread from being overworked, I roll it into a log, freeze it, then slice it. This minimizes the handling and actually creates less mess.

Back when I first created this recipe I was looking for a way to take my basic shortbread cookie and adapt it to go with my bourbon caramel sauce without being too sweet. I found that replacing part of the all-purpose flour with almond flour gave the best result.

I used Bob’s Red Mill organic almond flour in the creation of these cookies. The almond flour contains only whole, blanched, skinless almonds. They grind them up resulting in a flour that provides a nutty, buttery, chew when used in baking. Not only does it improve the texture and taste of these cookies, the almond flour adds all the nutrition of almonds to your treats.

Ingredients for salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies featuring Bob's Red Mill all purpose and almond flours. Buttery shortbread and soft caramel are perfectly matched in these salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies. A delicious addition to any holiday party.

Being a fan of Bob’s Red Mill for all of my specialty flours, I was very excited to be sent their organic all purpose white flour to feature in this recipe as well. The only reason their organic all purpose flour has not been a staple in my kitchen before now is that I didn’t realize it existed. The ingredient list for this flour is pretty amazing: organic hard red wheat. That’s it. It’s not stripped and enriched, it’s just the endosperm of the wheat ground into flour. It’s a highly versatile kitchen staple that I can’t wait to explore more.

Before you start, the butter for these cookies needs to be softened so that it will cream with the sugar. It’s best if you set it out early, but you can also use one of my many butter softening hacks. You can run it through a coarse grater, cut it into tablespoon sized cubes, or beat it to 1/4″ thick with a rolling pin. All of these will increase the surface area of the butter and make it soften faster.

Place the butter in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat it until it’s fluffy, then add the sugar and vanilla. Beat until it’s fully incorporated and still fluffy, stopping at least twice to scrape down the sides.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, measure out the Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached All Purpose White Flour and Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour, along with a pinch of salt. Whisk to combine. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the wet mixture in three parts, scraping down the bowl between each addition. After the last addition allow the mixer to continue to run until the flour is fully incorporated. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl, forming a dough ball.

Dough for salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies featuring Bob's Red Mill all purpose and almond flours. Buttery shortbread and soft caramel are perfectly matched in these salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies. A delicious addition to any holiday party.

Line your work surface with a piece of wax paper about 14″ long and dump the dough out onto it. Use the wax paper to shape the dough into a long, straight, log. Wrap the wax paper around the dough, securing the ends by twisting. Place in the freezer overnight, or at least a minimum of 4 hours. If you plan to make the dough more than 24 hours in advance, place the wrapped dough in a freezer safe bag for extra protection.

Once the dough has frozen solid, unwrap it from the wax paper and place on a cutting board. Warm a sharp knife under hot water, then slice through the dough making 1/4″ thick rounds. If the dough sticks to the knife, warm the blade again with the hot water.

Sliced cookies for salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies featuring Bob's Red Mill all purpose and almond flours. Buttery shortbread and soft caramel are perfectly matched in these salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies. A delicious addition to any holiday party.

Place the cookie rounds onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Shortbread will not rise or spread out very far, but the cookies should have at least an inch between them. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 – 14 minutes, until the edges begin to turn brown. The tops of these cookies won’t brown.

Let cookies cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. While the cookies are cooling, make the bourbon caramel sauce. In a small saucepan combine together the butter and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Once boiling add in the cream and bourbon. Continue to boil for 2 minutes more.

Glazing salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies featuring Bob's Red Mill all purpose and almond flours. Buttery shortbread and soft caramel are perfectly matched in these salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies. A delicious addition to any holiday party.

The caramel should drip off a spoon in a ribbon. The caramel will thicken as it cools, but if it gets too thick heat it back up again.

Spoon 1 – 2 tablespoons of the caramel on top of each cookie. The aim is to get it close to a circle, but I still can’t get them to look perfect. Let the cookies cool on the countertop for 15 minutes, then transfer them to the refrigerator to chill completely for an hour.

Prior to serving, finish the salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies with a light sprinkle of kosher or rock salt. Enjoy with a glass of milk, a shot of espresso, or even a glass of warmed cider.

Buttery shortbread and soft caramel are perfectly matched in these salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies. A delicious addition to any holiday party.

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Salted Bourbon Caramel Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Buttery shortbread and soft caramel are perfectly matched in these salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies. A delicious addition to any holiday party.

Salted Bourbon Caramel Shortbread Cookies

Buttery shortbread and soft caramel are perfectly matched in these salted bourbon caramel shortbread cookies. A delicious addition to any holiday party.
4.5 stars (6 ratings)
prep: 30 minutes
cook: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
total: 2 hours 45 minutes
servings: 15 cookies

Ingredients

Shortbread Cookies:

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour*
  • 2/3 cup almond flour*
  • pinch of salt

Bourbon Caramel Topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 tsp bourbon

Instructions

Make the Shortbread:

  • Place the softened butter in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat it until it's fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla. Beat it until fully incorporated, stopping at least twice to scrape down the sides.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, measure out the all purpose flour and almond flour, along with a pinch of salt. and whisk to combine.
  • With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the wet mixture in three parts, scraping down the bowl between each addition. After the last addition allow the mixer to continue to run until the flour is fully incorporated. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl, forming a dough ball.
  • Line your work surface with a 14" long piece of wax paper and dump the dough out onto it. Shape the dough into a long, straight, log. Wrap the wax paper around the dough, securing the ends by twisting.
  • Place in the freezer overnight, or a minimum of 4 hours.**
  • Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the frozen dough on a cutting board and unwrap. Warm a sharp knife under hot water, then slice through the dough making 1/4" rounds.***
  • Place the cookie rounds onto a parchment lined cookie sheet at least one inch apart.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 12 - 14 minutes, until the edges begin to turn brown.
  • Cool cookies 2 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the Bourbon Caramel Sauce:

  • In a small saucepan combine together the butter and brown sugar and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling add in the cream and bourbon. Continue to boil for 2 minutes more.

Glaze the Cookies:****

  • Spoon 1 - 2 tablespoons of the caramel on top of each cookie, aiming for a circle on top.
  • Let the cookies cool on the countertop for 15 minutes, then transfer them to the refrigerator to chill completely at least one hour.
  • Prior to serving, finish the cookies with a light sprinkle of kosher or rock salt.

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Notes

This dough must be made in advance and frozen. * I recommend Bob's Red Mill organic all-purpose white flour and organic almond flour.
** If you plan to make the dough more than 24 hours in advance, place the wrapped dough in a freezer safe bag for extra protection.
*** If the dough sticks to the knife, warm the blade again with the hot water.
**** The caramel should drip off a spoon in a ribbon. If it's too thin let it cool for a minute. If it's too thick (which will happen while you are working with it) place it back on the burner and heat it up again.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Calories: 269kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 2gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 134mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.

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About Renee N Gardner

I'm the recipe developer, food photographer, and mastermind behind Renee Nicole's Kitchen, where I help create kitchen confidence to inspire home cooks to become home chefs. No fancy fads here, just high-quality, homemade recipes featuring seasonal ingredients.

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4.50 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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