Millionaire's Shortbread

~ Posted on Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 12:18 AM ~

Hubby requested that I tried making this when he glimpsed through one of my baking cookbooks.  Hence, this is my 1st attempt of making:


A brief info in case you're wondering what it is:

"Caramel shortbread, also known as Caramel Shortcake, Caramel slice, Millionaires shortbread, Millionaires slice, Wellington Slice, Wellington Squares and Caramel Squares is a confectionery item believed to be of Scottish origin because of the use of shortbread. It traditionally consists of three layers; a shortbread biscuit base, a caramel filling and a milk chocolate topping."

This recipe was adapted from  "Home Baking Cookbook" book. FYI, I didn't follow the exact recipe so am not sure whether mine turns out nice or not compared to the actual one that follows the exact recipe. Also, this book did not show the step by step pictures, so I pretty much have to rely on my just-do-it-don't think or doubt-so-much sense...


* About 10 minutes to mix & knead dough
* 20 minutes for baking process
* About 10-15 minutes to melt the toppings

Ingredients / Tool Required:

* A bowl to mix ingredients in
* Kitchen scale
* A 9-inch square can tin
* 115g butter, diced and chilled plus extra for greasing
* 225g plain flour
(I used corn flour cos that's what I have)
* 60g soft light brown sugar, sifted
(which I totally forgot to do, yikes!)


* 4tbsp butter (about 60g)
* 60g soft light brown sugar
* 500ml canned condensed milk
(I used 400ml of condensed sweet creamer cos that's what we get here and MIL nagging it's too much)
* 150g milk chocolate (I didn't use this at all)

What to Do?

* Preheat oven to 190℃ and lightly grease a 9-inch square can tin.
* Sift the flour into the bowl, add the butter and rub in until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

* Add the sugar and work the mixture to form a firm dough (No matter how I try to form the dough, the mixture keeps crumbling!)
* Lightly press the dough into the base of the cake tin and prick all over with a fork. (Also had some problems here as the crumbs stuck onto the fork)


* Pre-heat oven at 190℃ for about 5 minutes
* Set oven to 180℃ and bake for 20 minutes until firm and lightly golden. Leave to cool in the tin.


* Put butter, sugar and condensed milk in a non-stick saucepan (I use a small pot) over a low heat and cook, stirring constantly (I used a pair of wooden chopsticks to stir) until the mixture comes to the boil.
* Reduce heat and cook for 4-5 minutes
(I think I took about 10 minutes), stirring continuously until the caramel is pale golden and thick and coming away from the side of the saucepan.

* Pour topping over the shortbread and leave to cool.

(I skipped the following parts completely)

* When the topping is firm, break chocolate into pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water
* Spread over the topping and leave to set.



* Test subject 1 (aka me): "Presentation wise, beautiful. Taste wise... Gulp... this is highway to diabetes! So freaking sweet and to think I chickened out on adding the chocolate layer already! On the other hand, the base is yummy, buttery and crumbly like how the book said it should be..."

* Test subject 2 (aka Ben): "Ah ah ah" (opening mouth big-big... don't worry, I only give VERY TINY bits of the base crumbs to Ben)

* Test subject 3 (aka hubby): "I'm going to get diabetes man... I love the base though, much better than the time you made butter cookies. If you scrap off the caramel layer, I'll be happy to eat this"

* Test subject 4 (aka MIL): "The base is very hard for me to bite but the sweet layer is nice" (you need to know my MIL has only 3 teeth left and wasn't wearing her dentures and her tastebuds is wonky thanks to her radiotherapies sessions 2 decades ago due to nose cancer)

So there you go.... my 1st MILLIONAIRE'S SHORTBREAD attempt!

Overall, I'm happy with this attempt - in terms of the base which is really nice and yummy plus the firm and yet crumbly part that is a satisfaction point for me. But horror is the caramel layer. It's wayyyyyyyyy to sweet for our likings except wonky MIL's tastebuds.

I think if I'm to try this recipe again, I'll definitely reduce the condensed creamer amount or probably just do away with it and do the chocolate layer instead. And a note on why I used condensed sweetened creamer instead of condensed milk, it's because that's the only thing sold in the supermarkets here. Read this article on "Condensed milk canned for good" if you still think I'm shitting you joking.

To view my other recipes, feel free to hop over to my Recipe Library page for more info!

Brought to you by: Mama Baker wannabe aka

Book Review - The Gourmet Cookie Book

~ Posted on Friday, October 8, 2010 at 9:09 AM ~

This is my 4th ebook I get to review, a gourmet cookie book by Gourmet Magazine called: "THE GOURMET COOKIE BOOK".

Author: Gourmet Magazine
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780547328164
Hardcover, Paper over boards ; 176 pages
Dimension: 8.50 x 8.50 inches

Description from the product page:
"For this stunning collection, the editors of Gourmet delved deep into their archives and selected the most delicious cookie for each year of the magazine’s sixty-eight-year existence. After marathon testing sessions and winnowing from thousands of recipes—many sent in by readers—they chose an amazing array, from the almond-scented French-style Cajun Macaroons, from the magazine’s beginnings in 1941, through Mocha Toffee Bars (1971), to the contemporary Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookies. The enticing assortment includes:

* Cookies of every type and description, from the homey (Aunt Sis’s Strawberry Tart Cookies) to the exotic (Grand Marnier-Glazed Pain d’Epice Cookies), including balls, bars, refrigerator cookies, drop cookies, even deep-fried cookie confections.

* Cookies from around the world: from Dutch Jan Hagels to Irish oatmeal sandwich cookies filled with cream and Irish whiskey, to Scandinavian Rosettes.

* Dozens of Christmas cookies: Old-Fashioned Christmas Butter Cookies, star-shaped Moravian White Cookies, Chocolate Peppermint Bar Cookies.

Printed exactly as they originally appeared in the magazine, with abundant tips and recipe notes from Gourmet’s test kitchen, and with headnotes describing their cultural context, the recipes present a fascinating bite-by-bite history of how our appetites evolved. "

Cookies! Who would want to turn down the opportunity to review a cookie book? What more a compilation of the finest and best cookie recipes from 1941 to 2009?

I love the way how each recipe has a brief note at the bottom which explains in clearer terms on measurements and steps taken - especially for recipes that goes way long ago (where people normally goes by a cup of this and a pinch of that or when oven is hot). Each recipe came with the pictures of the cookies, which makes you drool even more and wanted to attempt to make each and every one of it!

I think this book is a good choice for cookie lovers and those who are interested in dabbling with cookie making (like me...) I personally note down a couple of recipes which I'll attempt when I get braver with my cookie adventure.

You can purchase The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe from Each Year 1941-2009 book from Amazon.

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a galley proof of the book via my association with netGalley as a reviewer in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"

Cheese Sticks

~ Posted on Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 10:03 AM ~

I love cheese and Domino's Pizza had this dish called 'Breadstick' which I would order whenever we get pizza delivered to our home. So after mulling for a while and getting bored with baking muffins (and relying on pre-mixes), I decided to take the leap and do something new... 

Hence, this is my 1st attempt of making: CHEESE STICKS.

I baked this on Sunday 12th Sept and the recipe was adapted from Sara Lewis's "Healthy Home-Made Food For Babies & Toddlers" book. In case you're wondering why is my measurement so weird (such as 88g of flour), this is because I halved the actual measurements (to reduce risk of failure hahahaha...) and I rounded up the measurement. So the actual recipe can be for 175g of flour but mine has been revised to 88g of flour and so on.


* About 10 minutes to mix & knead dough

* 10 minutes for baking process

Ingredients / Tool Required:

* 1 egg (at room temperature)

* 88g plain/all-purpose flour (I used wheat flour)

* 38g butter (a bit chilled)

* 58g grated Cheddar cheese

* A bowl to mix ingredients in

* Kitchen scale

* Baking aluminium foil the size of wire rack

What to Do?

* Place the flour into the bowl, add the butter and rub in until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

(The fine breadcrumb look after you rub in the butter with the flour)

* Stir in the grated cheese.

* Reserve 1 tablespoon of beaten egg and then stir the remaining into the pastry mixture.

* Mix to a smooth dough, adding water when necessary.

(The dough... strong smell of cheese at this point...)

* Knead lightly and roll out on a floured surface to a rectangle shape.

* Brush the remaining egg on the top of the rolled dough.

* Cut into strips and place on the baking sheets/tray, spaced slightly apart.


* Pre-heat oven at 190℃ for about 7 minutes (although the recipe stated to pre-heat at 200℃)

* Set oven to 190℃ and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.

* Loosen from but leave to cool on the baking sheets/tray.

(Note: Suitable for freezing up to 3 months in a plastic box, interleaved with baking parchment)

All cut up and ready to bake!

Baking in progress...


This is how mine looks like...

Hubby said can fight with Domino's Breadstick!


* Test subject 1 (aka me): "Hmmm... taste so-so (this is because I'm comparing it with Domino's Pizza's cheesesticks) although it does taste better after you had a few sticks."

* Test subject 2 (aka Ben):(See pictures below)

 Gobbled... Chomp!! Chomp!!


* Test subject 3 (aka hubby): "Delicious! If served with Domino's Pizza's tomato sauce will be awesome! Can fight with their breadstick seriously!"

* Test subject 4 (aka MIL): "How come no taste?" (You have to excuse my MIL's reaction as she used to be a nose cancer patient and after radiotherapies, she lost part of her hearing and taste senses)

So there you go.... my 1st CHEESE STICK attempt!

Overall, I'm happy with this attempt - at least, I'm trying out something different from the usual muffins that I made and it's a small step in baking with real ingredients and not relying on pre-mixes.

And I'm getting tired of hearing my MIL telling people I can only make this food because it's taught by my SIL - somehow I feel she's always trying not to acknowledge that I can make good food too... probably scared of the competition hehehe... So now, she cannot tell people that I'm able to cook this only because it's taught by my SIL because it's not!! Muahahahaha...

To view my other recipes, feel free to hop over to my Recipe Library page for more info!

Brought to you by:  Mama Baker wannabe aka