Food + Wine


I’ve made these shortbread-chocolate-dulce de leche dessert square thingies for years now, and we never gave them a proper name.  We just started calling them slutty brownies… or slutty shortbread… because they are so unapologetically decadent and rich – almost to the point of vulgarity.   Then my husband just started calling them slutties.  It was this joke that ended up sticking.I hadn’t made them in awhile and am entertaining this week and in need of a dessert.  The other day I was at the pool with my kids and the concept of Sesame Caramel popped in my head.  Out of nowhere, it sort of spoke to me.  Then I was searching my pantry for dessert inspiration yesterday and came across some cans of sweetened condensed milk that needed to be used up, and was immediately reminded of my dirty little slutties.  But this time, I was gonna play around with those babies and make a whole new slutty.Class her up a bit.And here’s what I came up with:

The shortbread became less sweet and turned into a Brown Sugar Rosemary Shortbread… I love the concept of adding a savory herb to a sweet dessert.  I love sweet and savory.  And rosemary goes so well with sweet flavors.


The dulce de leche layer got heavily salted and turned into Sesame Dulce de Leche… which I’m shortening here and cheating by calling them Salted Sesame Caramel because I’ve got enough words in these things as it is.  The toasted sesame seeds are freakin’ incredible with the salted ‘caramel’.  Like… I couldn’t stop licking the spoon.And the chocolate layer became mostly bittersweet chocolate cut with semi-sweet morsels, which really off-set the richness and sweetness of the caramel.These are one of the most incredible desserts I’ve ever made, and have ever eaten.  Oh, they’re rich.  So wrap your brain around that concept first, but so well balanced because of the savory components.You better save this link for Christmas time.  Do that mess right now.

And guys.  I swear to you- This dessert right here will find you a lover.

Get on it.


dark chocolate  .  salted sesame caramel  .  
brown sugar rosemary shortbread 
makes 24 squares
Get started on your dulce de leche first.  This could not be easier to make.  It just takes some stirring attention, but requires one ingredient- Canned Sweetened Condensed Milk.  You will need 2 (14 oz) cans of sweetened condensed milk and it does not matter the brand.Pour your cans into a medium sized pot and add in 1 tsp kosher salt.  Turn the burner on medium heat and wait until you start to hear some sizzle and see some bubbles around the edges.Keep stirring off and on, while the mixture cooks (not boils) uncovered, for about 30 minutes.  You will most likely find yourself with a couple dark spots from where it stuck to the pan, that’s fine.  It doesn’t matter one bit.


After about 30 minutes (maybe longer, depending on your stove), you will have a much thicker and darker caramel colored mixture.


Stir in 3 TB of sesame seeds that you toasted to a golden brown in a dry skillet while your caramel cooked… this takes only a few moments to do.Set aside.

While your caramel is cooking, you can begin on making the shortbread.

In a food processor, add the following:

2 cups AP flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
~1 TB + 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves stripped from the stem (this is one large branch)
2 sticks unsalted COLD butter, cut into chunks

Pulse this until it all comes together as a dough, and the rosemary is in tiny speck form.Press into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish (I prefer glass) and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25- 30 minutes, or until it’s a light golden brown around the edges.


Pour your caramel mixture carefully over the shortbread.  This is easier if you allow the shortbread to cool (and set) but I rarely do.  Just be sure you don’t scrape up the shortbread with your spatula as you spread.


While your shortbread is baking/caramel is cooking, melt your chocolate…In a double boiler (glass bowl situated over a pot with a small amount of water in the pot so the bottom of the bowl doesn’t actually touch the water- heat on medium-high to boil water) add…1 lb. of dark chocolate (the higher quality, the better)

And I prefer a mixture of bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate…about 3:1 – bitter:semi and used a large bar of Scharffen Berger 70% Bittersweet Chocolate I bought at the grocery store a few months ago mixed with some Nestle Semi Sweet Morsels that is my go-to chocolate item and always have in my pantry.


I started the chocolate bar first because the pieces were bigger, then added in the morsels once it was 90% melted.


Pour this melted chocolate over your caramel layer (again, cooling the caramel layer may help, but I rarely do… just be careful when you’re spreading).


Once the chocolate is spread evenly, sprinkle with raw sesame seeds.


Allow to cool at room temperature, then transfer to the fridge to set and cool completely overnight/all day.  It needs to harden completely.Cut into 24 squares… carefully.  The chocolate will crack, so be ready for that, and the layers are hard to cut through, but do as best as you can.

Then eat.

And think of me.

She’s a dirty, dirty, girl…


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