Millionaire’s Shortbread Recipe

Feather, Leather, Weather…..those words rhyme with my name. When I was in primary school these words followed me in the playground. The other kids thought it was funny. All the other girls were called Nancy, Susie, Sammie, Julie, and Betsy. They had the “cutesy” names I wanted. It wasn’t fair. Why had my parents given me such a weird name? A name no one else had.

I can count on my hand the other women I have met throughout my life with the same name as me. It has grown in popularity over the years but more in America than in the UK. Funny as it’s a Scottish flower. When I registered my son’s birth in London in 1998, the registrar said in the 25 years she had been doing the job she had never registered a Heather.

My mother chose our names because she didn’t want anyone to be able to “change” them. Her name was always shortened and she didn’t want the same for us. Of course I was desperate for a nickname because I didn’t have one. Typical, right? My name has been reduced to Heath (as in Heath-er not Heath) but not on a regular basis. When I first met my OH he called me Davis (he went to boarding school where everyone got called by their last name) and for some reason I quite liked that. I guess I really was desperate.

Now that I am older I am very happy with my name. Just Heather is fine. See here for a little bit more on that one.

We are a bit of a mish-mash when it comes to surnames in this family. I still go by Davis and my eldest daughter is Davis-Gregory after her father and me. My OH is Aspinwall and so are our three kids together. It’s makes for an interesting discussion at passport control.

As for nicknames, my daughter calls her step-dad Chazzie and he calls her “teenager”. G was always my “snuggle bunny” because we liked to take afternoon naps together when the elder two were at school. She could not pronounce her brother’s name when she was a toddler so she called him “Diggle”. Never got to the bottom of that one. We call our youngest Midge, with some controversy, but it seems to make her happy. I’m mostly Mum now. That’s cool with me.

This post is for the writing workshop this week over at Sleep is for the Weak. I have chosen Prompt 1: Write about a nickname you have been given in your life.

Millionaire’s Shortbread

I’ve chosen Millionaire’s Shortbread to accompany this post because it’s Scottish and not only is my name of said origin, but we have also recently just come back from there. So perfect really. (This will end my love affair with all things Scottish, promise!) If you don’t know about this amazing confection it’s about time you did. It’s one part shortbread, one part caramel and one part chocolate and the whole thing together ends up being rather addictive. Each step takes time but actually very little effort. Don’t plan on making them in a hurry though, it’s important to allow for effective cooling down periods. Although by the end you may not care about cracked chocolate glaze!

Here’s the recipe (as adapted from Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito):

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 cup plain flour
1 large egg yolk, slightly beaten

Caramel filling
28 ounces sweetened condensed milk (2 x 14 oz cans)

Chocolate Glaze
6 oz dark chocolate (at least 68% cocoa) chopped
1 tsp corn syrup or golden syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, in cubes

To make the shortbread:

Preheat oven to 350 f. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking pan. I also lined mine because I like things to come out easily.

Beat butter and sugar until blended. Add 2 cups of flour and beat until well combined. Add egg yolk and beat until just combined.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough and your hands to stop them from sticking. Work the dough using your hands into a 6×6 square. You will have to turn the dough and sprinkle with flour as you go. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup flour on the top of the dough. Fold dough over and knead until incorporated, then flatten the dough into a rectangle. Transfer the rectangle to the prepared pan and press it into the pan.

Prick the dough with a fork and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 mins until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely. This is very important as you don’t want the dough to get mixed up in the caramel when you layer it on top.

To make the caramel:

Put the can of sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan of boiling water over a low heat. Cook for 3 hrs. Remove from pan. Open the can and pour into a small bowl. Beat until smooth. (I also add a couple of pinches of sea salt because I quite like the whole salty caramel thing so add it here if you feel it too.)

Pour the caramel filling over the cooled shortbread and place the pan in the fridge for about two hours.

NB there are various methods to turn the condensed milk into caramel but the above is the way I have always done it. Try Google if you would prefer to do it a different way.

To make the chocolate glaze:

Melt the chocolate, corn/golden syrup, and butter together in a bowl over boiling water (or double boiler). Cook until mixture is completely smooth. Remove from pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour mixture over cooled caramel layer and use a spatula to spread it into an even layer.

Place in fridge for another hour, or until glaze is hard.

Remove from the fridge 30 mins before serving as not to crack the glaze. Cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to 4 days. But I bet they won’t last that long…

Top image is taken from…/images/baby_names_fps.jpg

26 thoughts on “Millionaire’s Shortbread Recipe

  1. Pingback: Coconut Caramel Shortbread with White Chocolate – Eggs, cream and honey

  2. Funny about your name. It’s quite common in Canada. We named our children rarer names and I know I’d do it all over again… Dakota and Dalton. There’s never been another in their class’s at school.


  3. Pingback: Millionaire's Shortbread Recipe

  4. The nickname I have always liked best was the one my father gave me,” DEE DEE.” My initials were not DD then, but ironically became DD when I married a Davis! My dad must have known something. I was called ‘Uncle Ben” and “Minute” (last name Rice) and occasionally “Sticky” by the really nasty girl in second grade. Di was a later on nick name that stuck.


  5. I also have an American Celtic-inspired name. People look at me here and say “Shannon? You can be called that? Isn’t that….a muddy river?” So I know the feeling.

    Your shortbread recipe looks divine.


  6. I’ve always been called by a nickname – my family called me Stick, and many people call me Vix. I like nicknames I always think its a sign that someone is starting to think of you fondly.


  7. I’m going to admit that I struggled to concentrate on the last paragraph of the main post! The photo of those shortbreads was just too distracting! They look delicious, I have written the recipe down and will be using it soon!


  8. I’ve always liked the name Heather – and I’m not just saying that (because you know why…The MADs,…thank you). There were none at my school. If I’d had another boy I would have called him Heath after Heath Ledger. There were literally dozens of Alisons (which is my name) in my year let alone school and I always wanted to be more unusual. But at least it didn’t rhyme with anything. Boyfriends always thought they were the first to play me Elvis Costello’s Alison and I was like….yeah I know.
    My MIL refuses to call our son by his name which is Sonny because she says it’s not a real name. Ho hum.

    I would have loved to have been called Heather!


  9. Love to see you writng, follow yor path. love the quirky article heath……! love the complexities of passport control. I state that we are modern family , with slight embarrassment as everyone in my family has a different surname and I swear the passport controllers look at us longer for the very reason!!!!
    great peice


  10. All flower names are gorgeous and remember Heather is lucky. Didn’t C tie a few bunches to your car bumber before travelling back from Scotland? That’s the kind of thing my parents and grandparents used to do! Lovely blog-glad to see you writing x


  11. OMG that shortbread looks delicious. Love this post. I have a very simple name because my mother had so many middle names (Catholic) she thought they completely pointless. Didn’t stop kids calling me ‘Lizzie Dripping’ ‘Queen Elizabeth’ etc etc at school though. My son’s middle name is my surname and he has his father’s surname – so not double-barrelled. It works quite well.


  12. I’ve known a few Heather’s and they’ve all been lovely! I love your nicknames and would write more but all I am thinking about now is Millionaire’s shortbread…..drools…! x


  13. My parents also gave me a name that couldn’t be changed. However being conservative they picked a name that was the all time popular name at the time so wherever I go there are at least 3 others and I have to qualify with at least the first letter of my surname! I did resist the temptation to insert a ‘Y’ but when typing quite often type Jaen by mistake. Could work! Great blog HD… My great aunt used to make fantastic millionaires shortbread must try your recipe…soon.


  14. I’ve never really been particularly fond of my name , so it made me laugh to see you referring to Julie in your list of “normal” names. As a child, I always wanted to be called Katie for some reason. Having said this, I have always preferred Julie to a nickname version (Jools? yuck!) It was always something I was therefore very aware of when I named my own children. Whether or not they’ll thank me, remains to be seen of course!
    Really interesting post!


  15. Good to read your blog! Isn’t your nickname ‘Heath-ERR!’ ?

    It made me remember a newspaper article I read about childrens’ names, and the attitudes that they elicited from certain ones from teachers. The names such as Callum, Connor, Chelsea, Courtney and Chardonnay were labelled as the most likely to disrupt the class, while Alexander, Adam, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emma were labelled the brainy ones! What about people who name their babies really weird names at birth? I sure have some stupid ones I have come across in my time!

    So tell me, why do people call me by my daughter’s name and my daughter by my name really often?!

    Great Blog HeathERR! Keeps me going! Keep it up!


  16. I have been Anna Banana, Annie Fanny, and my least favorite Raggedy Ann.

    I never thought of Heather being an unusual name. I have two friends named Heather.

    I enjoy your blog tremendously. Your entries are so well written. Mr. Dardess would be proud!!


  17. I’ve always wanted to make these bars and you just put them on the radar again. My hips will thank you later, I’m sure! 🙂
    Fun to hear about the names. When I was growing up, there was not another Megan. Now they are everywhere. Like there was a Megan explosion.
    Mum. or in my case, mom, is perfect too!


  18. oh that thing just looks so good I could totally die right now. You are cruel, Heth, cruel.

    I thought Di liked being Di!!
    What does OH stand for by the way?
    Other Husband?
    Only Husband?
    Only Honey?


  19. Ah, like Karen, I love the ‘ Chazzie’. !!!
    That, leather,weather etc reminded me of being called Jelly at school, then Jelly belly…..hmph.
    I know what you mean about nicknames; they are personal and endearing. Midge is great (the name and the girl!)
    One friend calls me ‘The Wren’ which came from an ironic imitation of me being called Jenny Wren by a well meaning nurse I worked with once.
    I like The Wren. It makes me feel important.
    Yeah i know…sad…
    Great bit of writing.
    Love the photos again.


  20. I’ve never liked my name & can remember tellingpeople my name was Ann (which is my middle name but I was cross about not having an ‘e’ on the end!)
    We have nick names here which are lovely!


  21. I always thought of Heather as being an unusual name and now suddenly (in a virtual sense) I find myself surrounded! Midge sounds a lovely nickname, and one that could probably pervade. Mine has been P for nearly 20 years, but only used by a handful of people. At school it was always my surname (Battle) that was picked up on…. you can imagine the jokes for yourself!.

    OMG – that £££shortbread looks deluxe! xx


  22. Love all your nicknames especially Chazzie hee hee! Our family includes: Toe, Dabno, Mrs Bruno, Titty (he was a cat), Mini, Flipper, Biffer, Dukes (another cat – real name Ella – became Duke Ellington and hence Dukes) …and my nickname is Boopy (from “bufo bufo”- I looked like a toad when I was a baby and it kind of stuck….hmm!).

    PS I do hope that poor baby is not really called KEEGAN – wtf!!?!


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