Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Salted Caramel and Walnut Slice

Faith Durand, author of Not Your Mother's Casseroles has a pretty loose definition when it comes to defining the word "casserole." She basically says that any baked dish falls into the category. Using this definition, all sorts of desserts fall under the casserole category, including these insanely delicious Salted Caramel and Walnut Slices. While I'm not totally sold on these crazy rich chocolate-caramel-coconut-walnut cookies as a casserole, I sure am glad that Durand shared the recipe.

These cookies originated in Australia and New Zealand where they are known as "millionaire's shortbread." They begin with a shortbread crust made with dried coconut and ground walnuts (both would be pretty fantastic on their own). The second layer is a caramel made from sweetened condensed milk cooked down with honey, butter, and salt. Using sweetened condensed milk makes for a much easier, neater caramel that doesn't require a candy thermometer and is less likely to overcook or even burn. Once the caramel is spooned over the cookie base, a layer of bittersweet chocolate is spread on top and flecked with flaky sea salt.

Equal parts candy and cookie, these slices are mind-blowingly good, thanks to an ideal mix of buttery, sugary, chocolaty, and salty flavors. All of the makings of a perfect dessert.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Not Your Mother's Casseroles to give away this week.

Adapted from Not Your Mother's Casseroles. Copyright © 2011. Published by Harvard Common Press. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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