Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies - delicious cookie recipe (2024)

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These Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies bring together some of my favorite flavors and make the perfect sweet treat for fall.

Well, dear friends, it’s a special day here on Inspired by Charm! We are kicking off another Fall Cookie Week with these Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies!

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If you’re new around these parts, Fall Cookie Week (FCW) started back in 2012 when I baked a selection of cookies for a Fall Open House that I was hosting at the Gift Shop in my Bed and Breakfast. Although I chose to close the B&B in 2013, the FCW tradition is still going strong on IBC.

Several years ago, I asked Julie Blanner, who is a fellow blogger and one of my close friends, to join in on the FCW fun. Julie is such a powerhouse of talent, and I couldn’t be more excited to again share this wonderful week of cookie baking with her. You can find her blog here. I will also be linking up her cookie-of-the-day at the end of each of my posts, so you won’t miss a thing. Over the course of the week, we will be posting a total of 10 fabulously fall and decadently delicious cookie recipes. *loosens belt buckle*

If Fall Cookie Week is new to you, you can catch up below. I’ve linked every year’s FCW recipes, beginning with 2012. (Please forgive the quality of the 2012 recipes and photos. I was just a beginning blogger back then. I hope to get those posts updated in the future!)

Fall Cookie Week Recipes:

  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017

You can also click here if you want to see all the FCW cookie recipes at once.

Okay, now that the FCW introductions and history have been taken care of, are you ready to talk about these Salted Carmel Shortbread Cookies?

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When I’m planning a Fall Cookie Week, I think about the big fall flavors I love – pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, salted caramel, and so on. Although I can’t hit every one of the flavors in just five recipes, I decided that salted caramel was a must and that these shortbread cookies would be the ideal lead-off for this year’s FCW.

How to Make Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies:

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These cookies are simple to make. They start with a basic shortbread cookie recipe.

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Once the cookies are baked, they are topped with melted caramel. This can get a bit sticky, so it’s important to move quickly with this part of the recipe. A small ice cream scoop worked best for me.

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Once the caramel is on, sprinkle it with flake sea salt. My recommendation: Maldon Flake Sea Salt. It’s THE BEST. (Don’t even think about using table salt or kosher salt.)

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The final step is to drizzle the cookies with melted semi-sweet chocolate.

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When the chocolate is set, your cookies are complete and ready for a taste test. (If you’re like me, you won’t be able to wait that long to try one.)

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The crisp shortbread, gooey caramel, drizzle of chocolate, and sprinkle of flake sea salt make this cookie a winner!

Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies:

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If you like this caramel recipe, you’ll love these:

  • Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread
  • Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
  • Caramel Apple Butter Snickerdoodles
  • Salted Caramel Cheesecake Dip
  • Caramel Apple Martini

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Now that I’ve primed your palate, be sure to head on over to Julie Blanner’s blog and check out her first cookie of FCW 2018. Today she’s whipped up Cinnamon Sugar Cookies, and boy do they look delish!

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Happy Fall Baking! And Happy Fall Cookie Week!

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Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies

These Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies bring together some of my favorite flavors and make the perfect sweet treat for fall.

4.70 from 13 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: cookie, fall baking, fall cookie, salted caramel, shortbread

Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 14 minutes minutes

Total Time: 29 minutes minutes

Servings: 36

Calories: 238kcal



  • 2 bags (13 oz each) caramels unwrapped
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 teaspoons flake sea salt


  • Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

  • In a large bowl with your electric mixer on high, beat the butter until creamy. Then beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer to low and beat in the flour until just incorporated.

  • Divide the dough into two parts. Place one half of the dough between two sheets of wax paper and roll it until it’s 1/4-inch thick. Then use a 2 1/2-inch-diameter round cookie cutter to cut the dough. Place the cut-outs on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat this process with the remaining half of the dough. (You can reform excess dough, roll it out, and cut it again until all the dough is used.)

  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes or until set and just barely starting to brown. Transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

  • While the cookies cool: In a microwave safe bowl, melt the unwrapped caramels and milk on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth.

  • Add1-2 teaspoons of the caramel mixture to each cookie. Then sprinkle the cookies with flake sea salt.

  • Finally, in another microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter on high for 1-2 minutes until it is smooth. Stir every 30 seconds. Drizzle the melted chocolate mixture over the cookies. Let the cookies cool until the chocolate sets.

  • Store the cookies in an airtight container.


Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 249mg | Potassium: 88mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker

Fall Cookie Week 2018:

  • Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookiesyou’re here
  • Peanut Butter Brownie Pillow Cookies
  • Maple Glazed Cinnamon Chip Bars
  • Squirrel and Acorn Gingerbread Cookies
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies
  • Pumpkin Spice Cream Horns

Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies - delicious cookie recipe (14)

Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies - delicious cookie recipe (2024)


What happens if you add too much butter to shortbread cookies? ›

Butter is an emulsifier and it makes cookies tender. It also adds in the crispy-around-the-edges element. Adding too much butter can cause the cookies to be flat and greasy. Adding too little butter can cause the cookies to be tough and crumbly.

Should shortbread cookies be soft or hard? ›

Shortbread should always have a tender, melting texture, but be slightly crisp when you bite into it. It should not generally be damp or wet underneath. A classic shortbread recipe will also only have flour, butter and sugar as the ingredients (in a 3:2:1 ratio) and not egg, which could lead to excess moisture.

Is salted or unsalted butter better for shortbread cookies? ›

If you don't have salted butter, unsalted butter will also work, simply add about ¼ teaspoon of salt to the cookie dough. The reason the salt is needed is because salt brings out the flavor in the cookies, without it, your cookies will taste bland.

Why did my shortbread turn out chewy? ›

Check doneness by looking for an even, light brown colour across the top of the biscuits, with slight darkening at the edges. Begin checking at the tail end of the cooking time. Undercooked shortbread will be doughy and chewy. Slightly overcooked and it will become chalky, brittle and hard.

What is the secret to making good shortbread cookies? ›

Tips To Make the Best Shortbread Cookies
  1. Choose High Quality Butter. No matter what brand of butter you buy, if it's real butter, you can rest assured that it's the best. ...
  2. Keep Ingredients Simple. ...
  3. Add Flavor. ...
  4. Don't Overwork. ...
  5. Shape Dough. ...
  6. Chill Before Baking. ...
  7. Bake Until Golden. ...
  8. Add Finishing Touches.

What are common mistakes when making shortbread? ›

The most common mistakes when making shortbread are over-working the dough, and incorporating too much flour. The less you work the dough, the more crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth your shortbread cookies will be.

Should you refrigerate shortbread dough before baking? ›

As Leiths also recommend chilling the dough before baking, although only for 15 minutes, I make another batch of their recipe with soft butter, stick it straight in the oven without passing the fridge, and end up with thinner, crunchier biscuits – presumably because the mixture spreads as the fat melts.

Should butter be cold for shortbread? ›

If it's too warm, the butter and sugar cannot properly cream and the cookies will taste dense. Many shortbread recipes call for cold butter worked into the dry ingredients and that gives you a wonderfully flaky cookie but if not mixed properly, the results can be inconsistent.

How do you know when shortbread is done baking? ›

Since you will be cooking your shortbread in the lower third of the oven, you will get some top browning as the cookie bakes. The surface of the shortbread should be a toasty light brown when it is cooked. It should never appear raw or slightly opaque in the middle.

What brand of butter is best for shortbread? ›

Spend extra when it really counts: If you're making a recipe where butter really is the star (think shortbread or biscuits), splashing out for a package of Kerrygold or Vital Farms is worth the expense. The fine differences in the flavor are most impactful in these recipes.

Do you cut shortbread before or after baking? ›

Transfer to the oven for 35 minutes: Sprinkle with sparkling sugar (or superfine or granulated), if you wish, then let cool for 30 minutes. Cut the shortbread with a knife while it's still warm. It can stay in the pan for several hours (and even overnight) after this point, but it's important to cut it while it's warm.

Why do you put holes in shortbread? ›

The word "bread" comes from "biscuit bread" which was made from leftover bread dough that was sweetened and dried out in the oven to make biscuits. Why do you poke holes in shortbread? The holes allow the moisture to escape during baking and more even heat distribution. This helps dry out and crisp up the cookies.

What are the characteristics of a good shortbread? ›

One of shortbread's defining characteristics is its crumbly texture. The secret lies in the high butter content, which gives it that melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Shortbread is incredibly versatile!

Can you put undercooked shortbread back in the oven? ›

Originally Answered: Can you put undercooked shortbread back in the oven again after it has cooled? You can but stand the chance of burning it on the outside. Lower the temperature slightly and watch it to make sure it doesn't over do.

What will happen if you add too much butter? ›

Too much butter in your baked goods would give them different texture (flat, greasy..).

Can too much butter make cookies flat? ›

The Problem: Incorrectly Measured Ingredients

Sugar sucks up liquid, and when those cookies bake, it'll release the liquid and cause the cookies to spread out. If you use too much butter, the cookies will end up flat and greasy.

Why are my shortbread cookies greasy? ›

Make sure your butter is at the right temperature

Fine Cooking explains that the butter should be at refrigerator temperature. While many cookie recipes call for softened butter or at room temperature, if your butter isn't cold when making shortbread, it's likely to turn out greasy or be difficult to roll out.

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