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Kim-Joy’s recipe for millionaire’s shortbread bears | Food

I like millionaire’s shortbread that has roughly equal layers of biscuit and caramel, plus a thin chocolate top – but we are all different, so you can always adjust to taste. I have created this vegan version because all the components are easily veganised and still taste great.

Makes: about 15 pieces (one 30cm x 15cm/12in x 6in tray)
For the shortbread
225g plain flour (to make gluten-free, substitute gluten-free flour, plus ½ tsp xanthan gum if it does not already contain it)
130g organic extra-virgin coconut oil (solid and scoopable)
40g caster sugar
ml cold water

For the caramel
200g light brown muscovado sugar
80g caster sugar
ml coconut milk (just the thick cream part, from 2 tins)
2 tbsp coconut oil

150g vegan dark chocolate

To decorate (optional)
55g icing sugar
10ml water
White and dark vegan chocolate buttons
Edible ink pen

Line a 30cm x 15cm/12in by 6in baking tray with greaseproof paper, making sure the paper extends over two sides (this is to make it easy to lift out later). Then make the shortbread. Put the flour in a mixing bowl, rub in the coconut oil, then stir in the sugar. Add enough water to bring the dough together into a ball.

Press the dough into the baking tray to cover the whole base evenly. Chill for 15 minutes, while you heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350C/gas mark 4. Bake for 15 minutes or until it is just starting to colour at the edges. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, make the caramel. Put all the ingredients in a pan and stir together over a medium heat until everything is melted and dissolved. Then stir intermittently until the caramel reaches 115C. Add a little salt to taste and pour into a heatproof bowl. Keep stirring for about five minutes, then leave to cool until thick but still spreadable. Pour evenly over the shortbread, then place the tray in the fridge until cooled and thickened.

Next, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or microwave (stirring well after each 15- to 20-second burst). Pour over the caramel layer and return to the fridge until set completely.

Lift out of the baking tray using the greaseproof paper “handles”, place on a chopping board and use a sharp knife (tip: warm it under hot water) to trim off the edges and slice what is left into squares.

To decorate as bears, first make the icing. Whisk together the icing sugar and water until smooth, then adjust the consistency to ensure that it is pipeable. Transfer to a piping bag and cut a small tip. Use the icing to stick white and dark chocolate buttons for the face. Then use edible black ink (or colour a small amount of the icing black) to add the details for the nose. Pipe the remaining details using the icing.

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