2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (32 grams) cornstarch
1 teaspoon (3 grams) sea salt
1 1/4 cups (284 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 20 chunks
3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (165 grams) brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (120 grams) heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons (42 grams) good quality bourbon
1/2 vanilla bean scraped, or 1 teaspoon (4 grams) real vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon (1.5 grams) sea salt
7 ounces (199 grams) 60-70% cacao dark chocolate, coarsely
1/2 cup (120 grams) heavy whipping cream, warm
1. Preheat your oven to 350 F (180 C). Line an 8X11-inch casserole dish with parchment paper letting the excess fall over the sides.
2. Place the flour, sugar, cornstarch and salt in an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and run on low for 1 minute. With the mixer on low, add in the butter chunks and run for several minutes more or until a ball starts to form. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the casserole dish and bake in the middle of the oven for 35 minutes or until the sides are lightly bronzed. Set aside to cool completely.
3. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Whisk until the sugar is melted and the mixture is thoroughly blended with no butter visible. Add the heavy cream increasing the heat and bringing the mixture to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce to simmer over medium heat for 8 minutes whisking frequently. Add in the bourbon, vanilla bean and sea salt and cook for 2 minutes more. The caramel will continue to thicken as it cools.
Set aside to cool completely and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
4. Once both the crust and caramel are completely cool, pour 3/4 of the caramel over the top of the crust reserving leftover caramel for another use. Wrap the dish in plastic wrap and allow to firm-up for at least twelve hours, ideally twenty-four. Store in the refrigerator.
5. Once set, use a sharp knife to cut ½ inch off of each side so that you have a nice, 90-degree edge all around the crust. Then cut into 1-inch square cookie bites. Clean your knife in between cuts to get the cleanest cut possible. Place some parchment on a baking sheet and set a cooling rack on top. Set the cookies on the cooling rack.
6. Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and pour the warmed cream over the top. The cream should be warm, but never brought to a boil. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and cool to the touch. Spoon the cooled chocolate over the cookie bites, covering the tops completely and allowing little drips to go down the sides. Let set for at least one hour before adding the gold leaf. Once the chocolate has set, use tweezers to grab little bits of gold leaf and
place in the middle of each cookie. Serve immediately or store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature with the bites not touching one another.