Claire Keane was born and raised in County Cork, Ireland. As a teenager, Claire developed a love of making confections like toffee and caramel using recipes she learned from her mother. Soon she went a step further and starting smothering her smooth caramel atop a rich, buttery square (OK, so really it's a rectangle, but ClaireRectangles doesn't have quite the same ring to it) of shortbread cookie, all topped with a thin layer of chocolate. Claire sold them at her high school. After graduation, she pursued a "real career" and ended up in San Francisco working in environmental science. But she never stopped making her squares, and friends kept saying: these are delicious...you should sell these...can I have some more...?
It's not hard to see why. The cookies are crisp and crumbly from the shortbread that melts on your tongue, then dense and rich from the layer of caramel slathered on just as thick as the cookie itself. For all the sweet elements, they're not cloying—the dark chocolate brings just a bit of an edge, and the shortbread has just enough salt to balance out the deep caramel sweetness. They're outstanding with a cuppa tea, with an Irish coffee, or with an after dinner brandy.