I suffer from what my dear friend Ernie only describes as culinary stupidity. She shakes her head in disbelief when I tell her some of the recipes I have in my line-up of want-to-tries. There is ketchup, steak sauce, sea salt, mallowmars, bread and butter pickles, pickled beets, and olives on the short list. I have made mustard, hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, oreos, and always make my own vanilla and BBQ sauce. With each discovery of something you can easily purchase in the supermarket, Ernie shakes her head and professes “Are you crazy?”
No, not crazy, I prefer to think culinarily curious. And that’s what brings me to follow along with my fellow blogger Danielle to make Makes Twix Taste Pathetic bars. I halved the recipe, which is where I believe by troubles began. Don’t get me wrong, these were delicious! My trouble was in the consistencies.
2 sticks salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
NOTE: My shortbread was very sandy. I am blaming everything on halving the recipe. The taste was good, but when I cut into it parts of it disintegrated.
20 ounces Kraft Caramels, unwrapped of course! (about 1 1/2 bags)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
NOTE: YUM. Does it really get better than caramel? And gooey melted caramel? Poured it on top of the short bread, put it into the fridge to harden up and out came a rock! I am worried again!
18 ounces milk chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (optional)
NOTE: I used Nestle milk chocolate chips. I didn’t have shortening, so I just used the melted chocolate. So now I have my cookie layer, the caramel layer and the chocolate.
FOR THE CRUST:
Preheat oven to 300°F. Line 9″ x 13″ pan with nonstick foil.
NOTE: Because I was making half a batch, I used an 8×8 baking dish.
In a bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour. Mix till it comes together.
Press mixture evenly into pan. Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking. Prick the crust all over with a fork. Bake 35-45 mins until the crust is lightly golden brown on top and the edges are deeper golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set it aside to cool completely.
FOR THE CARAMEL LAYER:
Melt the caramels with the cream over low heat in a small saucepan. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and firm up.
There are two options for the chocolate layer:
OPTION 1 (EASIEST OPTION): Melt the chocolate slowly in a double boiler or over very low heat. If it seems very thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread to cover all of the caramel. Return to the fridge until the chocolate is well set. Cut into bars or squares. It’s best to store these bars in the refrigerator but take out a few mins before serving.
NOTE: This is what I did. Next time I want to dip them!
OPTION 2 (MORE TIME CONSUMING): Cut into bars once the caramel has chilled and dip each bar individually into the melted chocolate. Lay on wax paper in fridge until set.
NOTE: I really wanted this option, but the caramel was so hard and the crust so brittle, that I was afraid it would all fall apart unless I just poured the chocolate over.
These were simple to make and really good. I think all of the problems that I had were caused by halving the recipe. I was just afraid that a whole recipe would end up in my tummy and so I didn’t throw caution totally to the wind!