Thursday, September 12, 2013

Home-made Marshmallow Twix

Time to divulge another guilty secret.
For many, many years, I have considered myself a "hardcore" girl.
I loved hardcore music. Metal. Metal was great. Especially industrial. Gravity Kills, KMFDM, Pop Will Eat Itself. I still love those things. I'll still hold onto my Kidney Thieves albums, and there's nothing like Slipknot for when you really need to buckle down and get some work done.

But I loaded up my mp3 player the other day (I love this thing!) with my favorite songs and went to town cleaning the kitchen and making candy and suddenly realized I was singing and shaking my tush to Phil Collins. Two hearts! living in just one mind! Beating togeeeether! 'Till the end. of. time!
I thought back to what I'd put on the Sansa...  Phil Collins. Phillip Roebuck. Bruce Springsteen. Julie Fowlis

I guess we really do turn into our parents when we get older. And I guess we stop feeling so angry all the time. I don't remember when I started singing Ani DiFranco's "Angry Anymore", but it's been at least seven or eight years. 

I, I think I understand
And I know what all the fighting was for.
Oh but I just want you to understand
That I'm not angry anymore. No I'm not angry anymore.

Remember that itchy, angry feeling you had when you were a teenager? That feeling like you wanted to run out of your own skin and just run and run and run and end up anywhere but where you were? Because you knew, you just knew that there was a fantastic great big world out there full of meaning and beauty and reality if only you and everyone around you could see it? 

Have some kindness and emmpathy and compassion for the young people around you. And give yourself permission to rock out to Phil Collins or Neil Diamond or whatever else makes you happy. Kindness, compassion, find your own happiness. 

And then make some candy.
I was inspired by these Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars but I had to go my own way. (You can go your own waaaay, go your ooown waaaaaay!) (You get 5 points if you're singing that song in your head now.)  

-Group 1-
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, room temp
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
Good pinch of salt

-Group 2-
1/2 (2 stick) butter (salted is better than unsalted)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (dark brown gives the caramel color we're more used to)
1/2 cup light corn syrup (light as in color, not calories)
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (14 or 15oz can)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla

-Group 3-
4 ounces (1/2 small jar, or 1/4 large tub) Marshmallow Fluff
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)

-The crust
1) Preheat your oven to 350ยบ. Line an 8x8" baking pan with aluminum foil and spray the sides well with cooking spray. 
2) Combine Group 1 ingredients in a mixing bowl until it is completely combined.
3) Press this out into your baking dish.
4) Bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes, then set it aside on a wire rack to cool.

-The caramel
5) In a large microwave safe bowl (the largest that your microwave can fit), microwave the butter in 30 second intervals until completely melted.
6) Pour in the sugar, brown sugar, condensed milk, & corn syrup and microwave again for 3:30 (3 and a half) minutes.
7) Take out and stir, mixing completely, and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula. (Spoonula, how I love thee!)
8) Microwave again for another 3 and a half minutes (3:30). The caramel should be a good strong medium tan color now.
9) Take out the bowl and very carefully add in the vanilla. Expect a lot of bubbling & frothing. 
10) Let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes or so. Go read a book, grab a snack, watch Family Guy, whatever.
11) Once it's cooled down a bit, pour it over the shortbread bars and set the pan in the freezer to chill. You want the caramel to get pretty hard; 20-30 minutes will do.

12) Carefully pour or scoop out the marshmallow fluff on top of the caramel. Working slowly & gently, push it little by little until it covers the caramel as much as you can. Try not to mix it in too much.
13) Put the bars back in the freezer to get the marshmallow layer stiff.
14) Microwave the chocolate chips in a glass or other microwave safe bowl. Stop every 15 seconds and stir. Be very careful not to burn the chocolate; when it looks mostly smooth, you can take it out and stir it smooth the rest of the way. Let the chocolate cool down for a little bit. Take 5.
15) Remove the bars from the freezer and pour the chocolate on. Pour it back & forth in thick lines, then use an offset spatula, or even a pancake turner, to carefully "pull" the chocolate out and flood the layer. You should be able to do it without scraping the marshmallow if you're careful.
16) Back into the fridge to set. The hard work is all done! Now give it some time to chill (a couple hours, or overnight), cut it into small bars with a nice long, sharp chef's nice, and nom away!  Note: You might want to store this in the freezer or else the marshmallow starts running out. It's ok, you can eat these frozen.

I just wanna say, by the way, that this is my absolute favorite go-to recipe for caramel. If you think this is too much caramel for the bars, feel free to pour any excess into a freezer-safe container and keep it in the freezer for months and months. It's absolutely perfect as caramel sauce, and thaws out & re-freezes like a dream!

And as for the bars? You don't need to double this recipe. You want to make this recipe just at this size, cut it into teeny tiny little pieces, and indulge yourself with sticky, gooey chocolatey fingers.

No comments:

Post a Comment