Sunday, January 5, 2014

Twix: When less is more...

Twix candy bars are pretty tasty. I just found a great shortbread cookie, and an amazing caramel, and I have a bag of my favorite Pete's Burgundy chocolate. So the obvious thought is, let's put them all together! They look pretty nice!

They are pretty tasty, really. Very rich. But, well, somehow they are disappointing. We all prefer the cookies alone and the caramel alone. Apparently great with great and great is sometimes, somehow less great. A flavor explosion, maybe? Too much butter flavor, and not enough contrast. Maybe I should have made turtles....

I did learn one thing though: An easy way to spread chocolate. I put solid chocolate pieces on top of the caramel and cookie, then set them in the oven on "proof" (100°F) for about four minutes. The chocolate becomes soft and spreadable, without ruining the temper.

Buttery Vanilla Bean Caramel with Sea Salt

Maybe it should be named "I can't stop eating this" caramel!

I just made caramel from a recipe that worked fine before. The recipe calls for honey, and I used some nice local stuff. Unfortunately, the honey flavors intensified while cooking, detracting from the true caramel flavor. Back to the drawing board!

After discovering how amazing fancy imported butter is in shortbread cookies, I wanted a recipe with a lot of butter. Other criteria were salt, vanilla, no honey, no sweetened condensed milk, but with corn syrup (the non-fructose kind). The closest recipes I found were these two, which I combined: and

This caramel is simply amazing! Use heavy whipping cream, vanilla bean, and the expensive foil-wrapped imported butter, and you won't be sorry.