Monday, January 18, 2010

millionaire's shortbread

I keep seeing post after post about Millionaire's Bars, which are described as a homemade Twix bar with a base layer of shortbread, a middle layer of caramelized condensed milk, and a top layer of semi-sweet chocolate. Twix bars were one of my favorites growing up. I would scrape the chocolate off the sides, eat the top layer of chocolate and caramel, and finish with the shortbread, which had these cool indentations filled with caramel remnants. Only for practical reasons did I eat the shortbread last; it wasn't my favorite part, but logistically, it made the most sense.

Since I am highly suggestible, I had to try these myself. The Baked guys have their own version, which differs in the shortbread section, but the myriad other recipes are largely the same. I went with a recipe from Joy of Baking.

They look good, right?

But honestly, I'm underwhelmed for two reasons: the shortbread layer is pretty bland and extremely crumbly, and the caramel layer isn't caramely enough. Oh, and it was a pain to cut - crumbs everywhere, and the chocolate layer cracked. If I had cut it last night when the chocolate was still a bit soft, I might have avoided the cracking, but then there'd've been crumbs stuck to the chocolate layer. A mess.

Back to the caramel... I was expecting a deeper, chewier caramel taste. Perhaps dulce de leche would have been a better choice? It certainly would have been faster! I used the microwave method to caramelize the condensed milk, because it claimed to take 15-20 minutes rather than 60-90, but it was at least a half-hour process. At that rate, I could have thrown it in a double boiler, which would have required little attention except the occasional stir. I got impatient, or I would have cooked it even longer - it was showing signs of becoming a nice golden color; perhaps that would have deepened the flavor.

I'll leave you to click on the link for the recipe I used, but because it's not one I'd make again, I'm going to be lazy and not post it myself. I think I'll go buy a Twix bar.


Hilary said...

I made a very similar recipe once and was so disappointed with the "caramel" layer. They weren't a hit at work and I ended up throwing most of them away.

So I understand you being underwhelmed about them.

HanaĆ¢ said...

Cool blog you got here! I hope by now my fav Tres Leches recipe has made it to your Inbox :o)

I made something similar to these bars but the caramel part had nuts in it. Yum! I would recommend making caramel from scratch to make these bars instead of using condensed milk. It makes a HUGE difference.