Saturday, March 31, 2012

Snow day

We were lucky enough to make it to the snow in Lake Tahoe last weekend. The conditions were perfect, lots of snow on the ground but none on the road (no chains!)

Snowballs were thrown, one little snowman was made, and we even got to go tubing, which I insist is one of the most fun activities in the world. I swear Jack giggled all the way down the hill...each and every time.

And after it all, we got to come home to our sunny, warm little house. But I think someone would like to go back next year...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Caramel squares

My Irish husband recently turned 30 and he's not really into birthday cakes. He prefers these decadent, chewy caramel squares. So, per his birthday request, I made these the other day.

They are seriously delicious. My sister describes them as homemade twix bars.

A rich shortbread crust is topped with chewy caramel and covered with a layer of chocolate. The caramel in mine ended up pretty chewy, like, hard to cut through. I'll attempt to make it softer next time, because it was so hard that the layers separated upon cutting, making them a pain to eat. And to get the full effect of these, you want all three layers at once.

I used regular, salted butter in my version and the flavors of both the shortbread and caramel were perfectly balanced on the sweet and salty spectrum. I soo need enough salt in my desserts--without it, I think sweets can really fall flat. 

Caramel Shortbread Squares
adapted from allrecipes

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together 2/3 cup butter, white sugar, and flour until evenly crumbly. Press into an 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. In a 2 quart saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes. Pour over baked crust (warm or cool). Cool until it begins to firm.
  4. Melt chocolate using the double-boiler method. Pour chocolate over the caramel layer and spread evenly to cover completely.  Cut into small squares.