Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Recreating childhood

If someone were to ask you what your favorite dessert is- what would your answer be? For me, it would be something really lemony. Or lavender-y. Or creamy. I love me some fat-ass desserts.

But what would my answer have been 15 or 25 years ago? I think back to my favorite desserts of childhood and the only one that has truly remained constant is my obsession with ice cream. And Oreos (sans cream filling).

Don't get me wrong- I still enjoy some of the candy I loved back when I was a kid (snickers, jolly ranchers, twizzlers, twix) but I just don't love them anymore. And others, holy cow, I just don't know what we were thinking back then...

I oftentimes wonder what caused this change. Is it that I just don't enjoy super sugary desserts as much as I used to? Or have my taste buds gotten snobby now that I know what real chocolate is supposed to taste like? Or maybe it's a combination of both. I don't know, but what I do know is that memories of childhood sweets are much more satisfying than the treats themselves.

So when I saw a recipe for homemade twix bars, well, how could I resist??

A gooey salted caramel center sandwiched between buttery shortbread and dark chocolate. This is what memories of delicious candies should be like.

Oooops, one of my caramels fell while I was taking pictures...

You know what that means. It must be sacrificed to the food photography god.

Hmmm, I think the food photography god needs another taste test...

 That's what I'm talking about. Perfectly gooey caramel!

So does this dessert blow childhood candies out the water? Yea, pretty much. But I'll be honest with you- I didn't fall completely in love with the recipe (although a lot of people in my office did). I'll admit- the caramel had a wonderful texture- very soft and not sticky with a melt-in-your-mouth quality. And the salt + cookie + chocolate + sweetness was a great combination. But for me, there were things about this dessert that weren't perfect.

First, I felt the caramel recipe was too sweet, although cutting it down by 1/2 or 1/3 probably would have made a big difference. Remember, I'm not a fan of super sugary American style desserts, so some of you out there might not have any problems with it. But I prefer my caramel more "pure" in taste (aka sugar and cream and butter). And the cookie was delicious, but it was soooo crumbly that it didn't stay together very well. And the chocolate. Well, you won't hear me complaining about dark chocolate, except that there wasn't enough of it. :)

Although I wasn't able to re-create a childhood memory as well as I'd hoped, it made me realize that my taste buds have come a long way. As have my baking skills.

Perhaps one day I'll be able to replace all my semi-crappy childhood candies with homemade upgrades. Although I have to admit, it's still fun to suck sugary liquid out of a wax bottle once in a while.

Yours in holding onto sweet childhood memories,

I got the Homemade Twix Bar recipe from the blog Not Without Salt. If you're a fan of sweeter candies I'd definitely recommend the caramel and chocolate recipes she provides, but I didn't have much luck with the shortbread layer. When/if I ever come up with a version I'm completely happy with I'll put it here. Until then, go check out her blog. It's gorgeous.


nora said...

These look amazing! I'm adding this to my backlog of recipes amassed over the last year. Can't wait to get cooking again this summer!

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