First of all, my apologies to Lyb of and then I do the dishes for not making her pick this week of Dorie's Chocolate Armagnac Cake--The Cake That Got Me Fired, check out her cake and the recipe on the link to her blog. There were quite a few reasons I chose not to make this cake, but I must say the picture of it in the book looks amazing and I can't wait to see what all the other bloggers have done with this chocolate cake! I don't drink or even buy alcohol, so that was one of the reasons I decided not to make the cake--not knowing what to use as a substitute. There was also the fact that this cake had 12 prunes in it. Hmmm. I hear you can't even tell, but didn't feel like buying them. Probably the biggest reason I decided not to make it was the fat factor. Now I realize being a part of TWD means baking something yummy, gooey and pretty much fattening each week, but I feel I would have been tempted to eat too much of this cake. That said, what did I decide to do--bake up one of the things I missed before I joined the group. Looking through the recipes I missed before joining last September, I was drawn to page 120 in the book, Snickery Squares. I decided I'd make them, especially after noticing they were what was made exactly one year ago.
Snickery Squares are Dorie's take on the popular Snickers candy bar. They are a bit differnt in that they have a shortbread crust, kind of like Twix (which I love!). These were simple to make (my way) and they are GOOD! Good enough that I will be "getting rid" of them ASAP! After the shortbread layer, there is a Dulce de leche layer, studded with my pick, toasted almonds (I just happen to have a ton of almonds and no peanuts right now.) After the caramel layer, a layer of chocolate is spread on the top, then generously sprinkled with more toasted, chopped almonds. Who would not love that? (Sorry nut allergy people!)
These were made in an 8 inch square pan and I kind of think the shortbread layer was a little thick, so when I make these again sometime, I will try them in a 9 inch pan. In the recipe, it was suggested to make a caramel-glaze for the nuts. I decided not to do that and just used toasted almonds. And what could be better than dulce de leche? Of course, chocolate with it! I used a semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet. Here's my version of the recipe, but please, go buy Baking From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan.
Snickery Squares, adapted from Dorie Greenspan
For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
For the filling:
about 1 cup toasted almonds
13 oz. can store-bought dulce de leche caramel
For the topping:
7 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan with foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugars and salt. Add the cut up butter and pulse about 12 times, just until mixture looks like coarse meal. Pour the yolk over the ingredients and pulse until the dough forms clumps and curds--stop before the dough comes together in a ball.
Turn the dough into the pan and gently press it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes. (I did mine 18 minutes.) Cool on a wire rack to room temperature.
Toast the almonds (I used the microwave). After they have cooled, chop them, but not too fine. Spread the dulce de leche evenly over the shortbread and sprinkle over about 3/4 cup of the nuts. Press down to nestle them into the caramel. Smooth out top again.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe dish, stirring after 20-30 second intervals. Once melted, add the cut up butter in pieces and stir until each piece is melted before adding more. Smooth the chocolate over the dulce de leche. Chop the remaining almonds more finely. Sprinkle them over the chocolate layer. Refrigerate until set. Remove from pan using edges of foil. Cut into desired sized bars.
See ya next week for Tuesday's With Dorie with some Lemon Custard.