People, let it be known – I have found Confectionery Nirvana. And it lives at the intersection of David Lebovitz and Shauna Sever. Which should come as no surprise to any of you who spend any time
drooling over reading food blogs.
It all started way back in 2009 when I saw David’s post about caramelized white chocolate. It immediately caught my eye, since I often have white chocolate “discards” from my business – pieces which chipped when they came out of a mold, which can’t be melted down again because they have cocoa butter designs which change the color of the chocolate. Still tasty, but as I’m not a huge white chocolate fan, what to do with all of it? Enter David Lebovitz – also known as My Hero – and his super easy (and brilliant) technique of slow cooking the white chocolate until all the sugars caramelize into something new, something smooth and sweet and a little bit nutty tasting, something so good that you’ll lose track of time and space and everything important while you dip your spoon/finger/body into that warm . . .
Whoa, nellie. Reigning it in. Let’s just say that caramelized white chocolate is AWESOME.
But then, what to do with the caramelized white chocolate? I mean, beyond the finger licking and spoonful after spoonful part. I was stumped. I pondered for a bit, listed some ideas, tried a couple things, but nothing really fit the bill.
And then I saw this. I should tell you that Piece of Cake, Shauna’s blog, is another of my all time favorites. Her writing is funny and down to earth and honest and did I mention funny? And her recipes are always just what I’m looking for. This one was no exception; I bookmarked it immediately. And then I got sidetracked (wait, again?) by the rocky road thing and ended up throwing peanuts and marshmallows in some no bake cookies, and then tossing them with chocolate and popcorn, before finally rolling back around to the original source of my inspiration. And BOOM. Like lightning striking, I realized that I MUST MAKE THESE WITH CARAMELIZED WHITE CHOCOLATE. Same color and texture as the butterscotch, but a different animal entirely! Oh yes. It must be done. And it was. And it was gooooooood, people. It was so good that even after the first tiny piece gave me an unbelievably painful and gut wrenching attack of pregnancy heartburn I still ate another piece. And then another piece the next day, hoping beyond hope that the heartburn was an anomaly. Which of course it wasn’t.
So I watched my husband enjoy each and every piece of that Rocky Road with a devilish gleam in his eye. No fan of white chocolate himself, he enjoyed these so much that he very carefully parceled them out to a certain number per night, to last the entire week. And licked his fingers after each one. This from the man who has eaten the chocolate truffles I bring home from my business almost without bothering to chew. Or looking at what he’s eating.
I’m sure that by the time I have this baby, I will have forgiven her for making me watch this spectacle. And believe me, this recipe is bookmarked for the first possible moment post-birth that I can be upright and awake long enough to mix up a batch. Or maybe I’ll just offer up my first born to any friend who will bring me a plate of these in the hospital.
I’m not proud.
One year ago on C&T: Putting the Bake Back in No-Bakes (Shortbread No Bake Layer Bars)
Caramelized White Chocolate Rocky Road (from recipes by David Lebovitz and Shauna Sever)
- 12 ounces caramelized white chocolate (instructions here, or in David’s post here)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used the natural kind, but Shauna swears by Skippy, so it’s your call)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2-1/2 cups mini marshmallows, divided
- 3/4 cup roasted peanuts, divided (not chopped)
Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with foil and spray with baking spray. If you’ve just finished caramelizing your white chocolate and it is in warm/liquid form, simply add the peanut butter and butter and mix until smooth. If your caramelized white chocolate has cooled and hardened, chop it into chunks and place it in a bowl with the butter and peanut butter. Microwave on high for 45 seconds and stir well. Repeat until the mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla and salt. Mix in about 2 cups of the marshmallows and 1/2 cup of the peanuts. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Top with remaining marshmallows and peanuts, pressing lightly to adhere them to the surface. Place in refrigerator until firm. Remove from pan, remove foil, and cut into 25 pieces. Then EAT. Or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.