A recipe that took as long as the Oscars

Even though I know you should read a recipe before you attempt it, I failed to follow my own advice and embarked on an epic communion with my kitchen Sunday afternoon to make this layered salted caramel shortbread in time for the red carpet action. By the time the Best Actor category rolled around, about seven hours into the show, it was done. Mostly.

But I couldn’t give up. The recipe and picture in Ready Made magazine were swoonable, no?

The goal

The first step involved my least favorite baking instruction: combine flour and cold butter to make a dough. Flour and cold butter do no like each other, but I force them to play nice and let the dough rest in the fridge for an hour. The dough hits the oven and emerges as shortbread; then I make caramel and layer that on the shortbread. Into the fridge for another hour. Next up: a stab at tempering chocolate—a complicated recipe in itself because temperature is key and my candy thermometer is vague. I taste the dark chocolate and it has an odd, fruity taste, and I start to regret buying cheap chocolate at Trader Joe’s. The chocolate (tempered?) gets spread on top of the caramel to set—another eternity.

In fact, it’s not humanly possible to wait until it sets, so I cut into it and it oozes all over the place and marvel at how unlike the picture it looks. It’s as if I entered the Ruin this Recipe contest. Winner!

Huh. Did I miss a step?

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