retro recipes for the modern baker

Author: CJ (Page 1 of 11)

Mars Bar Krispie Caramel Squares

Mars Bar Buns are great but have you tried adding caramel to make Mars Bar Krispie Caramel Squares? Because everything is better with caramel. Or is that sprinkles? Anyway, this no-bake traybake takes a regular Mars Bar Traybake and adds a layer of caramel between the Rice Krispie layer and the chocolate topping, which ends up making it taste more like a Mars Bar. Everyone’s a winner!

Or more like a Milky Way, if like me, you’re in the US. Yes, almost 14 years living in the US and it still feels strange to be using a Milky Way bar when I need a Mars Bar for these Mars Bar Rice Krispie Caramel Squares.

A stack of Mars Bar Rice Krispie treats with an extra layer of caramel

A nice straightforward no-bake recipe. Take your time when you’re melting the Mars Bars for the base layer. The butter will melt, the chocolate will melt, the syrup will encorporate nicely and you’ll be left staring at blobs of unmelted nougat. But stick with it, keep stirring and it will all eventually turn into a wonderful, chocolatey sauce to coat the Rice Krispies.

Take your time with the caramel too. Use a gentle heat, stir it frequently and don’t let it catch on the bottom of the saucepan or you’ll end up with burnt bits in your caramel. And nobody wants that.

The recipe needs four regular sized Mars Bars. And I could only get fun size ones. But as long as you have about 200g (approx. 7 oz) of Mars Bar it doesn’t really matter what size they are.

Ingredients

Base

4 regular size Mars Bars (or Milky Way bars in the US), approx 200g/7oz

1 tbsp golden syrup

3oz/85g butter

4oz/110g Rice Krispies/puffed rice cereal

Caramel Layer

4oz/110g butter

3oz/85g dark brown sugar

2 tbsp golden syrup

7oz/200g condensed milk (half a regular tin)

8oz/225g chocolate for topping

Method

  1. Cut the Mars Bars into slices and place in a saucepan with the butter and syrup. Melt over a low heat until you have a uniform, chocolatey sauce.
  2. Mix the Mars Bar sauce into the Rice Krispies and press into a lined 8 inch/20cm square tin.
  3. Next, place the butter, sugar, syrup and condensed milk into a saucepan and melt over a gentle heat until simmering, stirring frequently. Simmer for about 5 minutes (keep stirring!) then pour over the base. Put it in the fridge to set.
  4. Melt the chocolate and pour over the caramel. Leave to set and then cut into slices and enjoy!
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Marshmallow Crunch Traybake

Sometimes I wonder if many of these traybakes are just people taking the main ingredients in Fifteens and using them just a little bit differently, like in this Marshmallow Crunch Traybake. You have digestive biscuits, coconut, cherries and marshmallows, plus a few other standard baking ingredients.

Now, although this is called Marshmallow Crunch, it’s not actually all that crunchy. The base is a little crisp and the topping is sticky and gooey. Maybe, if you use a different sort of toffee it might come out a little crunchier, but whatever the case, it’s sticky and gooey and crisp and delicious! And not dissimilar to my Marshmallow Fudge Traybake, which is more caramel with a bit of marshmallow, rather than marshmallow with a bit of caramel – see, there are a lot of similar themes running through these recipes!

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Brandy Alexander Traybake

This Brandy Alexander Traybake is one for the grown-ups. I don’t have a lot of recipes with alcohol in them – my Iced Christmas Pudding perhaps being the only other one, so far – but now that I think about it, cocktail based traybakes could be the next big thing! But for now, this Brandy Alexander Traybake will be the beginning.

It’s a simple shortbread base with a very creamy, slightly boozy topping, flavored with brandy and chocolate liqueur. The topping sets well enough that the slices hold their shape, but it’s still soft and not at all rubbery! And the crumbled Flake bar on top is suitably retro. I was able to get hold of a couple of Flakes at my local Indian grocery store which saved a longer trip to the British/Irish import store, but if you can’t get one, then some chocolate shavings would work just as well.

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Almond Shortbread

I was making this Almond Shortbread and realized that I don’t have a regular shortbread recipe on the blog. I have a Brown Sugar Shortbread recipe and lots of traybakes with a shortbread base, but I have no idea how I have got this far without something as simple as plain shortbread. I will rectify that soon, but for today, it’s all about the Almond Shortbread.

The almonds in this come from the addition of ground almonds. I mean, if you want, you could add a drop or two of almond extract to amplify the almond taste, but it works like this. There’s a subtle almond taste and the coarser texture of the almonds adds a little more interest to the shortbread.

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Date and Ginger Slab

Date and Ginger Slab. It’s a dark, sticky, sweet, cake-like traybake. A little like a gingerbread but not as heavily spiced. And very dark and sticky from all the treacle. I have a recipe for Ginger Cake on the blog already and multiple recipes for traybakes with dates and traybakes with ginger and even some traybakes with dates and ginger like these Date and Ginger Crunchies, so this Date and Ginger Slab is in good company!

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Traditional Potato Farls

These traditional potato farls are remarkably versatile. While they truly shine at breakfast as part of an Ulster Fry (which is difficult to recreate here in the US, but I do try!), they also make a great snack with butter. And Little Miss Traybakes was spotted slathering a very thick layer of raspberry jam on a few of these and then devouring them! If you wanted to be fancy about it, you could cut these into smaller squares, spread with cream cheese and top with smoked salmon and a squeeze of lemon. So, really quite versatile and similar to Soda Farls, another great breakfast/snack/’slathered with jam’ staple.

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Half a Tin of Condensed Milk

Let’s talk about condensed milk. Specifically the size of the tins. I’m sure, when I was younger, you could get a tin that was 7oz/200g or thereabouts. Often referred to as a ‘small tin of condensed milk’ in my recipes. That size doesn’t seem to exist anymore (certainly not here in the US) so I’ve often found myself with half a tin of condensed milk left over.

Now, you could always make double the quantity of whatever it is that you’re baking.

Or you could make a fancy coffee or cocktail with it.

Or, you know, you could just take a spoon and finish it off…

Anyway, should you find yourself in this situation and are looking for something else to bake, I have added a new category to my recipes called ‘Half a tin of condensed milk’ (yes, it’s a little long, but it is suitably descriptive). Search for this and you will find several recipes that will use up the rest of that tin.

I hope this is helpful. And thank you to the blog follower whose comment led to this new category!

Green Squares

Green Squares. Yep, that’s it, just Green Squares. It’s like playing Catchphrase with traybakes. “Say what you see!” I’ve flicked past this recipe several times when looking for something new to bake for the blog, but this time I had some apricot jam in the house and plenty of ground almonds, so I thought I’d give it a go.

There’s a little more work involved here. You need to make pastry, although it doesn’t need to be blind-baked. Then there’s the jam layer, the almond sponge and then the final icing layer. But you’re rewarded with a sweet, almondy slice that makes it worth the effort.

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Paris Buns

Paris Buns. It’s not a cake. It’s not a scone. It’s something in-between. Best eaten fresh from the oven with a cup of tea. I’d also recommend eating these on the day they are made as they don’t keep that well, but I didn’t find that to be a problem in our house.

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