This recipe to me is the epitome of taking something good and making it even better.
I remember the first time I made these little millionaire squares. It was an optimistic Spring day and my friends and I decided to have a picnic. I wanted to make something I could box up and pick at on a cheque patterned blanket in a park while ducks’ soundtrack our buffoonery. It was set to be a beautiful day.
Until we realised, we live in the Welsh Valleys and those thick, black clouds decided to stitch us up and piss all over our parade. Quite literally.
But in the interest of making the best out of any situation, we decided to bring the picnic indoors. My friends and I will never willingly miss a chance to drink copious amounts of wine while we lie around and talk. So, we played some nature SFX on the iPod and huddled around our picnic baskets on a blanket spread across my living room floor. It was quite perfect actually.
Silver linings and what not.
One look at the ingredient list is enough to make you clutch your pearls and mourn beach bodies of the past but remember, this is not for every day and it’s not designed to eat in its entirety, tempting though that may be.
Make them when you know you will have several mouths to feed and then watch with glee as they vanish, square by square. They keep really well in the fridge too, so they’re even better if you make them for a rainy day. There are some recipes that are designed to purely punctuate a bad situation with a smiley face. This is one of my favourite kind of smiles.
For the base
350g shortbread biscuits
For the peanut butter caramel
100g soft brown sugar
397g can condensed milk
2 tablespoons peanut butter
For the top
250g dark chocolate
- Line a 20 x 20cm square tin with baking parchment.
- For the base, place the biscuits in a ziplock bag, zip it up and bash the biscuits to dust. You want them crushed to dust – any chunks may make the base crumbly when you cut it.
- Put the butter for the base in a saucepan and heat it until it melts. Empty the biscuit dust into the butter and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Empty the buttery biscuit dust into the lined tin and using the back of a spoon, spread the biscuits to cover the base of the tin. Continue sliding the spoon over the surface until you flatten and smooth it as best as you can. Pop the tin in the fridge.
- For the caramel, and using the same pan if you want, melt the butter and soft brown sugar together, stirring as you go. Once the butter is completed melted, pour the condensed milk in. Continue stirring until everything combines
- Bring the mixture to a bit of a savage bubble and keep it bubbling for about 3 minutes, stirring as you go so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. After the 3 minutes is up, take it off the heat and stir the peanut butter through.
- Take the biscuit base out of the fridge, pour the caramel over the biscuit base and again, using the back of a spoon, smooth it as best as you can. Once smoothed out over the biscuits, this time slip it in the freezer. The caramel layer will take longer to cool than the biscuit layer, so the freezer is better this time.
- Now for the third and final layer, using the same pan again if you want (just give it a rinse), break the chocolate into small squares in the pan and add in the butter. Bring the pan to a medium heat, stirring the chocolate and butter together until they both melt and create a liquid, buttery pool. This won’t take too long, but don’t bring it to a boil.
- Remove the biscuit and caramel tin and using a gentle fingertip, press the caramel to check if it’s set. You want it set enough so that the chocolate will sit comfortably on top. If you think it needs more time in the freezer, let it be so.
- When your caramel is set, pour the chocolate over. Again, use the back of a spoon, to coax the chocolate into the corners of the tin so that the caramel is completely covered.
- Now slip the tin in the fridge for about 2 hours, but I tend to leave mine overnight to be sure.
- Cut it into like… 12 slices? I’ve gone for big chunky slices but also tiny, little squares. There’s no bad way to cut these, no matter which way you slice it. If someone wants more, and they will, they’ll ask.