Here's a homemade treat sent to me from an independent baker, Claire Keane.

She makes treats that are similar to traditional Irish recipes, like Marathon Squares from the UK, and more. The treat I tried was her signature confection, the Clairesquare.

The Clairesquare resembles, in ingredients, a Marathon Bar, with a layer of shortbread, a layer of caramel, and a top layer of chocolate. But Claire took the popular candy and gave it steroids, turning it into something downright obscene and incredible.

This post is dedicated to my dad. I told him I'd share. I didn't. I ate all three of these monsters in one sitting. It was pretty pathetic. But these cookies were not.

The shortbread layer was buttery without being greasy, and crumbled in my mouth, not in my hands. It was crispy and dense and flaky all at once. The caramel was definitely my favorite part, though. I had never tried a homemade caramel before, and this was an eye-opening experience for me. It was buttery, creamy, rich, and I'd have spooned it out of a jar, into my mouth, all on its own. The saltiness perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the chocolate, the final addition to this triple threat of a baked good.

The chocolate was a ganache-like dark, with a woodsy, smokey taste to it that blended with the caramel perfectly. It was a little soft and gooey with the caramel, which was perfect, but together, with the dryness of the shortbread, it created this delicious amalgam of flavors in my mouth.

Claire Keane, Clairesquares


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