Sometimes, if you hang around the Serious Eats office late enough, weird things start to happen. Like the time Max and I, clocking overtime to meet a tight deadline, decided that making a 7-layer candy bar dip was a reasonable undertaking.
Why not? Given that the unofficial motto amongst editors here is "eat through the pain," the prospect of piling seven candies on top of each other, melting them down, then scooping up the goo with pretzels seemed more or less par for the course.
Like any proper recipe developers, we strategized. We needed candies that would not only melt well, but also taste good when melted together. In the interest of keeping a coherent flavor profile, we ruled out gummy candies in exchange for chocolate-based bars that exhibited various complimentary additions: nuts, caramel, nougat, and crunchy things (i.e., brittle and puffed rice). Decorative color would be reserved for the top layer only, as we feared it would otherwise get lost beneath the many layers of brown.
After a pit stop at legendary Lower East Side candy emporium Economy Candy to load up on bars, it was time to get cooking. And by "get cooking" I mean...pile a whole bunch of candy bars on top of each other, line the oven with foil in the event of overflow, and see what happens when you turn it up to 200°F.
In short, nothing disastrous! The oven did not explode, the pan did not runneth over, and the candies melted into each other with only a few tamps from the back of a fork. Plus, our whole kitchen smelled like warm, waxy chocolate, which I understand is a technique real estate agents use to sell houses. Overall: great success.
To see how we put this candy monstrosity together every step of the way, click through the slideshow!