Who doesn’t love the combination of milk chocolate with ooey gooey caramel atop a buttery shortbread cookie?! I don’t know a single soul. Now, it’s easy enough to buy one of these prefab Twix Bars from your neighborhood grocery store, OR you can make your own and wonder why you’ve never done it before now. These homemade Twix bars are easy, the recipe makes a big batch to share with your friends (if you’re into that kind of thing) and they are way better when you make them yourself.
Layers of Goodness
Have I said this already – this recipe is killer! And easy peasy. It’s made in 3 easy layers and requires no fancy ingredients. The cookie layer can honestly stand on its own if you wanted to make some plain buttery shortbread. But, why would you when you can layer on rich, salty caramel then layer on top of that (omg!) sweet milk chocolate. Those Twix bar makers were onto something when they invented this amazing combo of flavors and textures.
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The Fall and Winter holiday seasons are all kinds of wonderful – the weather is cool in the Northeast, yet nice enough to be outside and enjoy, there are holidays aplenty to celebrate around every corner, and the food! Can we just take a minute to appreciate the magnificence that is the food at holiday time? It’s just a wonderful time of year! However, it can be a pretty scary time for people like me – that is, parents of kids with food allergies. Trick-or-treating, parties and potlucks are prime times for accidental ingestion of allergens. So, I have found that for my daughter, baking my own treats that are safe for her to eat is a perfect way to 1) side step any potential accidental ingestions and 2) indulge in my fave thing to do – baking!
Sort and Replace
After trick-or-treating, sort and replace is my strategy with my daughter. Just like any kid, she pours out her entire bag of treats on the kitchen floor and begins the process of trading and indulging. This is my time to trade any candy that may contain peanuts or tree nuts for homemade or nut free versions. I’ve found Vermont Nut Free Chocolate (not sponsored) to be an amazing place to source allergy friendly candy that I can replace in her pile. However, the best option is to replace the candy she can’t have with homemade versions, like these Twix Bars! You can’t beat that.
Enlist a Helper
As my kids have gotten a bit older, I find more and more that they want to help me in the kitchen. Score! Oftentimes this is simply because they want to lick the bowl or the spoon or their fingers dipped in the batter. But, more often than not, I can squeeze out of them some usefulness and teaching before they’re knee deep in batter. An easy recipe like these Twix bars is perfect to bake with them. It’s come together easily and while the cookie layer is baking, there’s still the caramel to make and the chocolate to melt. Plus, plenty of bowls for them to lick clean along the way.
Embrace the Messiness
Now, I have seen and even made a few other Twix bar recipes in my day. Please note that these can be, and should be in my opinion, messy. The caramel should drip down and the chocolate should have that amazing snap when bitten into. Furthermore, the cookie should crumble just enough that it’s on the verge of falling apart in your hands. I like it this way. For me, it makes the homemade aspect of these Twix bar treats come to life. So, go ahead and enjoy – and bring plenty of napkins.
Homemade Twix Bars
These homemade Twix bars are easy, the recipe makes a big batch to share with your friends (if you’re into that kind of thing) and they are way better when you make them yourself.
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: About an hour
- Yield: 32 bars
- Category: Homemade Candy Bar
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
For the Shortbread:
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) salted butter, toom temperature
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Caramel:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the Chocolate:
- 12 ounces good quality milk chocolate, chopped
- Make the Shortbread: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add softened butter and mix until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar and mix well until fully incorporated. Add vanilla and mix 30 seconds more. Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. With mixer off, add in flour and salt and mix on low until fully blended. Spread cookie dough evenly into prepared baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 18-22 minutes or until cookie dough is golden brown in color. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Prepare the Caramel: In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heat resistant rubber spatula. Sugar will first form clumps then melt into an amber colored liquid. Continue to stir until all sugar is melted, being careful not to burn the sugar. Add the butter, being careful as the sugar will bubble up when the butter is added. Continue stirring until the butter is completely melted. Use a whisk to fully incorporate the butter into the melted sugar. While continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle in the heavy cream, being careful as the mixture will bubble up and may splatter when the cream is added. Allow the caramel to boil for 1 minute; it will rise in the saucepan as it boils. Remove from the heat and stir in salt. Set aside to cool for about 10-15 minutes. Once slightly cooled, pour evenly over cooled shortbread cookie layer. Place pan in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Melt the Chocolate: In the top bowl of a double boiler, melt chocolate over simmering water until all pieces are melted and smooth. Remove pan from fridge and pour chocolate over top of caramel layer and spread evenly. Return to fridge for about an hour to allow chocolate to cool and harden. Remove from fridge, cut into rectangular bars, and allow the caramel to drip down your chin as you take your first bite of heaven!
- Store bars in fridge in airtight container. They will keep for a few weeks if stored properly
- These can be messy. Go with it, enjoy it, be messy every once in awhile!
Caramel recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction. She has great step-by-step photos of how to make the caramel.
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