Homemade Twix Bars

My cousin gives me the most interesting challenges for his birthday treats. I’ve made a large pizza sized oatmeal raisin cookie, homemade Snickers, and a Little Debbie as large as my head. This year he requested Twix Bars, which was actually much easier than I expected, and they turned out really well! I almost feel a little bad writing about this dessert though, because the essential element (a.k.a. caramel!) is from a recipe I’m not willing to share. How mean am I! I pretty much have no secrets when it comes to cooking, but my caramel recipe is my prized possession. I’m just not ready to share it with the world quite yet.  However, I’ve provided an much easier and acceptable substitute below.  And I appreciate your understanding in this slightly awkward situation!

  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups cake flour (all-purpose flour is an acceptable substitute but cake flour is ideal)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pound soft caramels, unwrapped
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate or chocolate-flavored candy coating

For the Shortbread Base:

Line a 13×9 baking pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.  Place the butter and the sugar in the bowl of a large mixer and beat them together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed just until the flour is incorporated.

Scrape the dough into the foil lined pan and use your hands to press it into a thin, even layer. Bake the shortbread for a total of 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through so it cooks evenly. Bake only until it is a light golden brown color. If you overcook it, it will be extremely crumbly and make it impossible to cut your candy bars later.

For the Caramel Layer:

Placed the unwrapped caramels in a large microwave-safe bowl with 2 tablespoons of cream.  Microwave the caramels until melted and smooth, stirring after every 30 seconds to blend in the cream. Pour the melted caramel over the shortbread cookie crust and smooth it into an even layer. Allow the shortbread and caramel to set until the caramel is completely cool, at least 3-4 hours.

To Finish:

Melt the chocolate or candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl and stir until completely smooth.

Remove the caramel-covered bars from the pan by using the foil as handles. Cut the pan into thin, finger-width bars using a large, sharp, buttered knife to prevent the cookie base from crumbling and the caramel from sticking.

Use two forks to dip the cut bars in the melted chocolate, covering them completely.

Place the dipped bars on a foil-lined tray and repeat until all bars are dipped.

The shortbread cookie and caramel base can also be cut into small squares and dipped for bite sized twix.

Confession:  I feel that the key to this candy is having the caramel layer being the same thickness as the shortbread layer.  It’s hard to eyeball this while the candy is still in the pan, but you just have to go with your gut!

Store at room temperature for up to one week.  Share with your friends in pairs…just how Twix are meant to be given!

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