Two words: Homemade + Twix!
If you love Twix candy bars like I always have, then boy are you going to adore this recipe!!! These bars are made from 3 deliciously decadent layers - A layer of shortbread on bottom, creamy caramel in the middle, and chocolate on top.
Seriously...does it get much better?
Instead of cutting these into square bars like I did, you could even cut them into longer slices and dip them into chocolate to resemble actual Twix bars!
When we first tried these bars, patience was not on our side (can you imagine that?), so the chocolate hadn't really hardened up all the way when we took our first bites. I wish we had waited a little longer, because these bars are much better once they've had a chance to set up. They are best stored in the refrigerator. Before enjoying, just pull them out of the fridge and let them come to room temp. That way, they'll be easier to slice.
Brad and I tend to love the taste of darker chocolate, plus I already had bittersweet chocolate on-hand, so that's what I used. I will say that these would be even better if chopped peanuts were perhaps sprinkled on top of the caramel layer before pouring on the chocolate. Or, you could even add a little sea salt. They could have used just a little "something", and I think a little saltiness would have been amazing.
One thing that I will add is that the shortbread was a tinky tiny bit crumbly. After reading the recipe reviews, this seems to be a common concern. However, the kind folks at King Arthur replied to those reviews, and they seemed to think it might be because the shortbread either had a little too much flour added or that it was cooked a little too long. Either way, it still tasted fabulous!
I'll definitely be making these again...with the peanuts next time!
Bon Appetit, my friends!
Thousand Dollar Bars (aka homemade Twix bars)
Source: King Arthur Flour
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 cups chopped milk chocolate or dark chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (optional)
1) FOR THE CRUST: Preheat your oven to 300°F. Spray a 9" x 13" pan lightly with cooking spray, or line with parchment, and set aside.
2) In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour. At first the mixture may seem dry, but will come together as you continue to beat at medium speed.
3) Take the dough (it will be somewhat stiff) and press it evenly into the pan. Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking.
4) Prick the crust all over with a fork. The holes will allow steam to escape and the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.
5) Bake the crust until it's lightly golden brown on top and the edges are deeper golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set it aside to cool completely.
6) FOR THE CARAMEL LAYER: Melt the caramel and cream over low heat in a small saucepan. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and firm up.
7) FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER: Melt the milk or dark chocolate slowly in a double boiler or over very low heat. If it seems very thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread to cover all of the caramel. Return to the fridge until the chocolate is well set. Cut into 2" x 2" squares to serve. It's best to store these bars in the refrigerator.
8) These bars can also be cut and dipped in milk chocolate to resemble Twix ® bars. After the caramel layer has chilled firm, cut down the length of the pan, splitting the bars into two long, narrow bars. Then cut each long strip into "fingers". Dip the chilled bars into melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to set for several hours.