1. First, prepare the shortbread cookie base. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 13×9 baking pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place the butter and the granulated sugar in the bowl of a large mixer and beat them together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed just until the flour is incorporated.
4. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and use your hands to press it into a thin, even layer. Bake the shortbread for a total of 18-20 minutes, turning halfway through so it cooks evenly. When it is finished it should be a light golden brown color. Don’t overcook it, or it will be very crumbly. Allow the shortbread to cool completely.
5. To prepare the caramel layer, placed the unwrapped caramels in a large microwave-safe bowl with 2 tablespoons of cream. If your caramels are very stiff, you might want to increase the cream by an additional spoonful. This candy bar works best if the caramel is not too hard or chewy, so adding some cream when melting the caramels helps make it silky smooth.
6. Microwave the caramels until melted and smooth, stirring after every 30 seconds to incorporate the cream and prevent overheating. Pour the melted caramel over the shortbread cookie crust and smooth it into an even layer. Refrigerate the pan to set the caramel completely, about 1 hour.
7. Melt the chocolate or candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl and stir until completely smooth.
8. Remove the caramel-covered bars from the pan by using the foil as handles. Cut the pan into thin, finger-width bars. I usually cut the pan in half widthwise, then cut about 10 bars from each half, for a total of about 20 long, thin bars, but you can vary the size to suit your needs. Use a large, sharp knife to prevent the cookie base from crumbling.
9. Use dipping tools or forks to dip the bars in the melted chocolate, covering them completely. Place the dipped bars on a foil-lined tray and repeat until all bars are dipped. Refrigerate the tray to set the chocolate, about 10 minutes.
10.Store homemade Twix Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. These are best when allowed to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving, so that the caramel can soften.
Twix Bars Variation: If you don’t have the time or patience to dip individual bars, you can make these into cookie squares instead. Spread the top of the caramel with the melted chocolate (you will probably use less of the chocolate, perhaps two-thirds of the original amount) and refrigerate it until set. Once firm, cut the pan into small squares to serve. Keep these Twix Squares refrigerated, otherwise the soft caramel will ooze out the sides and make a mess.
Homemade Twix Bars have a crunchy cookie base, smooth caramel center, and rich chocolate coating, just like their namesake. But because these homemade Twix are made fresh with good ingredients, I think they taste even better than the original!
It pays to use a good caramel in these bars. Any soft caramel that you enjoy eating will work.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, cut into small cubes
1. Prepare a 9×9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine the cream and condensed milk in a small saucepan, and place the saucepan on a burner set to the lowest heat setting. You want the milk and cream to be warm, but do not allow it to boil.
3. In a medium-large saucepan combine the corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar over medium-high heat. Stir the candy until the sugar dissolves, then use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals from forming and making the candy grainy.
4. Insert a candy thermometer and reduce the heat to medium. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and cook until the thermometer reads 250 degrees.
5. Add the softened butter chunks and the warm milk-cream mixture. The temperature should go down about 30 degrees.
6. Continue to cook the caramel, stirring constantly so that the bottom does not scorch. Cook it until the thermometer reads 244, and the caramel is a beautiful dark golden brown.
7. Remove the caramel from the heat and immediately pour it into the prepared pan. Do not scrape candy from the bottom of the saucepan. Allow the candy to sit overnight to set up and develop a smooth, silky texture.
8. When you are ready to cut the caramel, place a piece of waxed paper on the counter and lift the caramel from the pan using the foil as handles. Flip the top of the caramel onto the waxed paper and peel the foil layer from the bottom of the caramel.
9. Spray a large knife with nonstick cooking spray. Firmly cut into the caramels, creating 1” squares. Wipe the blade and re-spray as necessary.
10. Wrap the squares in waxed paper. The caramels will gradually spread and lose their square shape if not wrapped soon after cutting. Alternately, you can dip them in chocolate once they are cut.
11. Store the caramels at room temperature for up to two weeks.
These soft caramels have a creamy, chewy texture that melts in your mouth and never sticks to your teeth. They are delicious on their own, dipped in chocolate, or used in other baked goods. For the best texture, allow the caramels to sit at room temperature overnight to fully set up.