Monday, January 26, 2009

Homemade Twix Bars


When I say homemade Twix bars, I do so only because I want you to have a frame of reference.  These are infinitely better for a few reasons: 1) The caramel to cookie ratio is skewed further in favor of a luscious homemade caramel based not only on the standard milk, sugar and butter, but also on sweetened condensed milk and golden syrup.  2) The cookie base is an easy press-in affair of butter, wonderful butter.  3)  And the whole thing is spread lightly with bittersweet chocolate that gives easily to the teeth before they meet a bit of carmelly resistance.  


And homemade Twix bars seem to endlessly reinvent themselves.  Straight from the refrigerator, they are solid and chewy, the carmel yielding only as you work it around a little.  Left out on a platter they become meltingly soft, even gooey.  They fill the mouth rather than fight it.  I like them both ways, but am perhaps a bit more addicted when they are room temperature.  If you decide to give them a try, you'll have plenty to decide for yourself.


Homemade Twix Bars
From Sherry Yard's  Desserts by the Yard

For the Shortbread

1 stick plus 3 tablespoons butter (5 1/2 ounces), softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 tablespoons ground rice

With a rack in the lowest portion of the oven, preheat to 350.  Spray a 9x13" baking pan with cooking spray, line with parchment paper, then spray the paper.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  It should be fluffy.  Gradually add in the flour and the rice until the dough comes together.

Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes.  Rotate the pan and continue to bake for another 8 minutes.  The shortbread should be a deep golden brown.  Cool on a rack to room temperature, still in the pan.

For the Caramel

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream 
1 cup sweetened condensed milk

In a large saucepan, stir together the sugar, syrup, water and lemon juice.  Wet the sides of the pan with a little water if any of the ingredients have crept up.  Cover the saucepan and cook it over medium heat for 4 minutes.  

Remove the lid, increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.  Do not stir.  The mixture will bubble, and if sugar appears on the sides of the pan, brush them back down with a wet pastry brush.  The bubbles will continue to get larger.

In the meantime, bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan.   Remove from the heat and set aside.

Return to the sugar mixture, which will turn golden brown after 5 or 6 minutes.  With a candy thermometer, make sure the mixture has reached 300, then remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for 1 minutes, until the bubbles subside.  Whisk in the heavy cream off the heat and whisk in the condensed milk.  Continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth

Return the saucepan to medium heat and stir constantly until the caramel reaches 240.  Pour over the shortbread and allow to set.

For the Chocolate

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter

In a double boiler or in the microwave set on half strength, melt the chocolate and butter.  Stir until smooth.  Pour evenly over the caramel and let sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator until set.

Slice and serve.

Notes:

*  Ms. Yard uses this technique for making caramel (I assume) to avoid having to stand over the stove stirring the entire time.  Milk burns easily, which is why it's added at the end and why the stirring occurs after it's added.  If you're careless like I was and dump all of the ingredients together at the same time, all is not lost, but you will have to stir the entire time, until the mixture reaches the 240 mark.
*  For some reason, I didn't find bittersweet chocolate and used semisweet instead.  No harm done.
* UPDATE: For ground rice, simply put dry rice into a food processor and grind away until you have a fine powder.  Then pass through a sieve to get any chunks out, process one more time, and measure out 2 tablespoons.  Ground rice is NOT the same thing as rice flour, so don't substitute. 

30 comments:

Snooky doodle said...

these look utterly delicious. :)

gastroanthropologist said...

1 million times better than the original "Twix" bar!

natalie said...

ohhh yum! it is probably a very bad thing i found your page because twix bars are my fav and i'm sure these will not last long in my house!!!

Chrissy said...

yummmmm I want!

Dana Treat said...

If forced to eat a candy bar (and it wouldn't really be forcing me!), I would eat a Twix. They are the perfect combo in my book. I think I know what's on deck for next week's treat!

Sam said...

We call this millionaires shortbread in the UK. Yours look especially good, I love the thick layer of caramel, that's the best bit!

Maya said...

I heart Twix bars..Now I can make them!

Esi said...

I love Twix, but I don't let myself eat them anymore because of the ingredients. I am so going to have to make these sometime! I just discovered that my "corner store" sells Lyle's!

finsmom said...

WOW! This look incredible!!!

Carolyn Jung said...

Homemade Twix bars?? Oh my! Well, if I ever made these, I definitely would not be giving these out to trick-or-treaters. I'd have to keep them all to myself. ;)

Elra said...

Oh Andrea, this look sinfully delicious. Would you send some over to me? My mouth water just to look at your photograph.
Cheers,
Elra

flutterbyblue said...

this look fabulous!!! I used to love Twix bars and these look even better!

cookingmom said...

Could you elaborate on the ground rice part? Do you buy it pre-ground, like flour? Or do you do it yourself? If you do it yourself,is the rice raw or cooked?

I would love to make these, but the rice threw me off!

jfolkmann said...

These look fantastic. I'll have to give them a try. I love the fact that the caramel (the best part) takes up most of the bar. Thanks for the recipe.

Manger La Ville said...

This sounds sooo good. I found you on tastespotting. Awesome blog, and those homemade twix. I can't wait to make them.

Sara said...

These look so impressive! I love twix bars, they're definitely one of my favorites.

cookingmom said...

Thanks for the ground rice update!

bensbaby116 said...

These look amazing! I'm not crazy about a lot of candy bars, but Twix is (are?) the exception. I could eat Twix every day, I think. I can't wait to try these!

Hayley said...

I haven't had a Twix in probably 10 years. This sounds so good and "school lunchish." Thanks for sharing!

eileen said...

I just found your blog and I adore it... just so you know. Looking forward to seeing more.

Annie said...

They look way too good. Possibly even dangerous!

Chic Cookies said...

These look so yummy I had to post on them today for my edible crafts column, part of craftgossip.com (you can see your post at ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com). I'm definitely going to try these. Thanks for sharing! meaghan

k8inorbit said...

ooo, i love this idea, it looks great. i bet a peanut butter twix version would be tasty as well.

any one have any ideas/suggestions for a golden syrup substitute? i'm living in asia at the moment and don't have easy access to it. i guess you could just do a regular caramel?

Ben said...

Aaaargh, I'm feebly attempting to stay off the sweet stuff...

Looks like that will have to wait until next week!

Hillary said...

This is SUCH a great idea. Twix bars are my favorite candy bar - but now maybe I have a new one! :)

Helene said...

Wow! these looks too good.

Andrea said...

Snooky, thank you!

Gastroanthropologist, thanks so much!

Natalie, they're one of my favorites as well. These are just about as bad for you, too!

Chrissy, I know you do.

Dana, let me know if you like them!

Sam, really? I love that name!

Maya, ha ha, yes you can!

Esi, nice corner store! I have to take the subway to get it!

Finsmom, thanks!

Carolyn, we polished them off the two of us in record time! And we barely shared.

Elra, I wish I could, but they were gone before they were posted!

Flutterbyblue, they were a childhood favorite of mine as well!

Cookingmom, I've updated the post for yoU!

Jfolkman, yea, we don't skimp around here ;-)

Manger La Ville, thanks for stopping by and for the kind words!

Sara, they're time consuming, but not that hard really. But they do take some time!

Bensbaby, I hope you like them if you try them!

Hayley, actually, I don't know the last time I had twix either. It's been a while!

Eileen, you're so sweet! Thank you so much!

Annie, actually I think dangerous is a good description, they're addicting!

Chic Cookies, thanks so much! I'm flattered!

k8inorbit, hum, could you get light corn syrup or something like that? That would work too.

Ben, looks like I'll have to wait for next year! I'm no good at staying off the sweet stuff.

Thanks Hillary, let me know if you try them!

Thanks Helene!

rich said...

That looks insane. home made Twix bars - pure class.

Girls-on-blog said...

Hello:)
Thanx for this delicous one....i want to try it...

Anonymous said...

Well,i´m highly dissapointed, was hoping for real homemade twix bars, but jeez, doesn´t evne slightly resemble it!