If you don’t want gaggles of children beating down your door on Halloween night then look no further. If you’d rather not be the most popular house on the block then continue on your Internet search. If you aren’t a fan of a cookie crust so tender it shatters in your mouth, or a creamy caramel – dark, intense and scattered with salt, or bittersweet chocolate blended with butter to create the perfect cap to this cookie, then you might need to get checked because I think something is very wrong.
If you like the idea of all these things then you are in the right spot and you are here just in time as this is the perfect cookie for this candy-laden season. While I don’t recommend passing these treats out to your trick-or-treaters as homemade treats aren’t super popular these days, save these for special guests or Halloween parties. If you are like me you’ll save them for the fridge so you have something sweet to snack on each time you open the fridge door. And if you are like me you’ll need to open the door multiple times before you remember why you were opening the fridge in the first place – giving you plenty of times to enjoy these cookies.
If you’ve been to Spago for lunch then perhaps you’ve had this dessert fancied up with a fleck of edible gold on the chocolate layer. This dessert was so popular it was rarely off the menu during my time there.
I recommend serving them while they still have a slight chill from the fridge. That way the caramel has a pleasant chew and they most resemble the famous candy bar. They can be cut small and served as a cookie or larger and plated for a nice dessert. I wrapped mine up in parchment (or wax paper) so they were even more reminiscent of their candy bar cousins.
Homemade Twix Bars
adapted from Sherry Yard’s, “Desserts By The Yard”
5 1/2 ounces (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground rice (rice processed in a spice grinder until it is able to pass through a fine sieve to remove chunks)*
Make the Shortbread:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-X-13-inch baking pan with pan spray and line with parchment paper. Spray the parchment.
In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually add the flour, ground rice and salt and allow the dough to come together. The dough will be crumbly but should hold together when you squeeze it.
Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the baking pan. Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the pan from front to back and bake for another 10 minutes, until the shortbread is a deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack to room temperature.
*Several people have asked about the rice. I just used what I had in the house – brown rice, and the results were great. It’s not the same as rice flour because you want to have a little bit of texture. The purpose of the rice is to give the base of this cookie a unique crunch that remarkably resembles the store-bought Twix. This can be omitted without drastically changing the finished product. But I encourage you to try it. I really love the texture it gives.
Meanwhile, prepare the ….
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup (Regular corn syrup is fine)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon salt plus more for sprinkling over the caramel layer
Make the Caramel:
Combine the sugar, golden syrup, water, and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Remove any sugar crystals from the sides of the pan by wiping down the sides with water. You can use your hand or a pastry brush. Place the pot on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Wipe down any stray sugar crystals that appear using a very clean and wet pastry brush. Do not stir from this point on. Keep an eye on the pan. The mixture will be very bubbly.
When the sugar syrup starts to turn golden brown insert a candy thermometer to check the temperature. When it reaches 300°F, remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for 1minute, or until the bubbles subside. Carefully whisk in the heavy cream. Stir until smooth, then whisk in the condensed milk. Add the salt (vanilla salt is very nice here if you have it) Whisk until smooth.
Return the pan to the heat and stir constantly over medium heat until the caramel reaches 240°F. Remove from the heat and pour over the shortbread. While the caramel is warm sprinkle the surface with the best quality salt you have. Kosher is fine, Fleur de Sel is better, Maldon would be my preferred choice.
Allow to set. This will take about 2 hours.
Once the caramel layer has cooled prepare your …
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (Bittersweet chocolate chips also work)
2 tablespoons butter
Melt the chocolate and butter over a bain marie or in the microwave. If using the microwave melt it slowly – in 30 second intervals. Stir well after each interval.
Once completely melted pour over the caramel. Using an offset spatula, smooth the chocolate in a nice even layer.
Place in the refrigerator to set. They cut best when chilled.
Cut into desired shape and size. Serve.
I highly recommend Desserts by the Yard: From Brooklyn to Beverly Hills: Recipes from the Sweetest Life Ever, not just because she was my boss and I had the pleasure of working on this book but because the recipes are unique, incredibly satisfying and the book itself is stunning – full of beautiful photos and heartfelt stories of Sherry’s life told through pastries. Sherry is an incredible talent when it comes to flour, butter and sugar – anything she creates is a winner – just ask the Academy Award attendees she serves every year after the award show.