It's nearly candy season and what better way to respond to "trick-or-treat" than with a homemade replica of a classic favorite? This homemade Twix bar recipe is the ultimate grown-up version of the classic confection, and I promise not to tell if you give the kids the packaged confections and save these for yourself.
Here's my favorite halloween-time recipe: homemade Twix candy bars!
Making these requires a few steps, one of them being the intimidating caramel making. But, I assure you that you can make your own caramel. Really! Plus one bite is all it will take for you to forget about the work and bask in the sweet, chewy and chocolate confection.
When it comes to making candy, a thermometer really is key. I know our moms and grandmothers would use the ice water trick to test the consistency but by the time you've got it figured out your caramel has jumped up a few degrees which can be the difference of pleasantly chewy to teeth breaking. Well, maybe not that dramatic but a thermometer definitely helps for accuracy.
In this recipe I've used Lyle's Golden Syrup, which can be found in some grocery stores or ordered online. It's a sugar syrup made from real sugar. If you can't find it or don't want to wait for it to come in the mail, then I recommend using plain-old corn syrup.
A sprinkle on salt on the caramel layer is highly recommended. You could also use bittersweet chocolate in place of the milk chocolate to balance the sweetness, but if you are looking for the classic "Twix" flavor stick to milk chocolate.
Making the cookie base
6 oz/ 1 1/2 sticks butter, soft
3 oz/ 3/4 cups powdered sugar
8 1/2 oz/ 2 cups flour
2 tablespoons ground rice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Recipe note: The addition of ground rice to the cookie base adds a great crunch to the sweet candy bar.
Combine the butter and sugar in a bowl and mix until creamy. Add the egg and beat until the color lightens, about 1 minute.
Add the flour, ground rice, vanilla extract and salt and mix until combined.
Form into a flat, rectangular disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Heat oven to 375°F. Place dough on a large piece of parchment paper, lightly flour and roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. (Work quickly, because the dough will become difficult to roll as it warms up.) Transfer parchment paper with dough to a baking sheet then refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
Cut the dough into 3-1/2-by-3/4-inch cookies. You should get at least 24 cookies. Pierce each cookie several times with a fork.
Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool. Meanwhile, make the caramel.
Making the homemade caramel center
8 oz/ 1 cup sugar
6 oz/ 1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
1/4 cup water
6 oz/ 3/4 cup heavy cream
2 oz/ 4 tablespoons butter, soft
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds removed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon oil
Grease a 9x13 pan with soft butter and line it with parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on each side. Set aside.
Combine the sugar, golden syrup and water in a large saucepan. Stir gently to combine then wash off the sides of the pan using water and your clean hands to feel if any sugar remains on the side. If stray bits of sugar fall into the caramel it can cause the caramel to crystallize so it’s important to make sure all the sugar is in the bottom of the pan mixed with the water.
Place the lid on the pan and put over high heat. Having the lid on during the first few minutes of boiling creates condensation that further helps to wash away any sugar that may be left on the sides of the pan. After 5 minutes remove the lid and let the caramel continue to boil until it reaches 300 degrees F. If some of the caramel starts to color you can gently swirl the pot to combine.
Add the cream, butter and vanilla seeds once it has reached 300 degrees F and then continue to cook until the caramel reaches 248 degrees F. At that point remove the pan from the heat and pour into the prepared 9x13 pan.
Assembling your candy bar!
Let the caramel cool for 10 minutes before gently laying the cookie bases down in four rows of six. Continue to let the caramel cool for 40 minutes before thoroughly chilling in the fridge for an additional 40 minutes or until the caramel is firm enough to cut.
Once completely chilled, carefully remove the caramel and cookie bases from the pan and cut along the cookies to create 24 caramel topped bars.
Prepare the chocolate coating by melting the milk chocolate in the microwave or in a bain marie on the stove then stir in the oil.
Dip the bars into the chocolate with the help of a fork and move to a parchment lined sheet tray.
Place the sheet tray in the fridge once all the bars have been dipped. Keep the bars in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator for three weeks or in the freezer for two months.
Let the bars sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.