Friday, February 10, 2012

Revamped: Gourmet Twix Bars with Brown Butter Shortbread, Salted Caramel, & Dark Chocolate

I've made homemade twix bars before, almost exactly a year ago, and I knew I could put my own spin on them to make them just a little bit fancier (and a whole lot better). I used my first recipe as the base, but made a slightly different variation. Instead of the softer shortbread, I substituted it with a crisp, brown butter shortbread. I still stand firm on the fact that brown butter makes every meal better, both savory & sweet. I liked the caramel recipe from last year, so all I added was vanilla bean and fleur de sel. But I knew that there had to be more chocolate. I put a layer of soft chocolate, and then I decided to make a go at tempering bittersweet chocolate and lightly coating the candy like a traditional Twix bar. I honestly thought that the process of tempering would be way harder, but I found an easy, instructional step-by-step here. It might sound intimidating, but I pulled it off, and now I am so glad that I have this in my repertoire for future recipes. Lastly, I sprinkled the chocolate-coated bars with some fleur de sel because that's just my thang, yo. Yeah, I don't know why I just said that, but oh well. These revamped Twix bars are great and have a deep complexity of flavors that I love. They might be too fancy shmancy for some of y'all, and I get that, so if that's the case, make the first recipe for that classic taste. But give these a try for somethin' a little different and unique!! Enjoy :)
Gourmet Twix Bars
Layers of Brown Butter Shortbread, Salted Carmel, Dark Chocolate
Coated Twix Bars in Tempered Dark Chocolate
A Sprinkle of Fleur de Sel
For the Browned Butter Shortbread Cookies:
1 ½ Sticks of Unsalted Butter
½C Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly Packed
1t Vanilla
½t Fleur de Sel
1 ½C AP Flour
Gourmet Raw Bourbon Vanilla Sugar, For Sprinkling

For the Salted Caramel Layer:
2C Sugar
¾C Light Corn Syrup
½C Water
1t Lemon Juice
1C Heavy Cream
1C Sweetened, Condensed Milk
1 Vanilla Bean, Scraped for Seeds
¼t Salt
Fleur de Sel, For Sprinkling

For the Dark Chocolate Layer:
1 ½C Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
4T Unsalted Butter

For the Dark Chocolate Coating:
10oz 70% Bittersweet Chocolate, Coarsely Chopped
Fleur de Sel, For Sprinkling

1. To Make the Browned Butter Shortbread Cookies: Line an 11x7-inch square pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang of foil on two sides so you can easily lift the shortbread out of the pan, and then lightly spray with Pam. Set the pan aside while you make the shortbread. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and continue to cook until it lightly browns and emits a nutty aroma. Remove the browned butter from heat. In a medium bowl, combine the browned butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir to combine. Add in the flour and mix until incorporated. Spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan, and then let the dough stand for at least 2 hours (do not refrigerate). After resting, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly sprinkle the surface with the vanilla sugar. Bake the shortbread for 20-30 minutes and remove them from the oven and let it cool.
2. To Make the Salted Caramel Layer:  Combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and lemon juice in a sauté pan and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil (do not whisk). Once this mixture begins to turn caramel brown, insert a candy thermometer and when the mixture reaches 300 degrees F, remove from heat and let it sit for 1 minute. Whisk in the heavy cream, then the condensed milk, then salt until smooth. Return the pan back to the heat, and cook until the caramel reaches 240 degrees F. Remove from heat and pour over the shortbread. Let it set at room temperature for 2 hours.
3. For the Dark Chocolate Topping & Coating: Heat the chocolate chips and butter in a bowl in the microwave in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is just melted, then whisk until incorporated. Spread this chocolate mixture over the caramel layer until an even, thick layer of chocolate covers the caramel. Cool in the refrigerator until you are ready to cut. Cut into small rectangles and prepare the chocolate coating. Melt ¾ of the chopped chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Remove the bowl from the pan and add the remaining chocolate, stirring until smooth. Cool the chocolate until a thermometer inserted at least ½inch into the chocolate registers 80 degrees. Return the water in the pan to a boil and remove it from heat. Set the bowl with cooled chocolate over the pan and reheat, stirring, until the thermometer registers 88-91 degrees as necessary. Remove the bowl from the pan. Balance one Twix bar on a fork and submerge in the melted chocolate, letting the excess drip off and scraping the back of the fork against the rim of the bowl if necessary.  Place the coated caramel-cookie stacks onto a parchment lined baking sheet to stand until the chocolate is set, about 1 hour. Sprinkle the tops with fleur de sel while the chocolate is still soft. Repeat with the remaining stacks until all of them have been coated with chocolate.
4. Wrap the finished candy bars in parchment paper and keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Bring to room temperature before enjoying.


  1. I just made something similar recently. I love the addition of salted caramel on pretty much anything. Why does that have to taste so good?

  2. Oh I know, Salted Caramel and Brown Butter will probably be the death of me. Who ever thought of putting salt on caramel is brilliant. I'll make sure to check out your blog and look for your recipe that is similar! Thanks for stopping by!


  3. Wow, those look incredible! I love a Twix bar but this takes it to another level!

  4. They really are on another level... just such a deep flavor!