Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Homemade Twix Bars

Picture from Cooking Books

My husband LOVES Twix, so I was super excited when I saw this recipe on Cooking Books.

Which is why it's so sad that he spit some of it out.

The recipe isn't bad, per se, it just needs a lot of tweaking to become good. In it's original state it doesn't seem worth the calories. But the seeds of greatness are there! Here's the original recipe, copied and pasted from Cooking Books, followed by the changes I'd make in order to make it worth the miles you'd have to run to work them off:

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.

*Changes: The biggest problem here is the caramel. It might be a matter of taste, but I MUCH prefer this fleur de sel caramel from Epicurious. This caramel was just too sweet and there was way too much of it in relationship to the amount of shortbread. I would double the shortbread in order to achieve a better caramel to shortbread ratio. This recipe didn't make enough shortbread to go all the way to the corners of a 9x13 pan, much less support the sheer amount of over-sweet caramel. And I'm not entirely sold on the shortbread either. It wasn't bad, but there was nothing special about it. Unfortunately, I have no other recipe to recommend since I never make shortbread, but I'm sure there are good options out there. Lastly, I'd definitely go with bittersweet chocolate. Cooking Books said semi-sweet was fine, but combined with the sickly sweet caramel it was just too much.

I really like the basic idea...I think with these changes these could be really awesome!

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