These bars! I've been waiting so so long to be able to post. For once, I made my Secret Recipe Club assignment almost as soon as I got it. Turns out, this isn't always the best idea, since I had to wait almost a month, and these bars were so good, it was like slow torture. They rank high up, in my top 10 recipes for sure. They had the perfect slightly crunchy crispy shortbread base, exactly like a Twix base, but more substantial, with more win in it. The caramel is a modified dulce de leche, just with extra butter and extra goodness. It was the perfect goeey, stringy soft caramel that I love. And ofcourse, the chocolate layer. I used good quality dark chocolate, and that just took the bars to a whole other level.
This recipe is one of the easiest I've made, but also is one of the best. I can't stop raving, I made the mistake of making only half a recipe, since I didn't have a big enough pan. I'm just waiting to go buy a nice big pan now so I can make a full recipe. Don't make the same mistake I did.
I got Sara's blog, which has probably given me the most options to pick from ever. Since I now cook, there were a few cooking recipes that I bookmarked too, but since I want to keep the blog only about baking, I picked this. Sara chose to decorate it with some colored white chocolate, and while I considered that, for me, nothing looks better than a nice smear of dark chocolate.
I always leave nice overhang so that removing and cutting becomes easy. I sometimes lay two strips of foil out in a cross pattern if the foil won't cover the pan entirely.
The shortbread, nice and golden brown-y, will make your house smell amazing!
One of the best things in this world!
Your finger should leave a dent like shown in this picture. This is post cooling, so it aim for a little runnier.
Chocolate Caramel Shortbreads / Homemade TwixRecipe adapted from Cook with Sara
Shortbread Crust -
1 cup [2 sticks / 226 g] butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups [240 g] flour
3/4 tsp. salt
Caramel Filling -
7 Tbsp. [100 g] butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cans (14 oz each) sweetened condensed milk
Pinch of salt
10 oz. dark [or semi-sweet] chocolate, chopped
3 tbsp [ 42 g] butter
- Preheat oven to 350 F [180 C]. Grease and line a 9x13 pan with parchment, leaving some overhang on the sides.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Now add in the vanilla, the flour and the salt. Mix until just combined.
- Pour into prepared pan, and pat the crumbs down lightly, to make sure they stick. Bake for around 15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Remove to cool completely.
- For the caramel filling - In a large saucepan, combine together the butter, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk and salt. Bring to a boil, constantly stirring. Reduce heat to medium low, stirring constantly and simmer until it turns a deep caramel color, about 15 - 18 minutes. Pour onto cooled crust, and refrigerate for an hour. It might seem runny at first, but the refrigeration makes it firm up a bit. Post refrigeration, your finger should make and leave a dent, as shown.
- Once the caramel layer is ready, melt the chocolate and butter together. Pour onto the caramel layer, just making lines with the spatula if you want, and refrigerate for another hour.
- Cut into bars, [I prefer using a pastry scraper], and serve.