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Author Notes: The Twix was my go-to candy bar, my movie companion, my lunchtime fascination, my trade-anything-for-it Halloween treat. When the mini-Twix came out, long after I became an adult who no longer had the metabolism to eat them daily, I thought them heaven-sent, even though their arrival meant I would simply hide in my laundry room and mow down my kids’ trick-or-treat bag’s entire supply.
In the annals of classic junk food overreach, there was, for a short time in the late ’80s or early ’90s, a moment of Cookies-n-Creme Twix bars, with a chocolate cookie base and an Oreo-like filling in place of the caramel, a devastating development. Thank goodness, the classic seems to have reigned.
This version is time consuming but worth it. Just make sure your pan is very well greased when you make your shortbread, or it will be hard to slip it out of the pan. Here’s the good news: If the shortbread breaks, you can still set it easily into the caramel. But do NOT stack these once cooled, and especially don’t stack them on top of your Goo Goo clusters, or you will wake up in the morning with a glob of chocolate that you have to pull apart, perhaps in a dark room alone, where no one can see you eating approximately half a pound of chocolate for lunch.
Recipe excerpted from Treat Yourself: 70 Classic Snacks You Loved as a Kid (and Still Love Today) (Clarkson Potter, 2014). —Jestei
Makes 12 candy bars
- Unsalted butter, softened, for the pan
- 1/2 stick salted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups (10 1/2 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
- One 14-ounce bag caramels (about 2 cups, or 50 caramels)
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half
- Preheat the oven to 325° F. Grease a 9 × 5-inch loaf pan with unsalted butter. In a heavy-duty stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed just until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, mixing just until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. The mixture should be crumbly but hold together when squeezed.
- Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the loaf pan. Bake for 24 to 28 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn the oven off. Remove the loaf pan and let the cookie layer cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out on a cutting board to continue to cool.
- Wipe the loaf pan clean and line with a sheet of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on each side. Sprinkle 1 cup of the chocolate morsels in the bottom of the pan and place it in the still-warm oven for 5 minutes. Using an offset spatula, t smooth the melted chocolate into an even layer. Freeze the chocolate layer in the pan for 5 minutes.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave half the caramels, about 25, with 1 tablespoon of the half-and-half for 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds, or until melted and smooth.
- Remove the chocolate from the freezer. Pour the caramel over the cold chocolate layer and top immediately with the cookie layer. Melt the remaining caramels and half-and-half, and spread another layer of caramel over the cookie layer. Return the pan to the freezer for 20 minutes, or until the caramel is set.
- In a separate small microwave-safe bowl, melt the remaining ¾ cup of chocolate morsels on high heat for 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds, or until melted and smooth. Let the melted chocolate sit for 5 minutes, then spread over the top caramel layer. (Do not worry about making the chocolate smooth, as the more you move the chocolate, the more it will mix in with the caramel.) Return the pan to the freezer to set, approximately 15 minutes.
- Remove the candy from the pan by lifting the parchment paper lining straight up. Place the candy on a cutting board and, using a hot knife, slice the loaf into 12 equal pieces, each about ¾ inch wide, and peel the candy away from the paper. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes prior to serving.
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