Homemade Twix Bars
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) butter, softened
1/4 cup golden brown sugar, packed
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Chocolate caramel layer
1 1/2 cups sugar
9 tablespoons golden syrup or corn syrup
6 tablespoons water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or Fleur de Sel (plus more for sprinkling)
1/4 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (optional)
Chocolate coating (if you are dipping the individual bars, double this amount)
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
Prepare the shortbread crust: Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9X9-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing for a 1-inch overhang. Butter the foil/parchment or spray it with nonstick baking spray.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add the flour and the salt, and beat until combined. Transfer the dough to the pan and press it into an even layer using your hands or a spatula.
Bake the crust until it turns golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Prepare the caramel: In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, syrup, and water. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly and wiping down any stray sugar crystals on the sides with a wet pastry brush. Once the mixture comes to a boil, stop stirring.
Insert a candy thermometer into the mixture and continue to cook until it reaches 300F degrees. At this point, remove the pan from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream (the mixture will bubbly vigorously.) Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the condensed milk and the salt. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the chocolate (optional) until smooth.
Return the pan to the heat and whisk constantly until the temperature reaches 240F degrees. Pour the mixture over the shortbread crust and sprinkle the surface with additional coarse sea salt or Fleur de Sel. Place the pan in the refrigerator to chill until firm, about 1 1/2 hours.
Prepare the chocolate coating: Melt the chocolate with the butter in a double boiler set over low heat. You now have two options for coating the bars:
1. Pour the chocolate mixture evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread to cover all of the caramel. Return the pan to the refrigerator until the chocolate is set. Using a sharp knife run under hot water, cut into 2 x 2 0 inch squares to serve.
2. These bars can also be cut and dipped into the chocolate to more
closely resemble Twix bars. After the caramel layer has chilled, cut
down the length of the pan using a sharp knife that has been run under
hot water, into two long pieces. Then cut each piece into strips, about
3/4-inch wide. Quickly dip the chilled bars into the melted chocolate,
turning to coat, and place them on a wire rack set over parchment paper
to set until firm.