If you're feeling especially adventurous, I highly recommend making Salted Caramel Twix from scratch. Sounds laborious, but I assure you the only thing difficult about this recipe is refraining from eating the entire batch in one sitting. I also apologize in advance for the fact that eating the original candy inspiration will never ever be the same.
There are three parts to the recipe: buttery shortbread, creamy salted caramel, and smooth milk chocolate. Lucky for you, only the first two take any effort as the third comes in the form of handy dandy candy melts. As always, the key to an amazing end product is the quality of the individual ingredients. I always make sure to keep high quality vanilla on hand and am still completely obsessed with the Murray River Sea Salt that I picked up at the Savory Spice Shop in Austin.
The shortbread in this recipe is so buttery that it just melts in your mouth with every bite. You definitely can't eat these guys in layers like I enjoy doing with the original Twix, but the shortbread is so good that I just didn't care. The salt of the caramel offsets the sweet of the milk chocolate for balanced perfection in every bite. These Salted Caramel Twix have already gathered their fair share of requests to be made again and I have several more ideas for similar layered treats this holiday season.
Salted Caramel Twix
makes approximately 9 dozen 1 inch squares
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fine fleur de sel
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 12 ounce packages of milk chocolate candy melts
2 teaspoons canola oil
Extra fleur de sel for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9x13" baking dish by lining with parchment paper, making sure to cover up the sides at least one inch.
- To make the shortbread, beat together butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour and beat on medium speed until a soft dough is formed.
- Press dough evenly into the bottom of your prepared baking dish. Poke several holes in dough with a fork, covering the entire surface.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until top is golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- For the caramel, combine water, sugar and corn syrup in a deep saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil until mixture is a warm golden brown, swirling occasionally.
- In a small saucepan, bring cream, butter and fleur de sel to a simmer while waiting for the sugar mixture to brown. Once simmering and butter melted, remove from heat and set aside.
- When sugar mixture is ready, turn off heat and slowly add cream mixture. Make sure that you use a deep saucepan for the sugar mixture and take caution as the sugar and cream combination will bubble violently at first.
- Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and return the caramel to medium low heat. Stirring occasionally, cook for about 10 minutes until a candy thermometer reads 248 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once desired temperature is reached, remove from heat and carefully pour caramel over your cooled shortbread. Refrigerate until caramel is set, about two hours.
- To assemble, cut into 1 inch squares or rectangles with a sharp knife. To prevent shortbread from crumbling, I found it easiest to cut with the caramel side down.
- Melt chocolate wafers in a microwave safe bowl, one package at a time, according to package directions. Stir in one teaspoon of canola oil per 12 ounce package to thin it out a bit.
- One at a time, dip squares into chocolate. Pick up using a fork and tap on side of bowl to remove excess. Slide onto parchment paper and sprinkle with a pinch of fleur de sel.
- Once chocolate has set, candies should be stored in an airtight container or packaged for immediate gifting.