I’ve been really partial to Jay-Z on this blog so far, but I’m kind of okay with that. Just like I’m kind of okay with the obscene amount of this amazing dessert that I’ve eaten in the past week.
Do you like chocolate? Do you like caramel? If you answered yes to both of these questions, I’ve got a dessert for you. If you answered no to both of these questions, we can’t be friends (kidding, but not). Introducing…. Twix brownie bars! I made these last weekend for my brother’s birthday because Twix is his favorite candy, and they did not disappoint. These brownie bars are REALLY, REALLY GOOD and I know because I ate about half of them myself. Instead of using actual Twix bars to make them, you recreate the layers yourself with this semi-from-scratch recipe.
What I mean by semi-from-scratch is that the recipe includes store-bought Lorna Doone’s Shortbread Cookies and store-bought caramel candies. If you prefer, you can also make it with brownie mix to decrease the amount of time/effort a little bit, although the included brownie recipe was pretty easy and worked perfectly.
First, preheat the oven to 350 and cream together softened butter and sugar. Then mix in eggs and vanilla.
Next, complete the brownie batter by mixing in flour, salt, and cocoa powder. See how easy that was?
Now it’s time to bake the brownies. The batter is not thin enough to pour, so you’ll have to plop it into a greased 9×13″ baking dish and then use a spatula to spread it out evenly (I forgot to take a picture of this step). Bake for 22-29 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
The shortbread layer is next (I should note that this layer will be soft, instead of hard and crunchy like in a real Twix). Throw 10 ounces of Lorna Doone’s shortbread cookies into a food processor and process them until they’re fine crumbs. Then mix in the cream cheese until you get a smooth shortbread truffle mixture.
Once brownies have cooled, spread the shortbread truffle mixture out across the surface of the brownies. It will be a fairly thin layer and it will probably take a bit of maneuvering in order to get the whole surface covered.
For the caramel layer, melt approximately 14 ounces of caramel candies with 2 tablespoons of milk. When melted smoothly, pour the caramel over the shortbread layer of the bars. Work quickly and spread the caramel evenly with a spatula before it begins to cool. The added milk gives the caramel a really nice soft consistency, but it will still cool to a point that you will no longer be able to spread it.
Once caramel has cooled, finish with a chocolate layer on top. Melt 1 1/2 cups of milk chocolate chips with 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of shortening. If using regular chocolate chips, the chocolate will still be very thick when it’s melted and you’ll need to spread it with a spatula. If you use baking/melting chocolates, it will probably melt enough for you to just pour it on top.
Last but not least, do a really hasty icing writing job for your little brother’s birthday. Chill before cutting for best results.
Just a heads up: These brownies held together really well when they were first sliced, and I was able to get really nice clean cut pieces. They both looked and tasted sinfully good. The next morning when I opened up the leftovers (what do YOU eat for breakfast?) the caramel had made a little bit of a melty mess. Obviously not a problem because they were still delicious, but the morning-after presentation was less than stellar.
Twix Brownie Bars
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1 (10oz) box Lorna Doone’s Shortbread Cookies
- 6oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 14oz bag of caramel cubes
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- For the brownies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well.
- Add salt, cocoa powder, and flour, and mix well to combine. Do not over mix (batter will be very thick).
- Plop the batter into a greased 9×13″ baking dish and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 22-29 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
- For the shortbread: Place all of the Lorna Doone’s in a food processor and process until fine powder. Add cream cheese and sugar and process again until well combined.
- Gently press the shortbread layer evenly over the cooled brownies. It is easiest to do it piece by piece, flattened first in your hands and then laid on top of the brownies.
- For the caramel: Place caramel cubes and milk in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Pour the caramel over the shortbread layer and spread evenly with a spatula. Work quickly to spread it evenly before the caramel cools, and then place in fridge while completing the final step.
- For the chocolate: Combine both kinds of chocolate chips and butter together in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each increment until melted and smooth. If using regular chocolate chips, the chocolate will still be fairly thick once melted. Be careful not to over-microwave and burn the chocolate. Using a spatula, evenly spread the chocolate over the cooled caramel layer.
- Chill before cutting in order for pieces to hold together well.
(recipe from chef in training)