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Make Your Own Twix Bars: Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars!

A tradition my family has during the holidays is to host a dessert party.  It is a great reason to bring friends and family together at a spirited time of the year.  Desserts, wine, conversation, and laughter is in flow constantly during the party.  Over Thanksgiving, I came across Annie Eat’s website and found a recipe I knew had to be on the menu!  It is a do-it-yourself Twix bar!  Follow the recipe below for a taste of my family’s dessert party.

(Pictures reflect 1/2 recipe)

For the shortbread layer:

2 Cups Flour

2 TSP Baking Powder

1/4 TSP Salt

1 Cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature

1/2 Cup Sugar

Shortbread Ingredients

Shortbread Ingredients

For the caramel layer:

1 Cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces

1 Cup Sugar

4 TBSP Light Corn Syrup

2 (14 oz.) Cans Sweetened Condensed Milk

Caramel Ingredients

Caramel Ingredients

For the chocolate layer:

8 oz. Semisweet or Bittersweet Chocolate

1 TSP Light Corn Syrup

1/2 Cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces

Fleur de sel or sea salt, for sprinkling

Chocolate Ingredients

Chocolate Ingredients

For the shortbread layer:

Preheat oven to 325

Line 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt

Stir with a fork to blend, and set aside

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and flour mixture on medium speed until well blended, about 1-2 minutes

Shortbread Ingredients Ready to Beat in Mixer

Shortbread Ingredients Ready to Beat in Mixer

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press in an even layer over the bottom of the pan

Shortbread Dough

Shortbread Dough

Making the Shortbread Layer

Making the Shortbread Layer

Shortbread Layer Ready to Bake

Shortbread Layer Ready to Bake

Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden  (If the crust puffs up a bit while baking, just gently press it down while it is cooling)

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely

Cooled Shortbread Layer

Cooled Shortbread Layer

For the caramel layer:

Melt butter in medium saucepan over stove

Add butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk to saucepan, stirring occasionally

Caramel Ingredients Heating on Stove

Caramel Ingredients Heating on Stove

While stirring occasionally, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil

Caramel Mixture Boiling

Caramel Mixture Boiling

Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stirring constantly

Continue simmering and stirring until the mixture turns an amber color and thickens (it took me 20 minutes while I stirred constantly.  Taste along the way, as you will be able to taste the mixture turning into caramel)

Caramel FINALLY!

Caramel FINALLY!

Pour the mixture over the shortbread layer, smooth the top, and allow to cool completely and set (I chilled mine in the fridge to ensure that the caramel layer would not melt when the warm chocolate was added)

Pouring Caramel Onto Shortbread Layer!

Pouring Caramel Onto Shortbread Layer!

Caramel Layer

Caramel Layer

For the chocolate layer:

In a covered microwave-save dish, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter

Microwave for 30 seconds and stir

Microwave for another 30 seconds and stir

Continue this process for 15 second intervals. Be careful not to over heat the chocolate, or it will taste burn.  (After stirring, I let the chocolate sit for a minute to continue the melting process)

Melting Chocolate

Melting Chocolate

Pour evenly over the caramel layer and use an offset spatula to smooth the top

Pouring Chocolate over Shortbread and Caramel Layers

Pouring Chocolate over Shortbread and Caramel Layers

Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then sprinkle with fleur de sel (I sprinkled with fleur de sel and Pinot Noir salt!)

Chocolate Layer with Salt

Chocolate Layer with Salt

Chill covered, until ready to slice and serve

Chilled Chocolate Layer

Chilled Chocolate Layer

Slice into bite sized bars and serve

(full recipe yields 5 dozen small bars.  recipe:  http://www.annies-eats.com/2011/09/09/salted-caramel-chocolate-shortbread-bars/)

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Shortbread, caramel, chocolate, salt…YUM!  These are definitely the perfect combination and were a hit at the dessert party!  The caramel layer may be a bit difficult to make, but keep stirring, taste as you go along, and be patient, and you will have amazing and delicious salted caramel chocolate shortbread bars!

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Stay hungry…

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