Homemade Twix Bars (Original Millionaire Shortbread)
Are you a fan of Twix candy bars? Because really, they’re just a variation on my time-tested Best Millionaire’s Shortbread: Shortbread cookie layer, covered with rich caramel and topped with chocolate.
This recipe for homemade Twix Bars is gleaned from ground-zero for shortbread – Scotland. The story goes that shortbread evolved from the practice of baking any leftover bread scraps in a low oven until it was crispy. Eventually, sugar was added, and yeast was replaced by butter.
There are variations – some use all-purpose flour in toto. Some use a mixture of wheat and oat flour. In many ways, it seems to depend on what you want to do with it. Are you serving it as a stand-alone cookie, or are your using it as a foundation for something else (as I am here).
In the past, I made these into the traditional Millionaire’s Shortbread bars (you can see the photo by scrolling down), but the last time I made Twix cups using a silicone mini-muffin pan to make them easier to handle. I find the most difficult part of the entire recipe is cutting the bars into clean, attractive pieces. Popping them out of a cooled silicone muffin pan was so much easier!
Either way you choose to do it, this Millionaire’s Shortbread recipe makes a great shortbread – crisp, but not too crumbly – covered in homemade caramel and rich, dark chocolate. A small piece goes a long way.
I used 1/2 regular flour and 1/2 white whole wheat flour, with rice flour to round it out. The shortbread is baked a bit longer than traditional shortbread to increase the crispiness, balancing out the smooth caramel.
The original recipe is in metric measurements, so I’ve translated it to English weights. These are mostly WEIGHTS, not volume, so you’ll need to weigh the amounts on a scale to get the proper ratios. You really should have a kitchen scale among your tools. Here’s a good one to check out. You can change it from English units to Metric very easily:
Best Millionaire's Shortbread
- 7 oz Plain flour, or 200 grams I used 1/2 plain, 1/2 white whole wheat flour
- 3.5 oz Rice flour, or 100 grams Gluten-free flour can be substituted
- 3.5 oz Sugar, or 100 grams
- 7 oz Butter (about 14 tbsp), or 200 grams softened, but not melted
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 oz Butter, (about 12 tbsp), or 175 grams
- 6 oz Sugar, or 175 grams
- 2 fluid oz Golden syrup, or 60 milliliters See below how to make Golden Syrup
- 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk, or 400 grams
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 7 oz Dark Chocolate, or 200 grams Or any other chocolate you prefer. Dark chocolate helps cut down the sweetness of everything else.
- Heat oven to 350F or 175C
- Grease an 8″X8″ or 20cm square baking pan, including the sides all the way to the top.
- Mix the shortbread flours, sugar and salt in a large bowl with a whisk. Cut in the butter and mix with your fingers until the mixture is a sandy consistency.
- Press the dough into the baking pan and pierce liberally with a fork. Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges turn a golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- For the caramel, add the butter, sugar, condensed milk, golden syrup (click here to see how to make golden syrup) and salt in a medium, heavy pan and heat while stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Bring this mixture to a simmer and cook for at least 15 minutes, or until a candy thermometer reads 250F, or 120C. The sugar will caramelize into a medium brown color, and the mixture will thicken. You don't want it too thick to pour, however. (It's best to err on the thicker side, as the bars can be difficult to cut if the caramel is too soft.)
- Pour the caramel over the cooled shortbread and let this cool in the fridge for an hour or so.
- Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler or in the microwave and pour over the cooled caramel. I gave this a little blast in the refrigerator to set the chocolate, then turned the whole thing out on a cutting board. I cut the bars into 1" pieces and wrapped each one in waxed paper for candy bars.
For Millionaire's Cups
- Instead of using a square pan, I used two silicone mini-muffin pans.
- First, I pressed the shortbread dough into each cup and baked normally. I had to rotate once in the oven as the outer cups were getting a bit more browned than the inner. It might be better to bake one pan at a time.
- Then I prepared the caramel and transferred the hot mass to a Pyrex measuring cup to allow for more precise pouring into the mini-muffin cups. Be very careful as the caramel is extremely hot!
- Finally, I melted the chocolate and spooned it over the cups. I wanted a round "dot" in the middle, rather than filling up all the way to the edges. Into some of the cups, I first pressed a toasted pecan.
- Let the cups cool in the fridge for 30 minutes or so, and they pop out easily! I wrapped in simple foil squares.
Give it a try and leave a comment! I love to hear from you.