In my search for some new 'confection-type' treats to include in my Christmas baking, I found these amazing bars on the King Arthur Flour website and adapted them. You start with a rich, buttery shortbread base, then spread with a chewy caramel filling, cut them into thin finger-style strips, and dip them in milk chocolate.
THEN...I took it one step further. I sprinkled them with some Fleur de Sel. You could use any coarse salt - but I had the good stuff and these bars were worthy of it.
I'm so happy with myself right now I can't even talk about it. There are no words. Just make them, you'll see for yourself. These have officially been adopted into my Christmas baking repertoire. I love them. I'm hooked. Send help.
Start by combining a cup of butter with a cup of icing sugar and 2 tsp. of vanilla in your stand mixer. Once it's smooth and creamy, add 2 cups of flour and mix until it comes together. Press into a foil-lined 13x9 inch pan that's been greased.
Poke several times with a fork to prevent puffing when baked.
Bake at 300 degrees F. for 30 to 40 minutes (I baked mine for 32 minutes), until the edges begin to turn a golden brown color. Let cool.To make the caramel filling, I used a 340 gram package of Kraft caramels. (There are approximately 40 individually wrapped caramels inside.
Unwrap the caramels and put in a medium microwave safe bowl.
Add 2 Tablespoons of cream.Microwave on High for 2 to 3 minutes - checking frequently. It's important to not to overcook the caramel or it will become very hard.
Stir the caramel until it is smooth
and then pour onto your cooled crust.
Spread evenly over crust with an off-set spatula. I spray my spatula with Pam which makes it easier to move the caramel around without sticking too much .
Put the crust with the caramel into the fridge to cool and set. I pulled mine out when the caramel was 'set' but not so cold it was 'hard'. It was slightly pliable still so the knife could easily cut through it. Pull the bars out of the pan before you begin cutting, this makes it easier to get nice clean slices.
Melt 6 ounces of milk chocolate with 1 Tablespoon of vegetable shortening.
Place one cookie into the chocolate to coat the bottom, then spoon the chocolate over the entire cookie.
Remove the cookie from the chocolate with a fork - shaking it gently to allow excess chocolate to drip off the cookie and back into the bowl.
Place onto a cooling rack to allow chocolate to set. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt if desired.
Once the chocolate has set for about 30 minutes, move cookies to a parchment lined sheet and put in the fridge until completely set.
Recipe for Homemade Twix-Like Cookie Bars
(Source: Adapted from King Arthur Flour website)
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temp.
1 cup icing sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the flour and mix until dough comes together. Press the dough into a 13x9 inch baking pan that has been greased, lined with foil and then greased again. Prick the dough in several places with a fork to allow the steam to escape and prevent the dough from forming bubbles. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the edges begin to turn a golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
1 x 340 gram package of Kraft caramels (approximately 40 individually wrapped caramels)
2 Tbsp. cream
Put the unwrapped caramels and cream in a medium microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, checking and stirring frequently, until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. (Do not over cook - or the caramel will harden and become brittle.) Spread the caramel mixture over the cooled cookie crust using a off-set metal spatula. (I spray mine with non-stick cooking spray to prevent the caramel from sticking.) Refrigerate the bars until the caramel sets. (I waited about 20 minutes.)
Remove the bars from the pan by pulling on the foil lining, being careful not to break the bars. Using a sharp knife, cut the bars into thin fingers or cookies, whatever size or shape you prefer.
6 ounces of milk chocolate
1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
Melt the chocolate with the shortening in the microwave at 50% power, checking and stirring frequently, until completely smooth. Drop one cookie at a time into the bowl of melted chocolate, spooning chocolate over the tops and using a fork to remove the cookie. Give a gentle shake over the bowl of chocolate to remove excess. Allow to set on a cooling rack for about 30 to 45 minutes, then sprinkle with coarse salt and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Put them in the fridge until the chocolate is completely set.
P.S. - In a couple weeks my aunt will be giving me, my mom and my sister a cooking tutorial on homemade chocolate turtles. The good ones...with homemade caramel. Stay tuned!