To close out our fantabulous dinner spectacular, we made dessert! Earlier in the week, Bestie sent this recipe for Twiks bars. My mouth instantly began to water. The recipe is really quite brilliant and for the most part easy to execute.
For the shortbread crust:
12 ounces (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced, plus more for greasing the baking dish
15 ounces all-purpose flour
3 ounces sugar
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
For the caramel layer:
10 ounces sugar
4 ounces water
3 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
For the chocolate layer:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 ounces unsalted (¾ stick) butter, diced
We started by making the shortbread crust…which we actually made before the Thai Mussels. First, preheat the oven to 350˚F. And line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and knead the ingredients until the dough comes together. (The original recipe suggests a paddle attachment mixer, but since I don’t bake often I don’t have one. Turns out my hands work just fine!)
Transfer the dough to the baking dish and press into an even layer. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
The most challenging part was making the caramel layer. Combine the sugar and water in a small, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil for 11 to 13 minutes, or until caramelized. The sugar will be fragrant and a deep amber color when it is caramelized. Remove the pan from the heat and dip the bottom into an ice water bath for a second or two. Literally, only for a second or two. Bestie and I got a little eager so we put it in the water again which was a mistake. The caramel was all of a sudden hard and we had to take some time to heat it up again so it would melt.
After dipping it in water for a second, slowly stir in the cream and butter and then stir in the rock salt. Pour the caramel over the shortbread and spread evenly. Let cool to room temperature. I have to say I looooved licking the extra caramel out of the pot. I could eat caramel all day!
The last step, making the chocolate layer was pretty easy. I melt chocolate all the time; I could probably do it in my sleep. Combine the chocolate and butter in a bowl and place the bowl over a small pan of simmering water. Keep stirring until the chocolate melts. Pour the chocolate mixture over the caramel layer and spread evenly. Let cool for a couple of hours, or until set. Okay I lied the caramel wasn’t the hardest part. Waiting for it to set took forever!!
Once they were finally set, we lifted the parchment paper onto a cutting board. Cutting the bars was easy using a hot knife.
OMG the bars tasted amaaaazing! Everything from the shortbread to the caramel and the chocolate. It was the perfect combination! Actually, and this is tough to say, but I liked it more than the real Twix bars! Hats off to Hungry Cravings for this special treat and a big thanks to my Bestie for bring so much cheer that weekend :)