AKA Millionaire’s Shortbread. The first time I made these copycat twix bars, my kids thought I had reinvented the Twix. These don’t have chocolate covering the entire bar. I’m not that insane. Or competing on The Great American Baking Show. What these little gems do, is disappear in less than 24 hours with three taste-testers in the house.
Even though there are three layers to these copycat twix bars, it’s really a simple recipe that can be made ahead and stored at room temperature for three to four days. That is, if they last that long. Head’s up: ours did not.
“I’m not a cake person.”
I hear this every time I bake something new for my husband to try out. He’ll unwillingly taste the concoction, only after he smells it and asks specifically what’s in it. Where’s the eyeroll emoji? With pie, or in this case these copycat twix bars, he didn’t bother asking what was in them, just how soon he could eat some. I’m thinking this might be the Valentine treat I make for him this year. Last year it was these Meyer Lemon Bars. He will eat anything lemon. Citrus is his love language. He’s not a cake person. 🙂
What do you need to make these copycat twix bars?
Time, a little bit of patience, and a candy thermometer. You absolutely need a candy thermometer so you know exactly when the caramel mixture hits just at the soft ball stage. Once you pass that temperature, there’s no going back. I was going to take a picture of the first batch of caramel. Not because I overcooked it. But because the pan I used was too small. About halfway through cooking it, I could tell that something wasn’t right. I switched from whisking it, to using a heat-proof spatula to scrape the bottom. And bits of burnt caramel came up. No bueno!
On to batch two. This time I used a bigger pan and since I was out of light corn syrup, I used dark. Was hopeful that the results would still be good. And sure enough, the dark corn syrup was just as tasty!
Any more hints before I begin making these bars?
Yep. Read through the entire recipe before you start cooking. You’ll need everything ready. Candy waits for no man. There is little room between “just right” of the soft ball stage and “too far gone” of a soft crack stage. My grandma never used a thermometer when we made my Little Grandma’s Christmas Suckers. We tested the mixture using ice water and dropping small spoonfuls of hot candy into the water. You could do that here as well. As long as you know what the soft ball stage looked like. For this recipe, it was easier using a candy thermometer since the range of temperature needed is quite narrow.
If you have any questions about the recipe or the methods listed, don’t hesitate to post a comment. I’d be happy to dispel any mystery that may be holding you back from making these copycat twix bars. The Spruce Eats has a great chart explaining the different stages of candy temperature.
For the crust:
- 2 1/2 cups | 12.5 ounces all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup | 3.5 ounces granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks | 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 1 stick | 8 tablespoons, unsalted butter
- 1 cup | 7 ounces brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1–14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 16 ounces semisweet or bittersweet baking chocolate (not chocolate chips)
For the crust:
- Position rack to lower middle and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with a parchment sling. (I like to lightly spray the pan with non-stick spray before setting in the parchment.)
- In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add in melted butter and mix with a spatula until all flour is combined. Crumble mixture over bottom of pan and pat down with hands and smooth out. Prick dough with a fork every couple of inches to prevent it puffing during baking. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let crust cool for 15 minutes before adding filling.
For the filling:
- While crust is cooking/cooling, make the filling. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar on low heat. Whisk in cream, dark corn syrup, condensed milk, and salt and turn heat to medium. Continue to stir until mixture reaches between 236 and 239 (just the beginning of the soft ball stage). This will take 15-20 minutes.
- Use a heat proof spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan to ensure mixture doesn’t burn. Once the filling has reached the soft ball stage, remove from heat and pour over slightly cooled crust. Spread mixture evenly with an offset spatula and let cool completely, approximately 90 minutes.
For the chocolate topping:
- Roughly chop 12 ounces of baking chocolate. Finely grate the remaining 4 ounces.
- In a heat proof bowl, set over slightly boiling water, melt the chopped chocolate. Slowly melt the chocolate, stirring with a spatula. When chocolate has melted, turn off heat and add the grated chocolate. Stir to combine.
- Pour over set filling and spread with an offset spatula. Pop into the freezer for 5-10 minutes to help set the chocolate.
To serve: Remove the parchment sling and using a sharp knife, cut the shortbread in half width-wise. Repeat with two smaller pieces of shortbread (now you’ll have four). Cut each slab into four or five bars. Can be stored, covered, at room temperature for 3 days.
1. Do not use chocolate chips for the topping. Baking chocolate (like Baker’s brand) are meant to melt. Chocolate chips have stabilizers that prevent them from melting.
2. If the crust poofs too much during baking, use the bottom of a metal measuring cup to lightly press down the surface.