I am very disciplined when it comes to store-bought chocolate bars but I can’t say no to Twix. Is it because of the combination of crunchy cookie, chewy caramel, and chocolate? Or perhaps the slender shape feels just civilized enough to take small bites? May be I like how each package comes in a pair so I can save one for later indulgence? Whatever the reason, it is one of my weaknesses and I deem it too dangerous to replicate at home. I cannot be trusted with a whole pile of Twix sitting conveniently within reach.
Last week, I could resist no longer. The recipe from The Liddabit Sweets Cookbook was calling my name. It was not the first time I felt a strong urge to tackle this recipe. In all previous encounters, I just found the shortbread portion of the recipe too fussy. I am not a fan of chilling, rolling, and fitting delicate shortbread dough into a rectangular cake pan. The authors Jen King and Liz Gutman explained in detail how not any cookie recipe would work well in a chocolate bar. They warned that anything that crumbles too much and does not slice well is just asking for trouble. While I trust their experience, I baked my fair share of bar cookies and know which recipes work well for this purpose. The press-in-pan shortbread crust from kukla’s Lemon Ricotta Bars is easy to make, slices like a dream, and tastes amazing. With that hurdle out of my way, I had no excuse to resist the charm of homemade Twix.
Alas, it was not smooth sailing. I tried to spread out my work and baked the shortbread ahead of time. It was late at night but it ought to take little of my time. I fell asleep during baking. Instead of 30 minutes, the shortbread baked for 90 minutes. I woke up in panic and quickly rescued the pan from the oven. Amazingly, nothing was burnt. There wasn’t even a hint of smokiness in my deeply caramelized shortbread. Instead, it developed deep flavour reminiscent of browned butter. Except the cookie was much too crumbly. I saved them for snacking but so much for spreading out my work.
The next day I did it all over again and pulled the shortbread out of the oven just when it took on a shade of gold. Liddabit Sweets’ caramel recipe was easy to make with just the right chew. I was worried that it would be messy to slice but the caramel held up wonderfully. I was able to slice the caramel-topped shortbread into slender finger-size pieces. Surely I was back on the good side of the kitchen goddess.
Not so fast. Tried as I might, I could not get the dark chocolate to temper. I hit all the right temperature. I stirred until my arm fell asleep. By the third time, I got so fed up and wanted more than anything to go to bed. I quickly dipped everything in chocolate knowing full well that the chocolate was not quite tempered. Oh well, things could have been worse.
I was a little disappointed that my Twix bars did not have the pristine glossy snap of properly tempered chocolate. It held up well enough in room temperature so it was not a complete failure. I packaged them up in pairs in cellophane bags and shared with friends. Much too dangerous to have at home!
Of course, I was not done just yet. I had to dress up the chocolate bars in their signature red and gold packaging! I took out some craft supplies and made a paper sleeve from gold paper. Just for the fun of it, I punched an oak leaf shape from the front and used it to decorate the red paper band. I certainly got the colour right but…not exactly evocative of Twix. Oh well, I still think it’s pretty. And amazingly delicious. Which was why I gave them all away except for six.