I want to start this blog post with a shout out to the local businesses in Halifax. If you are living or visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia this weekend please check out our downtown core for some amazing deals on local products, out of the ordinary events, and delicious food to sample as well as purchase shadily out of a side door. I’m not kidding on that last one.
For a list of participating vendors and more information please go to I Love Local Halifax. I’ve also added them to my Lovely Locals listings on the side bar for future reference. The best way to find out about these events this weekend, I guarantee, will be on Twitter, just search for #opencity!
For the rest of my lovely readers, I present to you homemade twix bars. Sweet, gooey, delicious clone of a twix bar. My version comes in a modern ‘chunky square’ shape and is made uber delicious with extra love.
These squares are great to whip up when the weather is warming up because the oven time is short and I like to refrigerate them so they are cool when served. The prep/cooking time is short so you can make them in the morning, forget about them and then eat them all later in the day, I mean share them with friends. Actually about that, these squares need a game plan. Make these for a party, a birthday, a sick friend or family member, an orphan, but do not kid yourself into thinking you won’t eat every last crumb of these if they are left in your fridge. Trust me, even if you made them for your boyfriend and you are trying to eat better. I may know this for a fact because I have eaten two squares for breakfast two days in a row, then, broke down and gave some away. Squares-4, Amy-0.
As a recipe note, I was inspired to make these squares because they are my boyfriend’s absolute favorite chocolate bar but also because one of my very lovely friend’s, Caitlin, gifted me some Mary MaCLeod’s Butterscotch Shortbread crumbs. You can only get these things in Toronto and that just isn’t fair so I played around with a few recipes to get you the same texture. Just be aware I’m giving you a few crust options and you only need to choose one.
I used creamed coconut (don’t let the name fool you, it’s a solid) in this recipe which is pretty much solid coconut oil. It gives the chocolate a smoother and glossy appearance and it gives depth to the sweetness of the caramel but it doesn’t make it taste ‘coconutty’. I chose to use it in the recipe because coconut oil is often used in manufactured chocolate bars, making this recipe taste more authentic. If you can’t find or don’t have creamed coconut you can use coconut oil as a substitute. If you do not have either or would rather go without, leave it out of the caramel recipe completely and substitute butter or margarine for the creamed coconut in the chocolate topping.
Twix Bar (Squares)
For the crust you can use either:
- 1 + 2/3 cup of Mary MacLeods Butterscotch Shortbread crumbs pressed into a pan
- 1 + 1/3 cup shortbread cookie crumbs mixed with 1/3 cup of toffee chips pressed into a pan OR
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup icing sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup of toffee bits
- 1/3 cup of toffee bits
- 1/4 butter
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 4 tbsp corn syrup
- 3/4 cup of salted butter
- 1 tsp of creamed coconut
- 2 tsp creamed coconut
- 1 cup of chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a 8″ brownie pan with cooking spray.
Make the crust.
Option #1 – If you have Mary’s MacLeod’s crumbs then all you have to do is measure out1 +2/3 of a cup and press it into the pan with your hands trying to make it as even of a surface as possible. Bake for 10 minutes, it will be golden brown but mostly around the edges, let cool on a wire rack.
OR option #2 – If you are using your own shortbread cookies, crush them until you have 1 +1/3 cup and mix with 1/3 cup skor toffee bits. Use your hands press into the pan and make it as even as possible. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly golden brown let cool on a wire rack.
OR option #3 – Lastly, if you are making the crust from the ingredients above soften butter in a medium bowl and stir in icing sugar and salt until smooth. With a wooden spoon, carefully mix in flour by hand, once it’s mostly combined add toffee chips. Press crust into a prepared pan and make it as even as possible. Bake for about 10 minutes, the whole crust should be lightly golden brown. Remove form the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Make the caramel.
In a medium saucepan melt butter and creamed coconut over medium heat. With a whisk add syrups and condensed milk and mix well.
Keep heat over medium and continually stir until the mixture turns golden brown. You want the mixture to come to a slow boil and be patient because this process takes up to 10 minutes. The caramelization tends to happen rather quickly so do not leave it unattended. Once the caramel has reached the desired colour, gently pour over the shortbread crust. Shake the pan gently to level the caramel, let cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Make the topping.
You could easily make the topping in a double boiler but I chose the lazy route. In a medium sized microwavable dish I added the coconut cream and milk chocolate chips. I microwaved for about one and a half minutes, but in 30 second intervals stirring in between.
Once the chocolate was all smooth and mixed in with the creamed coconut I used a spatula to pour over top of the squares.
Smooth out and let rest.
You could throw these in the fridge right now but I would score the top of the chocolate with a knife other wise it will be difficult to cut them into actual squares later. It’s up to you but looks aren’t everything, and these taste damn fine. Now for some food porn.