Sunday, July 22, 2012

late night baking: homemade twix.

There is something so comforting about baking at night. I leave on the energy efficient lights that are near my kitchen & try to eliminate the use of that glaring florescent light. Thankfully there's a light over our stove that is warm & inviting and this was a perfect atmosphere to create this delicious candy:

HOMEMADE TWIX.

When Rhiannon & Cassie brought this up (I'm not sure who... I'm thinking Rhiannon), I immediately thought, "I LOVE THIS CANDY BAR!"

The cookie, the caramel, and the chocolate are a perfect combination of texture & taste. I've never made a candy bar before, so I was excited to embark on another baking adventure.

My recipe is adapted from a food blogger named Tessa and her blog is titled "Handle the Heat". She brought the interesting component of salt on top of the candy, which I thought was genius. I'm totally into the salt & sweet combo. I think both bring out the best in each other.

Homemade Twix

--> This recipe is adapted to fit the tools I have in my kitchen! 
  
Makes about 20 bars, depending how you cut them.

Ingredients:
For the Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbsp cold water
  • 1 large egg yolk
For the Caramel Topping:
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Glaze:
  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped --- can be chips
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Sea salt out of a grinder --- set it to fine or medium (depends how big you want the salt to be)
How to:
This recipe is in 3 parts:
The crust first
The caramel second
The chocolate last

1. For the crust:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Coat a 9x13inch baking pan with margarine. Line with parchment, leaving enough to overhang, and coat parchment with margarine. You can also use nonstick spray.

  • There are 2 ways to make this crust: with a food processor or a standing mixer. I do not own a food processor, so I experimented with a standing mixer. It actually turned out good. I think with the food processor, the texture of the crust is coarser.
  • Blend flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
     
  • (For those of you with a standing mixer, read on. If you would rather use a food processor, refer to Tessa's post.)
    Take the butter & melt it in the microwave, heating it for 10-20 seconds. You don't want it completely melted.
    Gradually add the butter to the dry mix. Incorporate everything together completely, but do not over mix. A paste will form.

  • Add the cold water and egg yolk. Blend.
     
  • Pour dough onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Spread it evenly with a spatula.

  • Bake until golden, 22 minutes. Cool completely.
2. For the caramel topping:
  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
    (I highly recommend a medium saucepan! Basically, don't use one as small as mine. It was the only one I had that wasn't in the dishwasher... haha)
     
  • Add brown sugar, stir until dissolved.
     
  • Whisk in milk, corn syrup, and vanilla and let come to a boil.
     
  • Boil gently, whisking constantly, until caramel is pale golden and thick, about 8 minutes. (If you have a candy thermometer, you want the caramel to get up to 225 degrees. I don't own one & found 8 minutes was fine.)
     
  • Pour caramel over cooled crust, spreading evenly to the edges. Cool 15 minutes.

3. For the chocolate glaze:
  • While the caramel is cooling, melt the chocolate with the cream in the microwave in 15 second bursts. Stir until smooth. I did it in three 15 second bursts.
    Be careful not to overheat!
     
  • Spread the chocolate evenly over the warm caramel.
     
  • Take out that sea salt grinder and grind some sea salt over the top. Not too much, just sprinkle it.
     
  • Refrigerate until the chocolate is set, at least 1 hour. (Mine set for over 12 hours. I'm not sure how I resisted trying it sooner...)
     
  • This can be made 3 days ahead. Just keep it covered & refrigerated. Cut the dessert into long bars before serving!



Sooo yummy.

& Cassie's Blog! Her Homemade Twix will be up soon. In the meantime, read up on her take on Scones. 
UPDATE: Cassie's Post is up on Homemade Twix! 

p.s.
Brought the Homemade Twix to a birthday party & it was a hit! Everyone gobbled it up very quickly. The salt really does complement the candy, a couple people brought up how the flavors contrasted nicely. Yum yum. 

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