Monday, November 02, 2009

Homemade Twix-Like Candy

Danny was so excited to get a full-sized Twix bar at Halloween, but that quickly turned to disappointment when we read the warning that it was manufactured on equipment that processes peanuts. Let me tell you, a disappointed four year old is sad to begin with, but being told you can no longer eat one of your previously favourite candies on the odd chance you may hit a nut is frankly, heartbreaking. I mean, I was heartbroken-Danny actually handled it pretty well.

Well no child of mine is going Twix-less, and until they start making them on dedicated nut-free equipment, mama worked out one hell of a good approximation. Honestly, they are better-but you knew they would be, didn't you? Of course you did.

So here's a disclaimer of my own:

If you are even remotely concerned with diet, nutrition, or the state of your tooth enamel-move along and find another post to read. I cannot be held accountable for your weight gain once you learn these can be made at home. I'm not positive, but I think you might be able to gain a couple pounds just reading the recipe. If you do bake them, you should immediately give half the batch away as a precaution. I keep thinking they could be chopped up small and used as a mix-in to vanilla ice cream which would probably be less dangerous overall, provided you didn't eat an entire pint. Oh God these are so unbelievably fattening and delicious.

For The Shortbread Base:

1 cup soft unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups AP flour

Cream together the sugar and butter. By hand, squeeze in the flour until well blended. Wrap and chill until firm.

You know how cookbooks always tell you to whack cold cookie dough with a heavy rolling pin until malleable to roll out? I have a really lovely French rolling pin that is ever-so-heavy. I went ahead and whacked, but I missed the dough and got my ring finger instead. But don't worry, I know how to make a splint and Danny learned some new vocabulary words. Have you ever experienced pain that was so intense you thought you might pass out? It was like that. HArd to believe a rolling pin could do that, but at just the right angle, it was about the most painful thing I'd ever done to myself. Much, much worse than breaking my arm.

Anyway, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Roll out the dough 1/2 inch thick and cut into rectangles, or sticks, or whatever shape you prefer (no need to be traditionalists here, as they aren't actually Twix bars). The cookies won't brown on top and they don't spread, so you should be able to get them all on a large baking sheet. Bake about 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

For The Caramel:

Use the recipe HERE, but don't coat in chocolate-yet.

For the Chocolate:

I used dollar-a-bag store brand semi-sweet chips that were amazingly made from real chocolate. I know! Hy-Vee rocks. And no, I don't work for them, I just shop there. You can use better chocolate, temper it, get all fancy, but I didn't.

When the caramel has cooled, but is still pliable, dump it out on a cutting board. Cut into small pieces and stretch it over the cookies. Let it sit for a few minutes. If you like your caramel salty, give it a light dusting at this point.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl (I did this in batches) in the microwave at half power. I dipped the cookies in the chocolate and let the excess drain back into the bowl. You could, again do this in a more meticulous manner, if you didn't bash your ever-so-useful right ring finger with a heavy French rolling pin an hour earlier. Do as you see fit.

Let cool on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. When cool, wrap the individual pieces in waxed paper...and try to not devour them all! I'm serious about giving them away-you'll thank me.

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