Homemade Twix Bars with layers of shortbread, homemade caramel, and melted chocolate. An irresistible copy-cat recipe of my favorite candy bar!
I first made this recipe back in 2015, after my twin sister called me going on and on about some homemade Twix bars that she had at a little sweets shop in Utah called “The Sweet Tooth Fairy”.
She described each detail of their homemade treat: a shortbread crust, a thick caramel layer, and chocolate on top. If that’s not your cookie bar love language, then I don’t know what is!
I wasn’t the first to share a similar recipe online, but I may be the first to use an incredible homemade caramel layer, rather than melting store-bought caramel. That layer of homemade caramel is completely what sets these apart.
How to make Homemade Twix Bars:
Start be making an easy shortbread crust. You only need five ingredients: flour, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. This shortbread crust recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour, and it’s just as excellent as it is EASY.
Press the dough into the bottom of a parchment lined 9×13” pan. I like to line the pan with parchment paper so that I can lift the bars from the pan once they’re completed, and cut them much easier.
While the shortbread crust cools, make the caramel.
Add all of the caramel ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a gently boil. Boil, stirring often, until the caramel is golden colored and passes the “soft ball” ice water test. Grab a cup of ice water, spoon some of the caramel into it. Use your fingers to try and pinch the caramel sauce together into a ball. If you can for a really soft ball with your fingers, it’s ready.
Pour the hot caramel over the cooled shortbread crust. Allow to cool, for a few minutes, and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or even overnight.
Smooth melted chocolate over the caramel and allow it to set.
All chocolate is not created equal, when it comes to melting, so use a chocolate with a higher ratio of cocoa butter. I like to use baker’s chocolate bars, a good quality chocolate bar, or melting chocolate. If you want to use chocolate chips, you will need to add more butter to get them to melt properly, and I’d choose a high quality brand, like Ghirardelli.
Store the bars in the fridge.
These bars really are incredible, and they get rave reviews wherever I bring them. Hope you love them!
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Homemade Twix Bars
For the Shortbread:
- 1 cup butter cold, (*see note)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Caramel:
- 1 cup butter (*see note)
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
For the Chocolate:
- 3 cups chopped milk or dark chocolate
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper, or spray really well with non-stick cooking spray.
For the Shortbread Crust:
- In a large bowl, use a pastry blender to combine the butter, sugar, flour, and vanilla until the mixture comes together. Press the shortbread dough into the pan.
- Bake for 28-35 minutes or until the crust is very lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
For the Caramel:
- Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Maintain the heat at medium and bring mixture to a rolling boil, stirring often.
- Continue to cook, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, about 15-20 minutes).
- I test the "doneness" of the caramels using the ice water method: Stick several ice cubes in a cup and add cold water. Drop a spoonful of caramel into the ice water. If you're able to clump the caramel sauce together in your hands to form a very soft ball, then it's ready. When the caramel starts to turn golden brown, I do the ice water test every few minutes until I find that it's ready, just to make sure I don't overcook it.
- Once it reaches soft ball stage, remove from heat and pour the warm caramel over the cooled shortbread crust. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
For the chocolate:
- Add the butter and chocolate to a bowl and use a double boiler (or your microwave at low power, 30 second intervals, stirring in between) to melt the chocolate until smooth.
- Pour melted chocolate over the set up caramel and smooth into an even layer. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set.
- Store in the fridge, covered, for up to 1 week.
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Shortbread crust recipe is from King Arthur Flour.
The material in this blog post references the trademarked brand “Twix.” The use of this trademark is for informational and editorial purposes only and does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by The Mars Company or any of its affiliates.”
Have you tried this recipe?!
RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.
*I first shared this recipe in April 2015. Updated April 2018.
We just tried this and it was great! Do you think this recipe would freeze well?
So happy to hear it! Yes, I think they would freeze well!
Can store bought caramel work on the Twix bars?
although delicious, my caramel didn’t come out anything like this. It’s lumpy and much lighter
First time making caramel and UT was super easy!! Great recipe and loved it all
I love making the caramel from scratch! However, this slice is too large for me (9 by 13) It is VERY rich and VERY sweet. I should have tried 1/2 the recipe. Overall I thought the shortbread was too soft, that there was too much caramel, and too thick a chocolate topping. For both my hubby and I it made the slice a little too much. But it was fun to make. The pictures on this site are what it comes out like. I think I would rather cut up the cookie and caramel base and dip them into chocolate so it has a thin coating and is more reminiscent of the actual store bars.
UPDATE: So it took a while, but we finally have finished the slice. Now it is gone, we miss having it around to steal a sweet bite every now and then. After a few days, the flavors settled down and melded together so it seemed a lot better.
Made it and everyone loved! It took the shortbread layer a little longer in the oven—more like 40 minutes. But that’s probably just my oven. I’ve tried making caramel before and it’s always been a disaster but this was easy and turned out perfectly! Making another batch this week. This is my new annual Christmas baking project! Thank you!
The caramel wasn’t true caramel and the shortbread wasn’t true shortbread. It was way too sweet. Less is more. I will never make this again.
Does this recipe double well?
Yes, that should be fine!
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