I don't eat a lot of candy or candy bars. If I do, caramel Twix are at the top of my list. There is just something about the milk chocolate, caramel and cookie combo that makes it quite irresistible. These are really close to the real deal. A little more time consuming and a bit messier but getting a whole pan of them is worth the effort. I used Ghirardelli baking chocolate. I think the quality of chocolate used makes all the difference. Not all chocolate is created equal.
I didn't even bother to smooth out my fingerprints either. Making my claim on them, you see...
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
3 TBLS. heavy cream
3 cups chopped milk chocolate, melted
1 TBLS. vegetable shortening
For the shortbread, preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, beat together the confectioner's sugar, butter and vanilla. Add the flour. Beat at medium speed until it's well combined.
Take the dough and spread it evenly in the prepared pan. If it's sticky, lightly flour your fingertips. Prick the crust all over with a fork.
Bake until shortbread is lightly browned on top with the edges a deeper brown. About 40 - 45 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen from the pan. Set aside to cool completely.
For the caramel layer, melt the caramel and cream over low heat in a small saucepan. Pour over the cooled crust and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
For the chocolate layer, melt the chocolate over very low heat. Add shortening towards the end to thin.
For bars: pour melted chocolate evenly over the chilled caramel layer. Return to fridge to set chocolate and cut into 2 x 2 inch bars.
To more resemble Twix bars: cut cooled caramel layers down the length of the pan (around the size of Twix bars). Dip the chilled bars into the melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to set. May take a few hours to fully set.
In the meantime though, make sure and taste test some!