Monday, July 23, 2012
This week for our blogging challenge, Rhiannon suggested we try our hands at homemade Twix. Check out their blogs to see how Annelih and Rhiannon's Twix-making experiments went!
I was a little uneasy about this project, as it seemed very complicated in my head before I started looking up any recipes. I started looking around and I realized that it wouldn't be as bad as I thought. It seemed most recipes made some kind of shortbread cookie, then covered it with caramel and chocolate (or dipped in chocolate).
Well, as it happened, this was a hot mess of an experiment. I'd decided early on I didn't want to attempt to make my own caramel, so I decided to substitute dulce de leche instead. I loooove dulce de leche in cookies (remind me to share one of my favorite alfajores recipe soon!), and I thought it'd be a solid alternative to possibly ruining a batch of caramel made from scratch. Added bonus: it'd be quicker, too!
Despite a few hiccups that resulted in me finishing my Twix at 1 a.m. last night...the cookies turned out great! Not quite like Twix, but pretty delicious none the less. I'm regretting the three I ate earlier this evening...definitely going to yoga tomorrow.
The three parts to the recipe: shortbread, dulce de leche, and the chocolate. For the shortbread, I adapted the Buckingham Palace Shortbread from Sara Perry's Holiday Baking (can you tell how much I love this book?). I only made half a recipe, but I'll post the whole recipe here.
What you'll need:
Shortbread (makes 2-3 dozen 1 to 1.5 in squares)
2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1/3 cup granulated sugar
(in original recipe, also included is 1/4 cup baker's sugar for sprinkling. I didn't use this.)
Dulce de leche:
1 17.6 oz can of dulce de leche (I only used half, but you may need it all if you make a full recipe). My favorite brand and the one I used is Alpina arequipe (another word for dulce de leche!)
1 1/2 cup of semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
about 1/4 cup whipping cream*
To make the shortbread:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt until blended
2. In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Beat in granulated sugar until the mixture is fluffy (about 2 minutes). On low speed, add in the flour in small batches, until a soft dough forms. Wrap in plastic and chill for about 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven til 350F and use butter to grease a glass baking dish. For half a recipe, I used an 11 x 7 in. dish.
4. Gather the chilled dough in a ball and place it in the glass dish. Use your fingers to gently press the dough out until it completely covers the bottom of the dish. The dough should be pretty smooth and about 1/2 inch thick. Prick with a fork in a few places (I forgot this step and my shortbread turned out fine). Bake until lightly golden and firm to the touch, about 35-40 minutes. Depending on your oven it may finish sooner, you'll smell it when it's done.
5. Let the shortbread cool for about 15 minutes and then top with a thick, even layer of dulce de leche. Place in the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes before topping with the chocolate.
To make the chocolate:
1. Add a little water to a medium sized saucepan and place a glass bowl in the saucepan so that it just barely sits on top. The water shouldn't touch the bottom of the bowl. As the water begins to boil on medium-high heat, add the chips and a little whipping cream to the bowl. As the chips melt, stir occasionally. Add a little more whipping cream if your mixture is still very thick.
*I added the whipping cream as needed as the chips melted. I didn't really measure but I didn't use much. I ended up with a chocolate sauce that was a little thicker than ganache and that solidified nicely once it cooled.
2. Take the dulce de leche-topped shortbread out of the fridge. Once the chocolate has reached a thick but creamy consistency, remove from heat and spread it in an even layer over the dulce de leche. Return the finished Twix to the fridge to chill for another 15 minutes, or until the chocolate is a bit more solid.
Cut into pieces of any size and shape you desire and enjoy! Warning, if its very cold, the bar cookies are a little hard to cut up. The chocolate tends to crack and break up if its very cold.
I found that while the Twix tasted pretty good after being refrigerated overnight, it tasted amazing once I let it sit out and reach room temperature. The flavor of the shortbread was more pronounced when the dessert warmed up a bit, and it was just the right amount of crumbly and gooey. The messiest desserts are always the most delicious, aren't they?
Now, to resist eating another three pieces...
This week I'm participating in What's Cooking Wednesdays, What's it Wednesday, Show and Share, Wow Me Wednesday, and This or That Thursday!