Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Twixy Shortbread Bars

               The weather this week has been incredible! Full sun every single day and the temps are close to 60! I've been sitting out in the sun for about an hour each day to soak up as much vitamin D as I can! I've been ignoring the computer during this time aswell..wich is a must every now and then :)

I needed to bake something for my husband's work meeting this week and I picked Twix Bars :) The recipe shouldn't take that long if you can already buy a can of Dulce de Leche in your store. However they don't sell that here so I needed to add 3 hours onto that time in order to make my own. If you are like me and can not buy it where you live, I will have an alternative for you at the end of this post. All you need is a can of sweetened condensed milk and 3 hours to spare..and trust me it's worth it to make some because there are incredible! It's like a Twix but more grown up. The caramel is so creamy and the flavor has you wanting to boil another can so you can hide in the closet and eat it all yourself. The only thing I would change about this recipe is to add in some salt with the shortbread dough. I was already wondering about it when I mixed the ingredients together and when I took a bite of the finished bar, I knew it needed some salt. It stands just fine without it but a little salt  goes along way into really making a dish that much better. These bars are rich so you can get away with cutting them into small pieces.

Twix Shortbread Bars
1-1/2 cups Butter, softened
1/2 cup Sugar
1-1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
3 cups Flour
1/2-1 tsp. Salt;optional
1 (13.4-ounce) can Dulce de Leche
3/4 cup Whipping Cream
6 TBS Butter
3 TBS Light Colored Corn Syrup..I used Honey
12 ounces Semi Sweet Chocolate, Chopped or use Chocolate Chips
3/4 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Grease a 13x9 pan with nonstick spray and then line it with foil,extending foil over edge of pan; lightly coat foil with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat 1-1/2 cups softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, 1-1/2 tsp. Vanilla and salt(if using); beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer; stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill for 30-60 mins or until dough is easy to handle.

Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until top is lithly browned. Cool in pan on wire rack.
        Spread Dulce de Leche in an even layer atop cooled crust.
       In a medium saucepan, heat whipping cream,  6 tablespoons of butter, and corn syrup to boiling over medium heat, stirring to dissolve syrup. Remove from heat. Add in vanilla and chocolate. Do not stir. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature to cool slightly. Slowly pour chocolate mixture over dulce de leche layer, spreading evenly. Cover and chill 1-2 hours or until chocolate layer is set.

Use foil to lift uncut bars out of pan. Cut into 48 bars. To store layer bars between sheets of waxed/parchment paper in an airtight container;cover. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens, Christmas Baking

** If you need to make your own Dulce de Leche, take a can of sweetened condensed milk and take the entire label off. Stick the can inside a very large pot..such as a soup pot and cover the can with water..Making sure to get the water atleast 3-4 inches above the can..this is important. You will need to keep checking to make sure the water level NEVER goes below the top of the can. Place on stove and simmer/lightly boil for 3 hours. When it's done take the can out of the water using tongs making sure that you do not burn yourself. Allow the can to cool and when you open it you will have homemade caramel :) pour into a dish and whip it with a spoon until the caramel becomes very smooth and pourable. I've made this before and have a post about it Here. If you are not a fan of the boiling method then Google homemade dulce de leche recipe and there are several more options**