The secret life of ..

Homemade Twix.

B and I stayed up last night to watch the last few episodes of Damages. We seem to have missed it when it debuted on commercial TV here and I’m glad it’s available on DVD. I haven’t been this interested in anything TV has to offer since Entourage. Many years ago, there was Twin Peaks, and Wild Palms, and a few great cartoon/comedies inbetween (yes, there are also the cult classics like A-Team and Knightrider, but those are pretty lightweight in retrospect, don’t you think?). Damages is up there on my list of favourites. But you didn’t really come to here to hear about legal thrillers, did you? You want to know about the Twix…

I had a heck of a time making the caramel for these Twix cookies yesterday. It didn’t help that I started off by misjudging the size of the pot required, so the bubbling caramel overflowed a little. Horrific, when you know what caramel is like once it sets. All over your stove. But I prefer to consider that it was entirely worth it in the end.

I can’t even remember why I wanted to make these in the first place. I’ve always been more of a KitKat girl, even though I love the pairing of chocolate and caramel (especially salted caramel). Is it weird to be thrilled by the idea of being able to duplicate something that is usually manufactured by machines en masse?

This caramel is, aside from the stuff I finally managed to scrape off my stovetop, .. unctuous. Teeth slide into it almost too easily. Like slipping between fresh bedsheets. I like taking a bite, and letting it dissolve in my mouth slowly. It’s an almost MA 15+ experience, if you must know.

Watch Damages. Eat homemade Twix cookies. Just two experiences I wanted to share with you. Neither are life-changing. Life-enhancing, maybe, in the simplest way possible.

Homemade Twix Cookies :
(from Desserts by the Yard, by Sherry Yard)

For the shortbread :
156g unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 tablespoons ground rice [this is not rice flour, but rice processed in a spice grinder. I used almond meal instead]

For the caramel topping :
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sweetened condensed milk

For the chocolate glaze :
170g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Shortbread :
Place a rack in the lowest position of the oven and preheat to 176’C. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with spray and line with baking paper. Spray the paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the flour and ground rice and allow the dough to come together.

Remove from the bowl and press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the pan from front to back and bake for another 8 minutes, until the shortbread is a deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack to room temperature.

Caramel :
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, golden syrup, water and lemon juice. Brush down the inside of the pan with a little water, using your hand to feel for stray granules of sugar. Cover the saucepan and place it over medium heat for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, remove the lid, increase the heat, and bring to a boil. Do not stir from this point on. Keep an eye on the pan. The mixture will be very bubbly. When stray sugar crystals appear on the sides of the pan, brush them down with a clean wet pastry brush. As the sugar cooks, the bubbles will get larger.

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

After 5 to 6 minutes, the sugar will turn golden brown. Insert a candy thermometer and when the temperature reaches 148’C, remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for 1 minute, or until the bubbles subside. Carefully whisk in the heavy cream. Stir until smooth, then whisk in the condensed milk. Whisk until smooth.

Return the pan to the heat and stir constantly over medium heat until the caramel reaches 115’C. Remove from the heat and pour over the shortbread. Allow to set.

Chocolate Glaze :
Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour over the caramel and smear evenly. Let sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator until set.

Cut into the desired size and serve. (The cookies will keep, stored airtight, for 1 day).

[I’m dedicating these homemade Twix cookies to Chocolatesuze, because this sort of sugary thing seems right up her alley and also because she got engaged recently. Congrats!]


  1. Alison said,

    May 9, 2008 @ 3:10 pm

    Yum!!! This is exactly the sort of recipe I was looking for and ironically the exact recipe Iwas looking for to eat whilst watching my own favourite TV show: Lost. It’s funny you don’t watch it becasue I always refer to it as the best thing since twin peaks. Lost is highly addictive nad I think watching lost whilst eatting these may also be!! Thanks Ali

  2. Y said,

    May 9, 2008 @ 3:23 pm

    Hi Alison! Lost has kind of ‘lost’ the plot as far as I’m concerned. The first season started off really well and I was quite excited about it, but soon I found it too frustrating and ridiculous. There are few TV series that have managed to sustain their original momentum, intelligently. Even Twin Peaks got a bit silly towards the end, partly because David Lynch wasn’t involved anymore. My opinion, anyway 🙂

  3. peabody said,

    May 9, 2008 @ 5:46 pm

    OMG…homemade Twix has got to be one of the all time great inventions!!!

  4. Lorraine E said,

    May 10, 2008 @ 10:36 am

    Oh WOW, that looks incredible, I could sink my teeth into my screen now I think. I agree about Twins Peaks, what a fabulous show and I love David Lynch’s eye for the bizarre and unusual and I always used to crave Cherry Pie. Bob used to scare the hell out of me though. It did lose it towards the end but I did follow it until the very last episode.

  5. Scott at Realepicurean said,

    May 11, 2008 @ 3:36 am

    Haha, can’t say I’ve ever even thought about making my own Twix. I guess you’ve got to make 2 of them to keep the theme going, though.

  6. quick said,

    May 11, 2008 @ 8:38 am

    For me, Twin Peaks was excellent for a while. Lost was good to look at when you needed a bit of mindless colour and movement, but it was pretty rubbish really. Ever watched Boston Legal? Funny stuff. It got me by surprise one night and I was hooked, like like that American hospital drama with the British comedian.

    Having a bit of a Bill Bailey fest this weekend because I’m interviewing him on Wednesday. He’s a funny, funny man. Also going to watch Dexter, which people have been raving about.

    I need a chocolate hit right now though.

  7. Y said,

    May 11, 2008 @ 11:09 am

    I hear ya on the Cherry pie, Lorraine! And a hot cup of Joe too, even though in reality, percolator coffee is blehh.

    Scott: Actually, I think I might try making a KitKat next. Or an interpretation of, which Michael Richards has a recipe for, in his cookbook.

    Quick: I LOVE Bill Bailey! What are you interviewing him for? Have you been watching Black Books? You should watch Damages. Maybe I should lend you my copy. I haven’t seen Boston Legal. There’s a lot of shows I never got into because they are a bit too formulaic for me, you know, like the ten billion versions of CSI out there, so I never did give BL a chance.

  8. quick said,

    May 12, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

    You’re in luck then – he’s coming out here on tour. I’ve got one series of Black books to (re)watch and we watched his stand-up act called Part Troll. Very funny stuff.

    His publicist says he’s only doing three Australian interviews, so I’m pretty happy to have one of them. Just hope I don’t stuff it up.

    I don’t watch the CSIs or a lot of other stuff. Things like House and Boston Legal are quite unexpectedly quirky and often pose difficult moral dilemmas. Funny and thinky.

  9. Y said,

    May 12, 2008 @ 4:10 pm

    When is he coming? I can’t seem to find any information on it. One of my favourite BB eps is the one involving the piano.

  10. Sophie said,

    May 21, 2008 @ 9:42 am

    i love this recipe. it’s my goal to one day be able to make everything that’s normally store-bought :).

  11. chocolatesuze said,

    May 22, 2008 @ 11:08 pm

    ah geez i totally didnt see that last line until today! thank you heh they look delish!

  12. Kristen said,

    July 3, 2008 @ 12:59 pm

    Oh you are my hero… these look amazing.
    Now, can you work on the kit-kat clone, please? 🙂

  13. cakebrain said,

    July 3, 2008 @ 2:21 pm

    I have Yard’s cookbook too and have been eyeing that recipe. I’m glad you made it. It turned out looking really delicious! You can’t go wrong with anything chocolate in my opinion…though I also prefer KitKats (and Coffee Crisps!) if I had to choose at the chocolate counter.

  14. Y said,

    July 3, 2008 @ 2:45 pm

    Hi Kirsten! I completely forgot that I had intended to make my own version of a KitKat bar. I might have to figure out the wafery bits first, I think.

    Cakebrain: Ooh what are Coffee Crisps? I think I might like them 🙂

  15. W said,

    August 7, 2008 @ 8:34 am

    Yum, twix and kit-kats… make a reeses peanut butter cup as well and B’s got some competition 🙂

  16. mammamariani said,

    March 31, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

    caramel slice, millionaires shortbread, twix cookies… i guess it is all in the name.

  17. OrGreenic said,

    September 27, 2012 @ 7:03 am

    How great to be able to make these at home rather than buying them massed-produced. Thanks for sharing.

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