Anyway, I found a couple of recipes in the last few days that went together well and I decided to combine them. First I found a recipe called better than Twix bars, which called for packaged caramels. I decided to make them Saturday for a pre-Halloween treat. Then, I found a recipe for microwave caramels and decided to combine the two into one perfect concoction. They. Are. Amazing!
Here's the recipe I came up with:
Better Than Twix Bars
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
Homemade caramel (recipe follows)
8 ounces milk chocolate
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable shortening, optional
Preheat oven to 300º. Line 8 x 8 inch pan with nonstick foil or greased regular foil.
Beat together butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour. Press evenly into pan...you may need to flour your fingers to prevent sticking. Prick crust with fork. Bake 35-45 minutes till crust is golden.
Immediately after removing crust from oven, run knife around edges to loosen crust. Cool.
Make caramel according to recipe below and pour over shortbread. Allow to cool for 30 minutes or so.
Gently melt chocolate in microwave or in double boiler over low heat. Add shortening or oil if too thick to pour. Pour over cooled caramel and spread to edges. Chill till chocolate is well set. Cut into squares to serve. Store covered in refrigerator, but remove a few minutes before serving.
Microwave Caramels (For an 1100 watt microwave oven)
1/2 cup butter (real butter, not margarine)
1/2 cup light Karo Syrup (don't use dark)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- Line either an 8 x 8 baking dish or a 9 x 5 loaf pan with foil. Butter the foil.--An 8 x 8-inch pan will give a thinner candy, 9 x 5-inch loaf pan will give a thicker candy.
- Melt butter in large microwave bowl. (I used a glass bowl.)
- Stir in Karo syrup, both sugars, and sweetened condensed milk.
- Mix until most of the sugar is dissolved.
- Microwave on high for 3 1/2 minutes (that's 3 minutes and 30 seconds)
- Stir down and scrape sides of bowl.
- Microwave on high 3 1/2 minutes. (This will be soft ball stage.)
- Stir in vanilla and nuts (if you are using nuts).
- Pour immediately into buttered dish (or over shortbread for Twix bars) and refrigerate until set.
We really liked these. They were very, very chewy, especially until they warmed up a bit. We cut the first pieces as soon as we could get a knife in them, because we were impatient. Our teeth and jaws were sore and we feared for our fillings. But the next morning, they were much more manageable.
These will definitely have a regular spot in my Christmas goodie plates from now on.