Easy Shortbread Twix Cookies
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Dangerously easy to make Twix cookies with a shortbread bottom! These cookies start with a four-ingredient shortbread crust, topped with creamy caramel and melted chocolate and a hint of sea salt to make them fancy!
My favorite childhood candy bar became a Twix cookie today! And in all honesty, I think I prefer the cookie version even more than the candy bar!
My Twix cookie recipe starts with a simple four-ingredient shortbread cookie that’s tender and crumbly, just the way perfect shortbread cookies should be. Then we top them with melted caramel and chocolate. I like to finish these Twix cookies off with a pinch of Maldon sea salt to make them a little more grown up. My adult tastebuds can’t seem to handle chocolate or caramel without a pinch of Maldon these days.
These are so easy and so delicious that even those of us that aren’t the biggest fan of baking cookies (points the finger at self) won’t mind putting these together!
I’ll bake muffins or a lemon loaf, cinnamon rolls, blondies, or even make baklava over making cookies. It should come as no surprise because there aren’t that many cookies recipes on LSJ. Don’t get me wrong; this girl LOVES a good cookie — especially chocolate chip. But I would much rather make Christmas crack or a pan of apple crumble bars than individual cookies.
So my point to all of this is that if I’m advocating for these Twix cookies, it means two things:
- The flavors are amazing.
- They’re worth it, even if you hate baking cookies.
What are shortbread cookies or Twix cookies?
Shortbread cookies (or biscuits as they’re called in Scotland) are typically made with just three simple ingredients: butter, sugar, and flour. They lack a leavening agent such as baking soda or powder and are known to have a crumbly, buttery texture.
Ingredients to make Twix cookies:
- softened salted butter
- powdered sugar
- all-purpose flour
- vanilla extract
what if I don’t have slated butter?
I usually don’t even keep unsalted butter on hand anymore. Since these days were always adding salt to recipes to help bring out the sweetness and balance flavors. But if unsalted butter is all you have on hand, you can still use it in these homemade shortbread cookies, just add 3/4 teaspoon of salt along with the all-purpose flour though, it should give these cookies the exact flavor that salted butter would’ve!
How to make shortbread dough for Twix cookies:
- Cream the butter.
- Add the powdered sugar.
- Add the vanilla and all-purpose and mix until just combined
- Dump the dough out on a clean surface and bring it together
- Roll it out and cut shapes
Tips for rolling out the dough for Twix cookies:
- When I make shortbread cookies, or any cookies that involve rolling and cutting of shapes, I prefer to do this on a mat rather than directly on my kitchen counter. Rolling cookie dough on a mat makes it a lot easier if you need to turn the dough around while you’re rolling. Here’s the mat I use, it’s also great for rolling out pie crusts into a circle, and I love that it had a ruler on both sides, so it’s easy to measure if you need to. I use it when I make homemade cinnamon rolls, and it’s so handy! Best ten bucks I’ve spent!
- Don’t add too much flour while rolling out the cookies. Too much flour can make your shortbread cookies tough. Use it sparingly!
- Get a set of good circular cutters. I have a set that works great for biscuits and circular cookies alike! Be sure to dip your cutter in flour often to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Bring the scraps together and roll out a second (and up to a third) batch of shortbread cookies but be sure to keep the flour to a minimum. After the third batch, I didn’t have enough shortbread dough left to make another whole cookie!
- Get an oven thermometer! I invested in one of these a couple of years ago and realized my oven runs a lot hotter than the 350ºF I think I’m setting it too! I can’t tell you what an improvement this has made to my overall baking!
How long do you bake the cookies?
- This really depends on the size of your cookie cutter. I use a 2-inch cutter, and the cookies take about 13-16 minutes depending on the color of your cookie sheet. Darker cookie sheets will take less time while the commercial sheet pans (I use these) will take about 14-15 minutes.
- Larger cookies will take more time and smaller ones will take less. Either way, keep in mind, you’ll be able to smell the shortbread cookies to tell when they’re done, they don’t brown on top the way cookies normally do!
How to make the caramel center:
To melt the caramel, unwrap them and add them to a microwave-safe bowl along with the heavy cream. Allow the caramel to melt on high for 30 seconds, remove it from the microwave and using a rubber spatula stir it together. Continue to pop it back in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until the caramel melts and falls in a ribbon. I like to let the caramel cool for just a minute before topping the cookies with a spoon or an off-set spatula so that it doesn’t run off the cookies. Leave a small ring around the cookie when spreading the caramel so you can see what’s underneath! Same with the chocolate!
How to make sure the chocolate is shiny:
- use chopped chocolate, not chocolate chips. Chocolate chips will still work for this recipe, but the chocolate may take longer to melt and may not obtain that same shininess that chopped chocolate will.
- Put 7 ounces (or roughly two-thirds of the chocolate) into a microwave safe bowl and melt chocolate in 20-30 second increments until the chocolate melts completely. Add 1/2 of the reserved chocolate and stir until it melts entirely. Add the remaining chocolate and continue to stir until it all melts.
Tips for perfect Twix cookies:
- don’t try to move the cookies right when they’re done baking. Allow them to cool for several minutes on the sheet pan before transferring them to the cooling rack. This is because they’re still soft fresh out of the oven but will harden a bit once they start to cool
- store the cookies in a single layer! The caramel starts to get tacky so piling cookies on top of each other will cause them to stick!
- enjoy within a 3-4 days!
- 1 ½ cups salted butter, softened (see notes)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
Caramel and Chocolate:
- 1 (11-ounce) bag caramels (such as Kraft)
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- Maldon Sea Salt, for sprinkling
- PREP: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter for 30 seconds and then add the powdered sugar and cream them together, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and the flour until the flour is mostly mixed in. The dough will be shaggy and that’s okay, we’ll work the rest by hand.
- COOKIES: Flour a clean work surface. I like to do this on a silicone mat placed on a clean counter as it makes the job much easier! Dump out the dough and pull it together without working it too much, sprinkling with a little bit of flour if it’s sticking. Roll the dough out until it’s ½ inch thick, using a rolling pin. Using a 2-inch circle cookie cutter, cut out shapes. Dip the cutter in flour as needed so it doesn't stick to the dough. Add the cookies to the lined baking sheet, about 1 inch apart and bake the cookies for roughly 13-16 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool before attempting to move them to a wire rack. Completely before spreading the caramel and chocolate.
- CARAMEL AND CHOCOLATE: Combine the unwrapped caramels and the heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl and zap in 30-second increments, stirring in between until the caramel melts. Spread the caramel on the cooled cookies using a spoon or a small offset spatula leaving a small rim around the corner. Allow the caramel to cool for several minutes or if you’re in a hurry, pop the cookies in the freezer for about 5-7 minutes while you prepare the chocolate.
- CHOCOLATE: Add roughly ⅔'s of the chocolate to another microwave-safe bowl and melt for 30 seconds, stir and continue to pop into microwave for 10-15 seconds (stirring in between) until the chocolate melts. Add half the remaining chocolate and stir to combine, when it melts, add the remaining chocolate and continue to stir until it melts completely. Spread the chocolate over the caramel layer. If at any point the chocolate cools too much, microwave it at half power to bring it back to melted form. Sprinkle with a pinch of Maldon salt, if desired. Allow the chocolate to harden, this should only take 10-15 minutes if it's cold; you can also pop it in the the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
- if you don't have salted butter, just add ¾ teaspoons of salt with the all-purpose flour to the cookie dough.
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