If you love cookie bars with lots of layers, specifically a buttery shortbread crust, chewy caramel and a of crisp chocolate topping, pay attention to these chocolate caramel cookies! These homemade Twix bars are made in a bread loaf pan so you can cut them into sticks and make copycat Twix cookies!
These chocolate caramel cookie bars taste exactly like a copycat Twix bar, and people flip over them. In fact, saying that you’re bringing homemade candy to any party is the equivalent of walking into a crowd cheering your name and going home with a sash that says ‘MVP of the party.’
We're baking these homemade Twix bars in a bread loaf pan so that they can be cut into perfect sticks. If you're not familiar with a Twix bar, here is a good explanation of exactly what they contain. Homemade Twix bars are very similar to millionaire's shortbread, in my opinion.
Ingredients of Homemade Twix Bars
- Butter. We need butter both for the shortbread cookie base and the caramel layer, so pull out two sticks. One stick should be at room temperature to make the bottom layer.
- Powdered Sugar. I consider myself a shortbread expert, and you can check my expertise with my Chocolate Shortbread recipe, my Strawberry Shortbread, or even my Honey Shortbread. In all of my experiments, powdered sugar makes the best sweetener for a shortbread cookie base. Its finer consistency allows it to fully dissolve in the dough, plus the small amount of cornstarch in powdered sugar makes for a tender yet crisp cookie. This type of crisp cookie base is pivotal in copying the original Twix bar.
- Flour. All purpose regular flour.
- Brown Sugar. A small amount of light or dark brown sugar is ensures our caramel layer of our homemade Twix bars doesn't set up into a dense, hard-to-bite-through caramel.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk. Using sweetened condensed milk from the can is a shortcut to making caramel! Instead of heating sugar to an exact temperature and streaming in heavy cream at just the right moment (like I do with my small batch caramel sauce), this is so much simpler!
- Honey. Typically, a small amount of corn syrup is added to caramel to keep it soft and chewy, but I prefer to use a squeeze of honey. I'm sure you're more likely to have honey in your house than a bottle of corn syrup, so just know that the fructose in honey acts in a similar way to the glucose in corn syrup. Both prevent graininess and guarantee a soft bite.
- Vanilla Extract. Real vanilla extract brings so much to a caramel sauce when you stir it in at the last minute.
- Chocolate Chips. Because these homemade Twix bars are super sweet, I like to use a semisweet chocolate chip. I believe milk chocolate chips would be way too sweet here!
I want to talk about each layer of these homemade Twix bars.
- The bottom layer is one big shortbread cookie. It’s even easier to make than individual cookies because it only has 3 ingredients.
- On top of the cookie layer goes a sweet, sticky layer of chewy caramel, followed by a smooth chocolate layer on top. Yes, we’re making homemade caramel. I know it sounds intimidating, but it’s totally not when you make it with sweetened condensed milk.
You can think of it as an easy shortcut to caramel because sweetened condensed milk is just milk from which the water has been removed and sugar has been added. And since caramel needs cream and sugar, it’s a great shortcut! Plus, a can of sweetened condensed milk can hang out in your pantry until you’re ready—no last-minute trips to the store for heavy cream!
Just boil it with the brown sugar, butter and a squeeze of honey for 5 minutes while stirring. You can do it! After a brief cooling period, stir in a touch of vanilla and salt for flavor. This caramel will set up the perfect consistency for our homemade Twix bars.
- Finally, the melted chocolate goes on top. Truthfully, melting chocolate can be tricky. I actually think it’s harder than making homemade caramel sauce, but we’re going to take it slow. Your chocolate caramel cookie bars are waiting for you in the fridge, so no need to rush. Just combine your chocolate with a splash of leftover condensed milk from the can, and melt it slowly in the microwave. Stir between each 20-second microwave pulse, and stop before it’s fully melted. When it’s drippy, pour it over your bars and let set. If you like the swirly design on the top of my homemade Twix bars in the photos, just take a fork and drizzle leftover chocolate on top of the chocolate layer after it sets.
- Bread Loaf Pan - In order to emulate the stick shape of a Twix bar, we are baking these homemade Twix bars in a loaf pan. After baking, slice into sticks. This is the bread loaf pan I love and use.
- Saucepan - A small nonstick saucepan for cooking the caramel layer on the stovetop.
Since these bars contain caramel and chocolate, they need to stay cool. If your house is running cool, it's fine to leave these at room temperature. For longer storage, place them in the fridge, but please let them rest at room temperature to soften before serving. They can also be frozen, but similarly, they must thaw at room temperature.
Questions about Homemade Twix Bars:
In both the homemade Twix bar and a store-bought candy bar, the crunchy part of the Twix is a shortbread cookie. Since shortbread only contains a few ingredients, this is why it's so easy to make a Twix bar at home from scratch.
Yes, this recipe is made in a bread loaf pan to make 6 thick or 8 slim bars, but you can absolutely double it and make it in a 8-inch square brownie pan.
No, this recipe is completely egg-free. Check out my other eggless recipes here.
For the crust:
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¾ cup + 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the caramel:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the chocolate topping:
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
- First, preheat the oven to 350.
- Line a 9x3x5” bread loaf pan with parchment paper in one direction (the 3” ends can be exposed).
- Slice the softened butter into 7 pieces, and add it to a small bowl. Add the powdered sugar, four and salt, and work it together using a large fork, a pastry blender or two knives. When the mixture is evenly combined, it will look like sandy sugar cookie dough. Press it into the prepared loaf pan. Press it as flat as possible.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown and very fragrant. Don’t be afraid of a little color around the edges. Let cool completely.
- In a small saucepan, make the caramel: combine the butter, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, honey and salt. Bring this mixture to a boil while continually stirring. Let boil while stirring for a full 5 minutes.
- Remove the mixture from heat, and stir for another few minutes—it will thicken. After about 3 minutes of stirring, add the vanilla and stir to blend.
- Pour this mixture over the cookie crust and place the pan in the fridge to set. Let the caramel completely set before adding the chocolate top.
- To melt the chocolate, combine it with the sweetened condensed milk in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on 50% power on 20 second intervals, stirring after each pulse. After about a minute, the mixture should almost be melted—remove it from the microwave before it melts completely and stir until smooth.
- Pour the mixture over the chilled caramel layer, and spread until smooth. If you want the swirly top, hold back some chocolate and drizzle it on top after about 5 minutes. Then, place the whole pan back in the fridge and chill until set, about 2 hours.
- Remove the bars from the pan using the parchment paper handles, and slice into 6 or 8 bars and serve.
How to store leftovers: Since these bars contain caramel and melted chocolate, they need to be kept cool. If your house is running cool, it's fine to leave these at room temperature. For longer storage, place them in the fridge and then let the rest at room temperature to soften before serving. They can also be frozen, but similarly, they must thaw at room temperature for the caramel to soften.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 469Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 228mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 42gProtein: 4g