Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Homemade Twix Bars

Twix bars have been a favorite of mine since I was a kid and the love affair continues. I love layers and textures in food and Twix delivers it all. Buttery shortbread, chewy caramel, and a delicious layer of chocolate.

I'd had a homemade version from King Arthur Flour on my Pinterest board for quite some time when my son spotted them and requested we make them.

Just like a Twix, these have a  rich shortbread crust and a golden, creamy caramel center, then can be covered in milk, dark, or white chocolate. That's the beauty of this homemade version. You can vary the chocolate depending on your tastes and if you're like me and are pressed for time, you can skip the dipping and just cut them into nice little squares. (Because of this, I didn't use the shortening but if I was dipping them,  I would use it to thin the chocolate and make dipping them easier.)

Even though there are three separate layers, they use minimal ingredients and the actual hands on time is pretty short. The most time spent will be waiting for them to cook, chill and of course eat!! King Arthur  has a whole step by step post with photos and great hints for dipping that can be found here.

Homemade Twix Bars

*Plan Ahead. This recipe needs time to cool and chill in the refrigerator*


Shortbread layer

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

Caramel layer

  • 2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Chocolate layer

  • 3 cups chopped milk, dark chocolate or white chocolate, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (optional. I didn't use this)


1) FOR THE CRUST: Preheat your oven to 300°F. Spray a 9" x 13" pan lightly with cooking spray, or line with parchment, and set aside.
2) In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour. At first the mixture may seem dry, but will come together as you continue to beat at medium speed.
3) Take the dough (it will be somewhat stiff) and press it evenly into the pan. Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking.
4) Prick the crust all over with a fork. The holes will allow steam to escape and the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.
5) Bake the crust until it's lightly golden brown on top and the edges are deeper golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set it aside to cool completely.
6) FOR THE CARAMEL LAYER: Melt the caramel and cream over low heat in a small saucepan. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and firm up.
7) FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER: Melt the milk or dark chocolate slowly in a double boiler or over very low heat. If it seems very thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread to cover all of the caramel. Return to the fridge until the chocolate is well set. Cut into 2" x 2" squares to serve. It's best to store these bars in the refrigerator.
8) These bars can also be cut and dipped in milk chocolate to resemble Twix ® bars. After the caramel layer has chilled firm, cut down the length of the pan, splitting the bars into two long, narrow bars. Then cut each long strip into "fingers". Dip the chilled bars into melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to set for several hours. 

Posted by: Sallie

Pin It!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Light and Buttery Breadsticks

I am a carb addict! Just thinking about a low/no carb diet sets me into a panic. It's liable to send me straight into the kitchen to make some hot, fresh, bread or these buttery, soft bread sticks. Found on Pinterest and here these bread sticks were the perfect companion to the lasagna soup and a fresh green salad.

From first glance I thought they might be nice and dense like my favorite ones from Pizza Factory. Although they were not, they were totally delicious. Soft, moist, buttery and loved, loved, loved the dill!
My husband said they were his new favorite (although he tends to say that about every new roll recipe...Until the next one comes along and then he has a new favorite.)

A perfect side of any Italian dish, soup, or a nice dinner salad.

Another plus, I froze the leftovers and they reheated  beautifully in the microwave.

Light and Buttery Bread sticks

*Plan ahead. You need to let the scalded milk cool*

1/2 c. Warm water

1 1/2 Tbls. Yeast

1 Tbls. Sugar

3/4 c. Milk (scalded and cooled)

1 1/2 Tbls. Sugar

1 1/2 tsp. Salt

1 Egg (beaten)

2 1/2 c. Flour

Mix water, yeast and 1 Tbls. sugar together and let yeast dissolve and rise. Mix milk, sugar, salt, egg and flour with the yeast mixture. Mix well and let stand for 15 minutes. Roll on floured board in a rectangular shape. Cut into 1" strips (short end of rectangle) fold in half and twist. Place in greased 9 x 13" pan. Brush with 1/2 of the following mixture and let raise.

1 cube melted butter

1 tsp. dill weed

1/4 tsp. garlic salt

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Brush on remaining butter mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Recipe Source : Erica the Cooking Queen via Pinterest
Pin It!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lasagna Soup

Picture and recipe from a Farm girls dabbles

From the girl who introduced me to  these amazing red velvet brownie bites, this yummy corn salad, and these lucious lemon bars, comes another amazing recipe, Lasagna soup.

After a disappointing version of lasagna soup, I was hesitant to try another, but when I saw this mouthwatering picture on Pinterest, I just had to give it another try especially when I saw it was from Farm girl. All of her recipes have been fantastic and this lasagna soup was as well.

Just as the name implies, it was like lasagna in a bowl. Fire roasted tomatoes simmered with garlic, Italian sausage, onions and spices. Next comes the noodles and last but not least, the cheese. A divine and simple mixture of ricotta, Parmesan, and a dash of salt and pepper just makes the dish. Top it off with a healthy dose of mozzarella and you have one of my new favorite soups.

Because the recipe uses Italian sausage, fire roasted tomatoes and a pinch of red pepper, it's packed with flavor and oh so delicious. I served mine with a big green salad and some yummy bread sticks that I'll be posting soon.

Lasagna Soup

for the soup:
2 tsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
3 c. chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 c. chicken stock
8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
for the cheesy yum:
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.
Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy and absorb all the soup broth. You may even want to consider cooking the noodles separately, and then adding some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them. This would be an especially smart move if you are anticipating any leftovers. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.
Servings:  8
posted by: Sallie
Pin It!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...