What do you get when you take a buttery shortbread cookie and smother it with rich caramel and milk chocolate? Heaven…Although I’ve also heard them referred to as Twix Cookies.
I found the recipe for these cookies at This Grandma is Fun a couple of years ago when hunting around for some new Christmas cookie ideas. I decided to give them a go and they quickly became a favourite amongst my family and friends.
The first time I made them, they took me longer than anticipated and I ended up with caramel and chocolate everywhere. Now that I’ve made them a few times, I thought I could share a few tips on how to make your cookie assembly process a little easier.
The dough itself is very simple to make. Start out by beating together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add in your vanilla and mix well.
Add the flour and salt and stir until just combined. This dough is absolutely silky soft and a dream to work with.
Divide the dough in half. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the first half of the dough. The original recipe recommends rolling to 1/2 inch thickness, but I make these closer to 1/4 inch thick.
Use a 2 inch round cookie cutter to cut circles out of the dough. Re-roll any scraps and cut out more circles until all the dough is used up. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Place the dough circles on a parchment lined cookie sheet 1-2 inches apart, and bake until the edges are slightly golden.
Set the cookies aside to cool, and then start on your caramel. I use the Kraft brand soft caramels, but any similar soft caramel will work. Melt some butter in a saucepan over very low heat and then add the caramels. Stir them around the pot, keeping the temperature very low, until the caramels start to melt. This will take a few minutes, so be patient and don’t turn up the heat to try to speed things up!
When the caramels are mostly melted, stir in some cream. Keep stirring the caramel until it reaches a smooth consistency and is easily spreadable. Make sure you keep giving the caramel a good stir, scraping the edges and bottom of the saucepan. If you leave the saucepan sitting for too long, even on low heat, you risk burning the caramel. Once its reached your desired spreading consistency, you may want to turn off your heat source. If it starts to firm up again, you can turn the heat back on low until the caramel gets soft again.
I’ve found the best way to get the caramel onto the cookie is to scoop a little caramel up with a spoon, and then scrape it off onto the cookie, like in the picture below.
Then use the back of the spoon to spread the caramel over the top of the cookie. Be careful not to get too close to the edge, as the caramel will be very hot and you risk burning your fingers. If the caramel doesn’t spread easily this way, you may need to leave it for a few minutes to melt down a little more, or you can add an additional splash of cream or nob of butter to help soften it a bit.
With these cookies, a little caramel goes a long way. Keep your caramel layer fairly thin. You should have just enough caramel to cover each of your cookies without any left overs.
Once you’ve finished spreading your caramel, melt some milk chocolate, either in the microwave or in a double boiler. You can use the same spoon spreading technique to apply a layer of chocolate on top of each cookie. The original recipe recommends adding some shortening to the chocolate, but I prefer to omit this and just use straight chocolate.
Allow the chocolate to fully set before serving. These cookies are best served at room temperature as the caramel will be quite hard if left to sit in the fridge or freezer.
ORIGINAL RECIPE SOURCE: This Grandma is Fun (slightly modified below)
MAKES: ~50 cookies
- 1.5 cups butter (softened)
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 15oz soft caramels
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups milk chocolate chips (start with less, you can always melt more)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Add the flour and salt, and stir until just combined.
- Divide the dough in half. Take one half and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Use a 2 inch cookie cutter to cut circles out of the dough. Re-roll the scraps and keep cutting more circles until you’ve used up all the dough. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
- Place the dough cut outs onto a parchment lined cookie sheet 1-2 inches apart.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges just start to turn slightly golden brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
- Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a saucepan on very low heat. Add the caramels. Stir continuously until the caramels are mostly melted. Add the cream and stir well.
- Spread a spoonful of melted caramel onto each cookie.
- Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler. Spread a spoonful of melted chocolate onto the top of each caramel covered cookie. Allow the chocolate to set before serving.