I loved candy bars as a kids, and my own children are no different. Twix is a perennial favorite (come on, you get two in one package!). I’m sure the taste hasn’t changed significantly, but they don’t create the same reaction in my adult self as they did years ago. The flavors seem muted and simplistic.
Enter millionaire shortbread, arguably the more grown-up version of the Twix. A layer of shortbread is covered in a firm but chewable caramel layer and topped with chocolate. They don’t mimic the Twix design exactly. Since the bars are cut from a large block, the chocolate component only covers the top, not the sides or the bottom.
In the Cooks Illustrated version I made, the shortbread and caramel play are far more dominant role. The shortbread has the classic buttery flavor. To be honest, I have always been a bit cool on shortbread, finding it too buttery for my tastes, but aficionados will have no complaints about this cookie bar. The caramel, made with a sugar condensed milk blend, has a satisfying bite and is sturdy enough to support knife cuts or bites without oozing into a messy puddle. My only quibble is that the chocolate to bar ratio strikes me as a little low, but that would be an easy fix and is up to personal taste.
I followed the directions closely, and the bars came together without much fuss. Despite my description of the bars as more grown up than Twix, my kids had no difficulty polishing off the entire half-batch within a few days.