Twixster Cookies

I had no intentions of posting this recipe anytime soon. Really.

As crazy delicious as these cookies are, I thought you would all be cookied out to the max by this time in December.

However, after teasing you with these cookies on Instagram, you obviously had other opinions bordering on rebellion if I didn’t share the recipe.

So. Here you go.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, these Twix-like cookies are definitely in my top favorite cookies of all time. I’ve made four batches this week already and am giving them away right and left (and not just to be nice, if they stay in this house, I am in serious, serious trouble).

That combination is just too much.

Twixster Cookies

A short week ago, these cookies didn’t exist in my reality.

They came about when a longtime reader, Laudan (mamalala in the comments), emailed me about her favorite cookie at a little bakery called Stacey Cakes in McCall, Idaho – a beautiful mountainous resort town a few hours from where I live.

She had successfully made a pretty similar knockoff and thought I might be interested. Clearly she knows me (am I so transparent?).

I felt the timing was somewhat divine considering I had a bowl full of homemade caramel sitting in the refrigerator waiting for the perfect recipe and at risk of just getting eaten out of the bowl when the kids aren’t looking (leftover from making gourmet caramel apples for the kids’ teachers – it’s become a bit of a tradition now).

Honestly, these cookies are amazing.

That buttery, tender, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread layer + soft and chewy caramel + chocolate (drizzled or slathered, your choice) is other-worldly.

Now that you’ve forced me to post about them, I’m forcing you (nicely) to make them. But remember, the quicker they leave your presence, the better. Consider yourself warned.

Twixster Cookies

Twixster Cookies

Yield: About 3 dozen

Twixster Cookies

For the caramels, you'll need about 1 cup of melted caramel (not caramel sauce, it needs to be soft and chewy caramels that have been melted until smooth and creamy). I used homemade - if doing so, you don't need to add the tablespoon or so of cream or milk when melting. If using storebought (like Kraft brand), use that tablespoon of cream or milk when melting the caramels. UPDATE: several commenters have reported back that Kraft caramels were too firm in these cookies (after melting and using them in the cookie). Others have had good success using Kraft - I think the key is not overheating the caramel when melting. Either way, you may explore other storebought options (Trader Joe's has wonderful soft caramels that may work).

Ingredients

    Cookies:
  • 1 cup (8 ounces, 2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup (5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks (1.8 - 2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups (11.25 ounces) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Caramel + Chocolate:
  • 9 ounces soft caramels for about 1 cup melted (see note above)
  • A tablespoon or so of cream or milk
  • 6 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate for drizzling

Directions

  1. In a large bowl with an electric handheld mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), mix the butter and sugar until light and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix until combined, scraping the bowl as needed.
  2. Add the flour and salt and mix until it comes together. Once it forms pea-size crumbs, I abandon the mixer and get in there with my hands to mush it together into a uniform ball.
  3. Shape the soft dough into small balls. I use my #60 small cookie scoop - about 2 teaspoons of dough or .65 ounces for each cookie. Place the balls close together on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press a small indentation in each cookie ball - don't make it too wide. I use my thumb and press down - it's ok if the sides crack a bit, just press them together. They'll look like little nests (see the picture below for a visual). Refrigerate for an hour (or longer).
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Space the cookies about an inch or so apart on several parchment-lined baking sheets. They'll puff and spread just slightly but not very much. Bake for 10-11 minutes until set and lightly browned on the edges - the longer they bake (without burning, of course) the more like shortbread they'll be in texture (versus being too soft). The centers may puff up while baking, just press them back down lightly after they come out of the oven. Let the cookies cool completely.
  5. For the caramel, if using storebought caramels, unwrap and melt the caramels with a tablespoon or so of milk or cream over low heat in the microwave or on the stovetop until creamy and smooth. Homemade caramel can usually be melted over low heat as well without the need for extra cream or milk. Dollop a bit of caramel into the center of each cooled cookie.
  6. Let the cookies sit until the caramel cools and sets. Melt the chocolate over low heat in the microwave (or in a double boiler on the stove) and either drizzle chocolate over the cookies or spread a circle of chocolate over each caramel center. Let the chocolate set until hardened (can speed this up by refrigerating the cookies).
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/twixster-cookies/

Recipe Source: inspired by this recipe after a reader, Laudan, emailed me with the idea,ย telling me about her favorite cookie, the Twixster, at Stacey Cakes in McCall, Idaho

This is how my cookies look before I pop them in the fridge to chill before baking:
Twixster Cookies

50 Responses to Twixster Cookies {Shortbread + Caramel + Chocolate}

  1. Sheila says:

    You are crumbling my resolve to not overindulge or overfill my days with extra tasks during this holiday season. I, too, am now in serious trouble. Thank you Mel readers for the rebellion. Gotta fit these in somewhere even if it’s the midnight shift. And thank you Laudan for spurring Mel on with wonderful ideas.

  2. Just perfect! Everything to love in a cookie. Gotta make!

  3. April says:

    I love a good twix… this could be very dangerous indeed.

  4. Aileen Cooks says:

    Yay! I’m so glad you posted this recipe! These are joining my big batch of cookies for the neighbors this weekend. They look like they would go really well with morning coffee, too.

  5. Lisa O says:

    y bst trick for thumbprints of any kind…make the divot with a CORK!

  6. Rachael says:

    just changed all my baking plans for these cookies ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Bryn says:

    I have had the recipe critics recipe on my list for awhile but still haven’t gotten around to them. I see that the ratios are different for the shortbread cookies…which one would produce a softer chewier cookie?

    • Mel says:

      Not sure as I’ve only made this version. You could try baking them for less time for a softer cookie but they probably won’t be chewy just based on the ingredients (both recipes).

  8. Wow those cookies look absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing, you’ve been pinned! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Carmin says:

    I put these into mini muffins and pressed the center to form a cup and they turned out very nice. I made 48 cookies this way.

  10. Emily says:

    A couple of years ago I made your ruby jewel cookies and ran out of jam. But I had leftover homemade caramel on hand, so I made a similar cookie to this (with a chocolate drizzle of course!) and they were the FAVORITE cookie at my cookie exchange. The combo of buttery shortbread, caramel and chocolate are dangerously delish indeed!

  11. Emily says:

    A couple of years ago I was making your ruby jewel cookies and didn’t have enough jam–but I did have some homemade caramel on hand. So it made a similar cookie to this (with a chocolate drizzle of course)! They were the FAVORITE cookie at the cookie exchange party. The buttery shortbread, caramel, and chocolate combo are dangerously delish!

  12. Chris says:

    These look just like the “Carmelitas” that Starbucks used to sell – and sadly discontinued. They were DELICIOUS! I cannot wait to make these. Thanks for posting the recipe!

  13. Carolyn says:

    I made these last night after seeing this post. They are so yummy! I use store bought caramels and am sure they would be even tastier with homemade. I love your blog…thanks for sharing!!

  14. Mamalala says:

    Yahoo!- the cookies made the cut. I need to make these again. Love your pictures.

  15. Cheryl says:

    I have probably made 40 dozen cookies this Christmas to ship to my children, parties and get-togethers. I thought that I was done until I saw this recipe. I made it today, these cookies are fantastic!

  16. michelle says:

    is there a recipe for the home made caramel?

  17. Paige says:

    These cookies look amazing! I would love to get these from a cookie exchange!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  18. Meg says:

    My word, these are all my favourite things rolled into one by the sounds of it!

  19. Laura says:

    I made these last night with store bought kraft caramels and I highly recommend NOT doing that. even with a few table spoons of cream with the caramels, the caramel is just too hard and dense for these light cookies. I suggest making/buying caramels that are soft to begin with! (I think Trader Joe’s has some)

    But with that being said, the cookies still tasted fantastic! Thanks for another great recipe, Mel!

  20. julia says:

    I agree with laura I made these also and the caramels were way too hard if you use Kraft. Buy soft ones. The cookies do not work well with Kraft. The cookie base itself is wonderful.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks for checking back in with this info, Julia! I know others have used Kraft caramels with good success but I’ll still add a note to the recipe. I know with any kind of storebought caramel – overheating it will cause it to be much firmer.

  21. Jennifer W says:

    Mel ~ Was thinking to make these for Christmas…how long do they stay fresh and can you freeze them?

  22. Rachelle says:

    Took these to a cookie exchange today – they were a hit (based on their appearance). As someo of the others have noted, next time I make them I will try a different brand other than Kraft, to see if I can get the centers a little softer.
    Thanks Mel for a fun recipe!

  23. Robin says:

    These are amazing! We loved them, so easy and cute. My hubby’s new favorite Christmas cookie

    • Robin says:

      I used homemade caramel sauce that I had in A jar in my fridge from earlier this month.
      It worked perfectly
      Just warmed slightly and spooned it in

  24. Debbie says:

    I just made these and they are so delicious! Thank you so much! My neighbors thank you as well. I used Werther’s soft caramels and they turned out perfect.

  25. Rachel says:

    I made these yesterday to include in Christmas cookie plates to deliver to some neighbors–they were wonderful! I used Kraft caramels (purchased before I saw the note that they turned out too hard for some people). They actually worked just fine for me. I melted them down with milk on the stovetop JUST until melted and not a second longer. There were even still a few lumps of unmelted caramel, but I took it off the heat and figured the ambient heat would take care of the lumps (which it did). They are a bit chewy in the cookies, but not hard, and certainly not unpleasantly chewy. I think they’re awesome! This was also a great cookie to have a little helper on hand for. My 5-year old likes to help me bake but it’s often a big hassle to have him in there. But pressing the centers of the dough down was the perfect job for him ๐Ÿ™‚

    I also added a little sprinkle of sea salt over the caramel right after adding it to the cookies, and would HIGHLY recommend it ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Nancy says:

    I had already made a list of the baking I would be doing for Christmas. And then I saw this recipe (and mouthwatering picture!) on your website. I knew that I had to add these cookies to my list. They were EXCELLENT and I received many compliments on them. Thanks for another great recipe!

  27. Rachel Russell says:

    we loved these!!!!

  28. Nita says:

    These cookies are the best !!!! I’ve made three batches in two days and I will be making another batch before the weekend is over. I used your home made caramel candy recipe and it turned out perfect !

  29. Ashlee says:

    Just finished making these, and while they were a bit time consuming, they were delicious! I just did steps between doing other things for New Year’s Eve party tonight. I’m doing these, Southwest egg rolls, savory spiral rolls, bacon jalapeรฑo cheeseball (all your recipes, of course), mini cheesecakes, stuffed mushrooms, and a shrimp/sour cream dip. who’s the crazy lady who thought all this food would be a good idea!!? I’m exhausted!!

  30. Ashlee says:

    Oh and I used Kraft caramels and it was fine:)

  31. SweetGrace says:

    These cookies! I made them for Christmas cookie platters but honestly they didnt exactly make it that far. They were far & away everyone’s favorite! They are definitely a keeper! Next year I’m gonna hafta hide them so I can shamelessly eat them all without having to share…uh…I mean…so I can put them in cookie trays. Thanks so much for sharing!

  32. Erin says:

    Mel, would your dulce de Leche recipe work for the caramel portion of the twixters?

    • Mel says:

      I think it definitely could – it would give an entirely different flavor and texture to the cookies but since I love dulce de leche, I think it would be delicious!

  33. Beth says:

    These are amaze-balls! Just brought them to a Super Bowl party and they were loved by all. I sliced off some of a caramel loaf I had ordered and added just a little milk and melted it in the microwave and the texture of the caramel was perfect. This one is getting printed; I’m sure I will be making it many times.

    • Beth says:

      Oh, and I used the end of my rolling pin to make consistent indents in the cookie balls based on a tip from my sister-in-law.

  34. Dana says:

    I am planning on doubling this for a cookie exchange, should I double the homemade caramel or is there usually quite a bit of caramel leftover?

  35. Diane says:

    Hi, Mel,
    I just made your hot fudge sauce as a trial run for Christmas giving. It’s very good! Do you think I could warm some of that up for the chocolate drizzle?

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