Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars

I’ve been wanting to make three different bars for awhile, but they were all so similar, and I couldn’t decide which one to make.

So I rolled them into one. Nothing beats a layered combination bar.

Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars averiecooks.com

Original Twix are a shortbread base, caramel middle, chocolate coating. Peanut Butter Twix are a shortbread base, peanut butter middle, chocolate coating.

Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars are a shortbread base, caramel middle, and chocolate topping, similar to Original Twix.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Tagalongs Girl Scout Cookies are a shortbread base, peanut butter middle, and chocolate topping, similar to Peanut Butter Twix.

Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars averiecooks.com

Trying to choose between peanut butter and caramel, and which to keep and which to skip, is like trying to choose a favorite child. You just don’t. So I used them both.

My bars are a shortbread base, peanut butter layer, salted caramel layer, and chocolate topping. Four elements, whereas the others only have three.

Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars averiecooks.com

The nice thing about the bars is that they’re almost no-bake, with only about 12 minutes of bake time for the crust. The remaining layers are just stirred together and poured on. No mixer needed, either.

Many times I read layered bar or layer cake recipes and I tune out because each layer has 10 ingredients, with a eggs needing to be separated and heavy cream whipped, and this bowl of ingredients folded into that, and before you know it, prep is 2 hours and you’ve got 17 bowls dirtied. There’s none of that here because I have a life. And I hate doing baking dishes.

Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars averiecooks.com

They’re everything I could want in a bar. So many layers of flavors and diverse textures, with peanut butter being the most pronounced of all the flavors.

The shortbread is buttery and adapted from The Best Lemon Bars. One tablespoon of corn starch keeps it a bit softer and more tender than many shortbreads, which can be dry and dog biscuit-like. Although it has some snap, it’s not brittle. The last thing I wanted was this crust cracking upon slicing. I despise that.

But I loved this crust and I’m not usually a crust girl.

Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars averiecooks.com

The peanut butter layer is dense yet fluffy, thanks to confectioners’ sugar stirred in, which adds sweetness and lightness. It also makes spreading this layer a royal pain. Just keep finessing it and take your time so you don’t rip up the shortbread layer, and it’ll all smooth out.

Little sacrifices in the name of peanut butter are always worth it.

Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars averiecooks.com

I adore caramel for it’s rich, buttery, sweet ways and used Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce, which is what I used in the Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies. I didn’t want to be bothered with unwrapping and melting caramels. You could make (Dark Rum) Caramel Sauce or 5-Minute Microwave Caramel Sauce.

Any thick, dense, good-quality caramel sauce will do. Don’t use a thin ice cream sundae topping, many of which aren’t even real caramel sauce. It will spread and run too much.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies averiecooks.com

I just love the gooey factor the caramel lends as I’m biting through the layers. It makes the bars messy to slice, but the best things in life are often a little messy. Or a lot messy.

However, if you keep them refrigerated, there is very little caramel splooge-out, much less than what the photos show. We were having a fluke-ish 92F hot snap in San Diego the day I decided to make these and they were sitting in a very warm house for hours. I have a knack for making melt-prone desserts on the hottest of days.

Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars averiecooks.com

The chocolate ties everything together and rounds out all the flavors. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, and although Twix are made with milk chocolate, I wanted something a bit darker than milk, just not too dark. Not the time for a 72% Pound Plus Bar.

I used a smidgeon of shortening with the chocolate chips, which helps prevent the chocolate from cracking when slicing. I never want a Nanaimo Bars cracked-top repeat.

Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars averiecooks.com

The bars hit just about every note in the my Preferred Desserts Playbook. Buttery, snappy, creamy, smooth, peanut buttery, dense, rich, gooey, velvety, and chocolaty.

They’re like a marriage of Peanut Butter Twix and Tagalongs, in bar form.

My husband remarked, “Wow. Those things are deadly good” and they are. They’re also deeply satisfying and you can literally feel the richness hit your belly after just a couple bites.

Which is why I purposely kept the batch size small.

Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars averiecooks.com

Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars - DIY Twix Bars with a layer of peanut butter & just dripping with salted caramel!

Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars

I combined three favorite recipes – Twix, Tagalongs Girl Scout Cookies, and Millionaire’s Shortbread in this these nearly no-bake, easy, four-layer bars. There’s buttery shortbread, rich and dense peanut butter, sweet and intense caramel, and smooth dark chocolate. They hit all my favorite elements of a dessert all in one. Buttery, snappy, creamy, smooth, peanut buttery, dense, rich, gooey, velvety, and chocolaty. They’re like a marriage of Peanut Butter Twix and Tagalongs, in bar form, and they’re irresistible!

Ingredients:

Shortbread Crust
1/2 cup unsalted butter, extremely soft (1 stick)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Filling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter (like Jif or Skippy; not homemade or ‘natural’, it’s too thin and runny)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Caramel Layer
about 8 ounces (salted) caramel sauce (I used most of a 10-ounce jar of Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce, just eyeball it. Or make Caramel Sauce or make 5-Minute Caramel Sauce)

Chocolate Layer
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used a 9 ounce bag)
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, optional but recommended (for smoothness and so chocolate doesn’t set up overly firm, causing it to crack upon slicing)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside. This is a messy recipe and I highly suggest lining your pan for easier cleanup.
  2. Shortbread Crust – Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, cutting in the butter with a pastry cutter, wooden spoon, or your fingers until until a sandy, crumbly mixture forms. Transfer crumbly mixture to prepared pan and using your fingertips, press crumbs down to form an even flat layer of crust. Pierce crust with a fork haphazardly in a dozen places so steam can escape while it bakes. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until crust has just barely set. It should not be golden or browned at all, it should still be white, but crusted over and set. While crust bakes, make the filling.
  3. Peanut Butter Filling – Melt the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl, about 1 minute. Add the 3 remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Spread over crust. Crust does not have to be cool, and spreading it while crust is still warm is beneficial. The filling is thick and resists being spread, but take your time and either push it into place with your fingers, use a spatula, or knife, taking care not to rip the crust while spreading the filling.
  4. Caramel Layer – Pour caramel sauce over peanut butter. It should smooth out on its own but if necessary, spread it into corners and sides of pan with a knife.
  5. Chocolate Layer – Combine the 2 ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat to melt, about 1 minute. Stop to stir and heat in 15-second bursts until mixture can be stirred smooth. Pour chocolate over caramel layer and if desired, smooth it very, very lightly with an offset spatula or knife.
  6. Cover pan with aluminum foil (to prevent fridge smells), and place pan in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight, before lifting out with foil overhang, and slicing and serving. If bars have become very cold, allow them to come up to room temperature for a few minutes before slicing. I prefer to store the bars in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for at least 10 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Crust may lose some degree of snap and crunch if storing the bar for longer durations, but it’s very liveable.
Only Eats

Related Recipes:

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

Peanut Chewy Payday Bars

The Best Lemon Bars

Caramel and Chocolate Gooey Bars (GF with Vegan adaptation)

Nutella and Peanut Butter Graham Bars with Chocolate Frosting (No-Bake)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars

Nutter Butter Special K Bars (No Bake)

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Pillowtop Bars

Nanaimo Bars (No-Bake)

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies

Twix fan? Peanut Butter or Original?

Tagalongs? Millionaire’s Shortbread?

I’m a huge fan of the whole family: shorbread crust, peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate, in any combination; preferably with all 4 components included. As you can see from my related recipes, I don’t lack for a shortage of bars using peanut butter, chocolate, or caramel.

And even after writing my first cookbook with 100+ Peanut Butter Recipes, Peanut Butter Comfort: Recipes for Breakfasts, Brownies, Cakes, Cookies, Candies, and Frozen Treats Featuring America’s Favorite Spread, I’m still not sick of peanut butter.

Book release is June 4. Thanks to everyone who’s pre-ordered your copy!

Peanut Butter Comfort: Recipes for Breakfasts, Brownies, Cakes, Cookies, Candies, and Frozen Treats Featuring America's Favorite Spread by Averie Sunshine

138 comments on “Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars”

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  4. Hi!

    I stumbled upon ur blog on Food Gawker. I fell in love with your images of your beautiful desserts. Your family is SOOOOOOOOOOO lucky they get to try whatever heavenish treats you bake. :)
    I just had a quick ? abt ur upcoming book. It’s titled “Peanut Butter Comfort” I love peanut butter, but is EVERY single recipe in there with peanut butter?

    thank you so much. Please keep baking. I’m new to your site, and you have me hooked as a fan.
    P.S. Do u have any Nutella recipes too? (if u can just give me a link, that would be cool)

  5. These look incredible!! I know a certain someone who would devour these. Ok, two people, me included. :D They sound so easy to make, too!! I don’t like spending a lot of time on baked goods, you know me, haha.

  6. This post is so positive and funny. i could not chose as well and I’m glad you’ve decided to combine everything. Sounds like your husband is a lucky guy to eat all the goodies you make. Mine has only occasional sweet, I need to make this bars and he’ll love me even more :D

  7. Wow! That’s just everything I can want in a bar too!! Making me drooooool. Who eats all your work after you make them anyway? Your friends and family must love you and hate you at the same time. I love your photos.

    • I always bake SMALL batches, 8×8 pans, so 9 pieces; We each have a piece or two, and if there are extras, we have very happy friends, my daughter’s teachers, hubs’ coworkers, etc. There were none of these given away though. I loved them too much!

  8. Mmmm. Really glad you didn’t make yourself choose between caramel and peanut butter! These remind me of a bar I used to make 5 or so years ago, it had a shortbread base as well, plus pb, caramel, and a couple other surprises. :) I’ll have to make them soon, maybe I’ll steal your shortbread recipe for them though (I used to use a mix for that part).

    • The shortbread recipe is a winner, if I do say so. Not brittle, not crumbly, yet not so moist/oily that it’s gloppy. I finally got shortbread down pat. Not like everyone needs a ‘go-to shortbread’ recipe, but I have mine. Lol

      Your bars sound great!

  9. I’m glad you didn’t choose between the chocolate and caramel–these look so good with both! I haven’t had a Tagalong in years, never had a PB Twix (I can’t explain that one–I’m such a PB and chocolate lover so there is just NO excuse), and I’ve never heard of a millionaire’s shortbread bar. I think I should make these to familiarize myself with what I’ve been missing!!!

    • You definitely should familiarize yourself with all these goodies you’ve been missing out on :) Millionaire’s Shortbread is what I made, without the caramel. But most recipes for it have horridly dry looking crust and the PB just doesn’t look so hot, and the chocolate is all cracked or thin and wimpy. Lol And PB Twix are good! I do love the original though, but it’s fun to mix it up!

  10. I can’t stand how good these look! WOW! Those layers are seriously perfect together. And I love that it’s generally pretty simple and doesn’t take a ton of effort, time, dishes, etc. – that can deter me from layered bars like these sometimes. Awesome recipe!

  11. Wowsers, these bars look so sinfully delicious! I would have a hard time choosing too so glad you combined them all into one! Sadly I will now have to choose between making these bars or my “try and eat less sweets this week” diet and somehow I already know these bars will win that battle;) *sigh* Fantastic photos as always Averie:)

    • Thanks for the compliments, Kelly! And I hope you make them…I’d trade you for a green tea matcha cupcake. They are so pretty! Your frosting is perfect. I want to lick off all the tops :)

  12. Averie, these are just stunning! I’m like you, I tend to tune out with layer bars because they are sometimes SO involved. But I love the simplicity of these, and how all the flavors sound phenomenal! I have a big ole jar of dulce de leche sitting around, do you think I could use that in place of the caramel sauce?

    • Yes absolutely it will work! If you even want to reduce it a bit, to thicken it up, like 5 mins on low heat on the stove, that could be helpful if it’s a runnier dulce de leche but really, not necessary. LMK if you make these! And thanks for the compliment on them being stunning :)

  13. LOVE this… don’t know how you keep coming up with these recipes. Always stop by for a sweet fix.

  14. You will be the death of me, I am sure of it. These look positively incredible. I have a soft spot fir bars and these made my jaw drop. Peanut butter, caramel, chocolate, all on shortbread? Good grief, life just got so much better. Sometimes I wish I could go through my screen to you and your food, but alas, I will have to wait for these to finish baking before I get to eat some. These are incredible Averie, just incredible. Can you tell I’m mind blown? ;)

  15. Stunning!!

    Love all four layers and trust I would have done the same thing!! I could never chose (or want to) to leave a layer out!!

    Loving how simple they seem too! Yes, to simple!

  16. WOW that chocolate layer…I can seriously just imagine it breaking off in my mouth right now! Fantastic photos Averie, those bars are pretty much jumping out the screen to me right now!!! Nanaimo bar, you’ve got some competition!

    • These blow Nanaimo Bars out of the water for me. And yes, Nanaimo Bars are really good, but for me, these layers, and the flavor combos, are just better. But everyone’s palette is different, of course!

  17. Oh my goodness…these look phenomenal! My mouth is watering…lol!!

  18. These are gorgeous bars, Avery. I love the PB/caramel combination!

  19. I have a feeling these will go viral on Pinterest :) How can they not? With all the caramel and PB goodness! Pinning!

  20. These almost looked like chocolate covered ice cream bars! Hmmm, maybe I’m onto something… :)

  21. Ohhhhhh my gooooooooosh.

  22. Aaaaand you had to go and use TJ’s fleur de sel sauce? MY FAVORITE!! These look out. of. controooool.

  23. My three favorite flavors, all in one! Chocolate, Peanut butter, and caramel. I could eat them all day, every day! Definitely pinning this one.
    I’m so excited for your cookbook… it comes out five days after my birthday so I’ve been hinting at my boyfriend and parents! (If not, it will be my birthday gift to myself!)

  24. Your pictures are fantastic! I love Twix bars… I will have to file this recipe under my “after Hawaii” recipe page :)

  25. It would just be wrong to choose. I think you did the right thing by not choosing. These look ridonkulous good!

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