Sometimes I find shopping for kitchen gadgets to be an overwhelming task.
Gone are the days where you simply shop for 13×9 inch pans, rubber spatulas and foil.
Here are the days where there’s a novelty pan for um, everything, and gourmet mixes for everything and gadgets for… shaping meatloaf. Isn’t that the point? That it’s a loaf? Apparently I’m a moron.
Anyway, since my family is one dessert plate away from calling Hoarders on me, I can’t go shopping for any more novelty pans, appetizer forks, or paper straws. Though it’s certainly tempting. Waffle stick pan? Um, why is that not in my life? Egg sandwich pan? Hello, McDonald’s McMuffins are my jam, gurl.
And now they make brownie pans which is totally confusing. I mean, brownies are one of those easy, no-brainer kinda desserts. You don’t need bells and whistles to make them amazing, and you certainly don’t need a special pan.
Brownie pans won’t make your brownies any better than using a 13×9 inch baking pan, just like owning a Louis Vuitton handbag won’t make you the next Real Housewife. It just doesn’t happen like that. Thanks, life.
So I wanted to make a delicious brownie to prove to all those novelty pans and gizmos that I don’t need you and that I’m better off without you in my life. You hear that, waffle stick pan? I’M BETTER OFF. Also because I’m deathly afraid my family will call Hoarders. Don’t you dare take my food props or I’ll stab your eye with an miniature fork!!
I found this recipe for Twix Brownies over at Jasey’s Crazy Daisy and knew I had to try them. They have every element of a Twix bar except in a fudgy, gooey brownie form. The buttery shortbread crust. The dense, chocolate-y brownie. The oozing, rich caramel. And the delicious chocolate shell. It was heavenly… and it was happening… in a 13×9 inch pan.
Twix Brownies *adapted from Jasey’s Twix Brownies recipe
For the Shortbread Crust:
1 (12 oz) pkg shortbread cookies, finely ground
6 Tbsp melted butter
For the Brownies:
1 box brownie mix, plus ingredients on back of box
1/4 cup hot fudge sundae topping
For the Caramel Layer:
1 (14 oz) bag Kraft caramels, unwrapped (or use caramel bits–much easier)
2 Tbsp water or heavy cream
For the Chocolate:
1/2 pkg milk chocolate almond bark or Candiquik
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Lightly mist with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the shortbread cookie crumbs with the melted butter until fully combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the foil-lined pan to form your crust. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, prepare your brownie mix according to package directions. Stir in 1/4 cup hot fudge sauce to the brownie batter (this makes for a super yummy brownie, but omit it if you’d like). Pour the brownie batter on top of the crust and spread to even out. Bake the brownies for approx. 25-29 minutes, or as directed on the back of the box. A toothpick inserted near the center should come out mostly clean or with light crumbs. Cool completely in the pan.
4. Melt your caramels and water or cream in a microwave-safe bowl for one minute. Stir, then heat for additional 30 seconds-increments, stir, then heat again until melted. Once smooth, pour onto the cooled brownies and spread gently to even the layer. Pop those in the fridge for about 15 minutes to set while you melt your almond bark.
5. Spread the melted chocolate Candiquik/bark over the caramel layer in an even layer. Allow the brownie bars to set in the fridge or freezer, about 20 minutes, or until hardened. Cut into squares and serve!
Holy moly, guys. These are some of the most delicious brownies I’ve ever made! If you’ve never heard of the hot fudge + brownie mix tip, you need to adopt it into your everyday brownies. It makes them SO fudgy and extra delicious.. perfect for these decadent candy bar brownies. The shortbread crust has a perfect sweet yet salty crumb which compliments the buttery caramel sauce sitting pretty on the dense, fudgy brownies. And I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a smooth chocolate shell. These brownies will be your new favorite!