I think I can finally say that I am not a fan of working with caramel.  It is messy, sticky, difficult to clean up, and can burn your skin if you touch it when it is molten hot.  That being said, it was worth it to make these cute and delicious deconstructed Twix bar cookies.  Thankfully, I skipped the step of making my own caramel, just melting Kraft caramels.  Just like a Twix, the three layers are shortbread, caramel, and milk chocolate.  The inspiration for these cookies is from The Recipe Critic.

Deconstructed Twix Thumbprints


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt  
  • 1 package Kraft caramels (14 oz) 
  • 1/2 bag of milk chocolate chips (6 oz)

  1. For the shortbread, cream together the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until smooth.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and beat in.
  3. Gently mix in the flour and salt.
  4. Place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, flatten, and cover with the plastic wrap.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
  6. When chilled, roll 1-1.5" balls of dough with your hands, then use a small spoon (I used a 1/4 teaspoon) to press into the top of the ball firmly then use the edges of the spoon to expand the "thumbprint" well.
  7. Once all of the balls have been shaped into the thumbprint cookie shapes, place on a cookie sheet, cover in plastic wrap, and place back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  9. Line cookie sheets with silicone baking mats.
  10. Bake one sheet of cookies at a time on the bottom rack for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are lightly brown.
  11. Let cool on a wire rack with wax paper placed below the rack (for later chocolate step).
  12. In a microwave safe dish, slowly melt about 1 caramel square per cookie.
  13. Using a small, heatproof spoon, carefully drop liquid caramel into the well of the cookie and gently push to the edges.
  14. In a microwave safe dish, melt the chocolate chips, 5-10 seconds only at a time, stirring after each interval until melted and dripping freely off a spoon.
  15. Pour the chocolate into a squeeze bottle or use a spoon to stripe chocolate across the caramel and cookie.
  16. Allow chocolate to harden before placing cookies into a storage container.