homemade twix cookie bars – peanut butter and caramel

We have perspective making moments every day. Each day we are able to choose how we react to things, hopefully aware of how our outlook has a direct effect on our day.

Tuesday night we were having a small cocktail party. I went to the kitchen store on my lunch break to buy a new refill for our soda machine. Tuesday night, the first cocktails being poured, I attached the new canister, only to realize they had given me a used one – it did not work at all.

I was hoppin mad. and we had to go out to the store for club soda.

Yesterday I brought the empty tank with me, planning to take it back at lunch with a “you sold me a hair with a cake around it,” Elaine Benes style. It was going to be way out of my way, and I really did not have the time. I wanted to get it exchanged immediately, and begrudgingly worked it into my day.

I stopped a moment and thought, geez, why is this bothering me so much? This is ridiculous, snap out of it! It was a beautiful sunny day, I have a car to drive me there (and the means to afford the gas…), I am able to be out and about and lucky to call this a problem.

At lunchtime, I picked up Basil, bundled him up in a Halloween costume, and took him for a car ride (he loves to stand against the door and watch the cars go by!). We walked around the plaza where the kitchen store is, making friends as dachshunds inevitably do, and enjoyed the sunshine and the crisp fall day.

We went in the store, made more friends, and I simply explained I was given an empty canister. The end. The clerk apologized, gave me a new one, chatted with me about Basil and that was it.

You would think with all the [real] stress and big issues I have had this year, I would welcome something like this.

I can laugh about it now.

A silly thing to even make any issue about, and I turned it around. We have choices about how we act, react, and treat people.

We also have choices about caramel filled or peanut butter…

My taste testers tell me these taste better than the real thing. Buttery melt in your mouth cookie, sweet caramel or salty peanut butter, under a blanket of dark chocolate – what could be better?

homemade twix bars

makes 20-24 cookies

gluten, dairy, egg and soy free, vegan

cookie dough base:

1 cup butter (Earth Balance soy free)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
2 cups flour (gluten free ap)
1/4 cup milk (vanilla almond)

Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour 1/2 cup at a time, adding milk by the tablespoon as necessary. Combine until dough forms, do notΒ over mix. Knead into a ball, cool in refrigerator 10 minutes. Roll to 1/3 inch thickness and cut into strips, then into bars. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes, until just golden brown on edges. Cool completely.Β 

caramel topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup coconut milk*
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter (Earth Balance soy free)
2 tablespoonsΒ coconut spread (or use more butter)

*carton, not canned coconut milk – or sub milk of choice

In saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, cornstarch, water and milk, stirring until sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Add butter and coconut spread, stirring until combined. Let cool.

Spoon caramel or peanut butter down middle of each cookie; cool in refrigerator to set (the caramel is best if you freeze on the cookie, the warm chocolate makes it melt quick). Melt chopped dark chocolate (10 ounces for 16 cookies), dip the bottom of each cookie in melted chocolate, set on parchment. Spoon chocolate over top of cookie, using spoon to cover entire cookie sides. Return to refrigerator to set.

I still wonder why I “flipped out” over something so small.

I think I need a vacation. and a cookie.



  1. says

    I haven’t had a vacation in more than 12 years, so maybe that’s why I occasionally flip out over small things? Send your cookies. I’ll find a way to cope. πŸ˜‰
    But in all seriousness, I realized this awhile ago. The small things are small, and in the end, resisting the things we can’t change simply causes frustration. Nothing good can come from grasping at control we never really had. We have the power to change certain things, even if they’re not done on our timeline, and the power to roll with the things we can’t change. It’s hard to remember sometimes, so thank you!

    • spabettie says

      one of those “don’t sweat the small stuff” kinda moments, right?

      thanks, Abby – your words always ring true, and always uplift and make me smile!

  2. says

    I think you need to eat one of these and have some wine! We all have those days! I have them and then feel bad about being a jerk after if I am complaining or irritated over something so small and something I should be fortunate for!

    Send me some of these?!

    Happy Thursday! <3

    • spabettie says

      that sounds good – could I dip it into the wine? πŸ˜‰ I’m glad I didn’t get to the “feel like a jerk” stage – it has happened before!

      I wish I knew these would travel well, I would totally send some your way XXO !

  3. Katia says

    Thank you for the reminder on keeping things in perspective and the delicious looking recipe! This should help keep me from cheating for my first Halloween trying to go vegan. I’m sure my friend with Celiac’s disease will enjoy it too!

  4. says

    Moments that make you go “Ahhhh!!!”, although I applaud you for handling it so calmly and adult-like. I’m going to channel you next time I’m feeling uber frustrated and remember to take a deep breath and smile:-) And, p.s., those Twix bars look AMAZING!

  5. says

    Such a great reminder. You have to sometimes take a step back before reacting – kind of like before firing off an angry email. It’s not like they did it on purpose. And it’s frustrating to have to make another trip, but in the grand scheme of things, is it really so bad? And I may have to tattoo this post somewhere as a reminder! And twix is always caramel. Always. That whole PB thing….not twix πŸ˜‰

    • spabettie says

      no, it’s not really so bad. not at all. it just took longer than normal to realize that πŸ˜‰

      and see? I LOVE the caramel and I always will, but I remember when the pb twix was “new” and I was SO excited!

  6. says

    Wow these look sooo amazing!!
    This post is also amazing and I am with you, that split second where we have a choice on how to react is so important and I think easily pushed aside. I have taken to actually talking out loud to and laughing at myself. I literally say something “what are you doing? knock it off!” haha. Saying it out loud and thinking about how stupid it is that I am mad always snaps me out of it and makes me realize I should react in a more positive way. Thanks for sharing :)

    • spabettie says

      I said that out loud too! but I often talk to myself… good thing there’s bluetooth headsets now, so I don’t look like a lunatic πŸ˜‰ and you are welcome – thank you for reading! XO

  7. says

    I’m doing a twix recipe next week, too!
    I’m sorry you totally freaked! Like you said, when crazy things happen, it’s up to us to decide how we react to them. It can be hard in the heat of the moment though, that’s for sure. But with practice comes… well, not perfection, but an ability to catch ourselves easier and quicker than we had been able to before!

    • spabettie says

      I didn’t really flip out right then in front of people, it was more like I “stewed” and planned to flip out at the store. πŸ˜€ good thing I planned it, so I’d have plenty of time to realize the ridiculousness πŸ˜‰

      can’t wait to see your twix!

  8. says

    I have those ‘first world problem’ moments sometimes, too. Glad you were able to turn it around!

    I am a caramel lady myself. I used to eat Twix like it was my job, so I look forward to trying not to eat all of these myself this weekend.

    • spabettie says

      oh yay! I hope you do make these, enjoy! yes, it was precisely the fact that it was a “first world problem” that so quickly snapped me out of it… πŸ˜‰

  9. says

    These look sooooo good! And I love that you dress Basil up to go out in the car.

    Sometimes things just get to you more than other times. Hormones? hahhaa

    Dying to find out who won your giveaway!

  10. says

    Wow! These look divine! I’m a huge fan of what you’ve don with your food blog and would love to meet you sometime! Hopefully you can make it to the next PDX Blogger meetup. I have so many questions πŸ˜€

    • spabettie says

      thank you, Bee! you just made my day! I hope to make it to the next meetup as well – I would love to help you with your questions. πŸ˜€

  11. says

    Sometimes it’s the little things on top of the big things that end up seeming so epic, when it’s really something else that’s bothering you. It’s easy to freak out about the small/unimportant things, since you know they don’t really matter and are easier to solve/get over than the big things. That said, when I want seltzer, I want seltzer NOW. I’d be a little peeved too ;D

    • spabettie says

      yeah… I was wondering about that, if it’s something else bugging me. there are a couple things going on right now, but nothing earth shattering? :) but YES, when I want my bubble water, don’t stand in my way! πŸ˜‰

  12. Caroline says

    I think ordinary kitchen problems become a lot more stressful when they happen during a party. I once found myself in a similar situation with the grill’s propane tank, so I know how annoying it is to have to drop everything and run to the store while the guests stand around waiting.

    Anyway, I love love love Twix and yours look spectacular!

    • spabettie says

      oh Caroline, indeed! it’s not the time to be dealing with anything like that, right?

      and thank you! these were so fun to make!

  13. says

    Max is going to love you when I make these! I’m thinking it will be a fun project for me and the boys while Tony is gone! Definitely making these suckers! YUM!

    As for stressing over something small, I do this. I think I’ve gotten really good about working through the bigger harder things because I realize they aren’t in my control at all. So, I look at the problem, take a deep breath and just deal with it. So, when something small occurs that really didn’t need to (especially when someone knowing sells me something that’s just not right), that pisses me off.

    • spabettie says

      oh, I hope you do make these with the boys, that would make me so happy! πŸ˜€

      yeah… I think it’s a byproduct of being so stressed about Actual Big Things all year that made me react that way initially? although the Actual Big Things SHOULD make something like this totally inconsequential, right?

  14. says

    OH MY… Your blog this month is going to give me a ridiculous sweet tooth! These look fabulous and fairy easy to make!

    I love how you weave your real life stories into your blog about food. It makes it so much more interesting for me. I love food and cooking, but I want to get to know the bloggers I read. Great post and great way of dealing with a frustrating situation.

    • spabettie says

      thank you, Jenni – I spend so much time on my recipes and photography, but yeah, there needs to be some personality woven in as well! Thank you so much for reading! :)

  15. says

    Gah! homemade twix bars???? drooooool!!! You have seriously done it. Made every single thing I could possibly imagine wanting in a snack, dessert, dinner etc. Oh wait, maybe one thing…baked cheetos πŸ˜‰ Try your hand at those?! hehe. Such an addiction, I haven’t had them in years because I cannot stop at 1 or 4 or a serving. whole bag or bust πŸ˜‰

    • spabettie says

      oooh, baked cheetos. okay, as soon as my MONTH OF SWEETS is over, I will give it a shot, just for you! πŸ˜€

    • spabettie says

      I know – one of the girls even asked “oh was I the one who helped you?” (she was) and I didn’t even say so! πŸ˜‰

  16. says

    Um, I would’ve flipped out too. haha, so you’re not alone πŸ˜‰

    PS. Can I please have one pb and one caramel version of this right this very second??

  17. says

    I have certainly been there before. Some great insight Kristina, which will hopefully come to mind the next time something like that happens; )

    Your Twix bars look fantastic. Do you deliver? I’ll trade you for GF pumpkin chocolate chip muffins with a pumpkin nog glaze.

    I make a very similar caramel sauce. I think our minds think alike!


    • spabettie says

      haa – we should totally do an exchange! πŸ˜‰ I’d have to make more twix, though… πŸ˜‰ that pumpkin nog glaze sounds amazing!

      I remember the first time I made a toffee, I didn’t let it set enough. disaster. I think of that each time I make caramel, standing there stirring… it seems I am making caramel a lot lately, and I love to have a jar of it in the fridge! :)

  18. says

    OMG, what an awesome idea. Sounds soooo good. Peanut butter and chocolate are so good together, and I always loved Twix… don’t eat grains anymore but I def should try making a layered raw vegan bar with the right flavors… maybe a chocolate “cookie” crumble base, some peanut butter (not raw but a whole food, fine by me), then a ganache layer and some seat salt and caramel drizzle… I can imagine it now! Yumm!

  19. says

    Oh, sweet mercy, these look yumazing. Twix were one of my faves pre-Veg. Going to make these. Thank you! (or not, could become an obsession).

    When I can manage to talk or pray myself out of one of those “blast the world with flaming words” moments I’m always so grateful. I don’t know that there is anything worse than the look on an innocent bystander’s face after I let slip something caustic. Temper tantrums leave me with a belly full of acidic regret. Always. There is no satisfaction in verbally filleting someone. Unfortunately, there are plenty of folks who seem to, indeed, thrive on snipering their neighbors. Good job on holding it together and remembering that people are actually more important than the frustrating details of life.

    • spabettie says

      good, I hope you love them, enjoy!

      and Kelly, you have a way with words – thank you!! “people are more important than the frustrating details of life” …so true. and yes, I see people being unnecessarily mean and negative, and it just doesn’t look good, on them. I don’t ever want to be that person.

      thanks for your powerful words!

    • spabettie says

      it was funny, I made these a while back for my October “treats and sweets” and then I saw at least two other homemade twix (besides yours!) around that same time! funny the trends that seem to happen simultaneously…

  20. says

    Twix are by far one of my favorite candy bars. Homemade means I’ll eat more…cuz it’s homemade. I’m proud of you for snapping out of your rant. It’s so hard to do sometimes but you are absolutely right about making the choice to let it go. The Twix helps too!

    • spabettie says

      always one of my favorites too – I think it was the cookie :)

      …I generally have a pretty healthy dose of perspective, which keeps me from flipping out too much over small stuff… especially this year… I must have needed sleep or something πŸ˜‰

  21. josh says

    Hey very awesome recipe, was wondering if u can make more that are free of dairy, gluten, soy, egg …. THANKS πŸ˜€

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      hi Marie,

      vanilla paste is an alternative to a vanilla extract; I buy mine online, generally, but I know you can find it in stores like Williams Sonoma and specialty baking stores. you can also sub regular vanilla extract in the same amount, if you like.

  22. kristi says

    Thank you so much for the caramel sauce recipe! I had become very down about my food allergies and this was a life saver when I made it the other day! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      ah, you are so welcome, Kristi! so happy to hear this, glad I could bring a bright spot to your day. I know it can be difficult, please let me know if I can help with other recipes! cheers, Kristina


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