Pizza Lab #35: Twix Pizza or Chocolate Caramel Cookie Pizza
A few weeks ago I was at work on the docks of Fire Island, and I saw some kids eating Starburst. Though “eating” is a really generous way of describing it, since they were all shoving like 3 or 4 pieces at a time into their shitty middle school mouths. It really made me think to myself for the first time ever, like, “Man, candy is frigging disgusting.” Just another thing reminding me that I’m getting older, I guess. But nonetheless, I will fully admit that with Halloween fast-approaching I will still probably partake in some consumption of the aforementioned sugar trash, guiltily.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate all chocolate and confections, per se, but rather the cheap and sad excuses for chocolate designed for impulse buying at every store on planet Earth. Real chocolate, decent quality chocolate is delicious, and the same goes for caramel and other sugary treats. As with everything, if you concoct your own creations at home with fresh ingredients, it’ll taste better and be better for you. That brings me to my next point… Twix Pizza.
We’ve been kicking around the idea of a chocolate bar themed pizza for Halloween for at least a year or two now. It seemed easy enough, since we’ve already made pizzas featuring chocolate. It was simple a matter of picking the right one to recreate. When I was a big candy eater as a kid, Twix were one of my favorites. Simplicity at its finest. Chocolate, cookie, and caramel. Three awesome foodstuffs that complement one another perfectly. Meg and I are both fans of caramel x chocolate combination, so it seemed like the perfect candidate.
In the essence of not getting sued, I’d also like to point out, this pizza isn’t TECHNICALLY called Twix pizza, it’s called a Chocolate Caramel Cookie Pizza. (Which I will lovingly refer to as a Twix Pizza for shorthand). No copyright infringement, yeah? Cool.
Obviously the first step was caramel sauce. We have a recipe we use for caramel sauce in most of our recipes calling for it, though on something being baked, pretty much any caramel could do. Warming up said caramel is a must, since it’s being used for the base sauce on the crust.
As an added bonus, we sprinkled some fancy, coarse Hawaiian sea salt on top of the caramel. Salted caramel is randomly all the rage these days, despite the fact that caramel has always had a saltiness to it, but either way, it couldn’t hurt.
The next step was the cookie part. As George Costanza puts it IT’S THE ONLY CANDY WITH A COOKIE CRUMBLE. Honestly, I don’t know what type of cookie they make up for the filling in Twix, but actually I’ve seen it listed as shortbread in some unofficial blurbs on the chocolate bar. On top of that, in lookalike/recreation recipes I’ve seen for Twix, they typically recommend shortbread cookies.
Now, it is possible to make homemade shortbread but honestly that’s a chore in and of itself, and not worth your time for a single ingredient. We opted for your regular, storebought, chocolate-drizzled shortbread cookies. They taste good on their own, and they’re very affordable.
Lastly, what would a chocolate bar be without, well, chocolate? I mean, it’d be a bar… but that would kinda suck. As we do with many of our dessert pizzas, we used standard semisweet chocolate chips. Milk chocolate doesn’t melt as well in the oven, since it tends to scorch. Additionally, besides being the best for baking, semisweet chocolate (which is pretty much like dark chocolate, if not darker) is of course the healthier alternative because it has less sugar and more antioxidants. Remember everyone, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to describe chocolate as good for you. Take advantage of it!
The resulting pizza came out awesome. It didn’t taste 100% like an actual Twix, but that’s kind of the point I was alluding to earlier. The majority of plain-old chocolate bars and candy you buy at the store are unbelievably shitty for you. And I can’t be the only person who has grown out of their sweet tooth… most people get more sensitive to sugar flavor as they get older. This pizza has all the flavors of a Twix bar, only better. The chocolate tasted like real chocolate. The caramel was heavenly smooth and the addition of sea salt gave it both a nice salty-sweet dynamic AND a really nice crunch texture in certain bites. Oh and all that, on top of a pizza. It was absolutely delicious. To be honest, I could see this idea of candy bar themed pizzas becoming a recurring thing in Pizza Lab. Only time will tell…