If you love Snickers® bar, this cookie is for you. What's not to love? It has chewy caramel, loads of peanuts, and chocolate plus crunchy buttery cookie as a bonus. I baked half a recipe adapted from THE ALL-AMERICAN DESSERT BOOK by Nancy Baggett. I changed 2 things: I used bittersweet instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips and did not top the cookies with chopped peanuts. The cooled uncut slab looked like a giant flat-ish Snickers bar.
Chewy Peanut-Caramel Bars
adapted from THE ALL-AMERICAN DESSERT BOOK by Nancy Baggett
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2½ tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
5 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups light brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups chopped unsalted peanuts
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375° F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil and coat the foil with nonstick spray.
- TO MAKE THE CRUST: In a food processor, process the flour, sugar, and salt to blend. Add the butter. Process in pulses until the butter is cut in and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the cream and vanilla extract over the flour mixture. Process in pulses until the dough holds together, being careful not to overprocess. Very firmly press the mixture into the baking dish in an even layer. Prick the crust all over with fork. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tinged with brown all over and slightly darker at the edges. Transfer to a wire rack.
- TO MAKE THE TOPPING: In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, stir together the brown sugar, corn syrup, cream, butter, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Stir in 2½ cups of the peanuts. Adjust the heat so that the mixture boils briskly. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 and a half minutes. Immediately remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the topping over the crust, drizzling to cover the entire surface as evenly as possible. Spread out with a greased offset spatula, if necessary. Let cool and firm up for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate morsels. Let stand for a few minutes longer, or until the chocolate is partially melted. Using an offset spatula, spread the melted chocolate over the topping. Sprinkle the top with the remaining ½ cup peanuts.
- Let cool completely. Remove the slab from the pan and transfer into a cutting board. Carefully peel off the foil. Cut into desired size (squares or rectangles).