I hate wasting things. So, when I was faced with leftover sugar cookie dough from an order and a whole container of peanuts from decorating this tart, I decided to make something fun. This bar is very Snickers-like, a combination of chewy caramel, crunchy peanuts and smooth chocolate. Again, I personally like darker chocolate so I went with semisweet here, but feel free to use milk chocolate.
Makes 12 to 16 servings
Sugar Cookie Base
- 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (164 grams) light corn syrup
- ¼ cup (59 grams) water
- 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter
- ¾ cup (173 grams) heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups (225 grams) salted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
- Flaky salt for sprinkling (optional)
Make the Sugar Cookie Base
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease an 8-inch square pan and line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Grease again.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and granulated sugar on medium high until creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides, add the flour all at once and mix on low until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Add the egg yolk, milk and vanilla and beat until the dough starts to come together. Remove from the bowl, form into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.
- Remove from plastic, roll roughly into an 8-inch square and lay into the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Set aside to cool.
Make the Peanut Caramel:
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until the mixture is a medium amber color, about 15 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. Add the butter to melt and then the cream. The mixture will sputter so be careful! Stir the mixture until combined.
- Using a candy thermometer, cook until the mixture reaches soft ball stage, 238˚F, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the peanuts and pour over the cookie base. Let it stand until the caramel is completely cool.
Make the Chocolate Topping:
- In a microwave using 20 second increments or over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and vegetable shortening. Pour over the caramel and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with flaky salt, if desired. Refrigerate to set, about 30 minutes. Remove from pan, cut into squares and serve. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 5 days.