I bake at home all the time, but I still like a candy fix now and then. When I am hankering for a sweet bite I usually head for a Snickers Bar. There is something about the salty nuts and sweet caramel that just hits the spot. Now that Halloween is over, and all of the Snickers my daughter collected have been consumed by someone, it is time to make my own. I’ve made these a few times and they work like a charm. They exactly mimic the delicious taste of a Snickers Bar and are pretty enough to serve at a party.
My two main tips for this recipe is that you must use storebought Dulce de Leche, the homemade version is a little too thin for this. Secondly, watch the peanuts carefully. Caramelizing requires constant monitoring, it’s a fast process and you don’t want the peanuts to overcook and burn.
Homemade Snickers Bars
adapted from Dorie Greenspan
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons water
1 ½ cup salted peanuts
1 160z. store-bought dulce de leche
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter an 8³ square pan and set aside.
2. Pulse the flour, sugar, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor a few times. Then, add in the cold butter and pulse about a dozen times until the mixture looks like a coarse meal. Pour the yolk in, pulse just until a ball of dough forms. Press this ball into the bottom of the cake pan. Prick it all over with the tines of a fork and bake for 15-20 minutes or just until the edges begin to color.
3. To make the filling: line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. In a medium saucepan put the sugar and water in the saucepan and cook it over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Then, continue cooking, without stirring just until it starts to turn an amber brown. Toss in the peanuts and start stirring with a LONG handled spoon. The peanuts will get coated with sugar and turn white, then turn a nice amber caramel. Remove them from the pan when they are lightly browned, but not burned, and turn them onto the lined back sheet to cool.
4. When the crust is cool layer on the dulce de leche and sprinkler top of it with half of the carmelized peanuts.
5. Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave, or in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, until just smooth and combined. Pour this over the dulce de leche.
6. Chop the remaining peanuts finely and sprinkle them over the chocolate.
7. Cool the entire pan in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours if you’d like to serve them cold. They can stay, covered, in the fridge for a few days.