Chocolate Caramel Peanut Bars
Who knew you could make your own Snickers bars — without the dubious ingredients? Hedy Goldsmith suggests using Valrhona chocolates for this treat, but any high-quality chocolate will do.
8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup salted peanuts (preferably Virginia)
Line the bottom and sides of an 81/2-by-41/2-inch loaf pan with parchment paper or foil, and grease it lightly (preferably with Pam). Melt the milk chocolate in a small heat-proof bowl set over simmering water, stirring until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Remove the bowl from the heat. Pour half of the milk chocolate into the prepared loaf pan and spread it evenly. Freeze for 15 minutes, until cold.
Make the next layer. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/4 cup water. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear.
Increase the heat to medium high and boil, without stirring, for 3-5 minutes, or until the sugar begins to turn golden brown on the edges. While gently and continually swirling the pan over the heat to even out the color, cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar turns a deep amber.
Slide the pan from the heat and slowly add the cream. Careful! It will splatter up, and the steam is hot. Stir until well blended. Add the white chocolate and salt and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the peanuts and stir until blended. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly
Pour the peanut mixture into the loaf pan over the milk chocolate and spread it evenly. Freeze for about 45 minutes or until cold and firm.
Once the layer is cold, reheat the remaining milk chocolate, pour it over the caramel and spread it evenly. Refrigerate or freeze for 20-30 minutes, until very cold.
Using the parchment paper or foil pan liner, transfer the candy onto a work surface. Peel away the paper or foil and place the candy on a cutting board. Using a large knife, trim off the edges and cut lengthwise into two 11/2-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip into nine pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Makes 18 pieces.
Source: Adapted from “Baking Out Loud,” by Hedy Goldsmith; Potter, $27.50.
Per serving: 215 calories (52 percent from fat), 13 g fat (5.9 g saturated), 3.4 g monounsaturated), 10 mg cholesterol, 3.5 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g fiber, 151 mg sodium.