Friday, January 21, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Cookie Bars

I have lost track of where this recipe came from. When I write down a recipe I like I usually jot down where the recipe came from under the title, but on this one I didn't, so..I can't give credit to anywhere.
Although this cookie bar bar came out great, I did make a few changes and I did mess up one thing...kind of!
The first change was the name. I am calling this a Chocolate Peanut Cookie Bar but I wrote it down as a Peanut Butter Cookie Bar...but it's not made with peanut butter so I changed it.

Next, I increase the amount of chocolate called for in the original recipe and I think it could have even used more and I coarsely chopped the peanuts for the topping, rather than leaving them whole.
And lastly, I kind of messed up the caramel topping..well, kind of! I'm still not sure if I made it correctly, but it came out fine, so..who knows!
It calls for making a caramel topping but I'm not sure how long I should have boiled the sugar mixture, so it didn't come out as dark as I think it should have..but it still worked.

The bars are a kind of sweet and salty combination and they came out with a nice crumbly crust and crunchy nutty top.

So, make the crust first, then bake it for 30 minutes.

I chopped up the topping peanuts a little bit. I didn't want large whole pieces on top.

Chop up the chocolate and sprinkle over the top of the cooled crust.

Make the caramel by combining the sugar, salt and water in a pan...
And bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring til sugar is dissolved.
Then, don't stir it anymore, just swirl the pan occasionally til it turns a golden brown. ( You can see in my photo that the caramel isn't really a golden brown.)
Take it off the heat and add in the cream and vanilla carefully.
Stir til smooth.

Add in the peanuts and stir to combine.
Pour this mixture over the chopped chocolate and spread with the back of a spoon.
I actually had to pop it back in the oven for just one minute to help melt the chocolate.
You can speed up the cooling process by placing it in the fridge. It will help firm it up and make cutting easier.
Chocolate Peanut Cookie Bars

1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, roasted
1 cup AP flour
1/2 cup sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
8 tbsp. unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup sugar
Scant 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided. (scant 1/2 tsp. reserved to sprinkle on top of finished bar.)
2 tbsp. water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate ( I used 1/2 cup and would use a little more next time.)
1 1/2 cups unsalted roasted peanuts
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a small baking pan ( I used my 7" x 11" pan).
1. Place the peanuts ( 2 cups total) in a single layer in a medium sized baking sheet and roast in a 350 oven for
about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes.
To make crust:
2. Combine 1/2 cup of peanuts, flour, sugar and the kosher salt in a food processor and pulse til nuts are ground and mixture is well blended.
3. Add butter pieces and pulse til mixture resembles cornmeal.
4. Press mixture into pan and bake for 30 minutes or til slightly golden brown.
5. Cool completely on wire rack.
To make topping:
1. Sprinkle the crust with the chopped chocolate.
2. Combine sugar, scant 1/2 tsp. the kosher salt and water in pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring til sugar is dissolved. Continue boiling, swirling pan occasionally til it turns a caramel color. Do not stir!
3. Remove pan from heat and carefully stir in cream and vanilla.
4. Stir nuts into the caramel mixture and pour over the chocolate. Spread with the back of a spoon.
5. Sprinkle scant 1/2 tsp. of the kosher salt over nuts. (I had to pop back into the oven for just a minute to melt the chocolate a little.)
6. Cool completely before cuuting. (Place into fridge to speed up cooling.)

1 comment:

  1. Oh boy do these ever sound good. I love that there's peanuts and chocolate in this, so yummy. I have a new linky on my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link this up.



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