Wowzers, I make one little mention on how Josh and Sierra have been moved to treating me like a goddess because of my homemade Snickers bars and my Facebook page exploded with recipe requests. So, here I am. Unfortunately, since I didn’t plan on posting this recipe on the blog when I made them, I didn’t take any photos of the process, so you’ll have to use your lovely imaginations. Also, this recipe moves pretty quickly and it just wouldn’t have been possible to both make the heavenly deliciousness and snap photos, so I went with my gut and decided to just make it. Don’t fret; unless you’re totally hopeless in the kitchen (like you somehow burn Jell-o or something) you should be able to replicate this without a photo play-by-play. The photos I did take, I took with my phone, so they are less than optimal. Oh well.
Ready, set, go!
Before you do anything, I’d recommend getting all of your ingredients together and ready to go. Once you begin to make the filling portion of the bars you have to act fast before the marshmallow cools and becomes really unmanageable. It’s way easier if you have your goodies ready to dump in the mixture. With that, when it comes to chopping the peanuts don’t stress. The more uneven the chunks the better, in my opinion. Just whack them a bunch with a knife and dump them in the mixture. They don’t need to be uniform nuggets of nutty goodness. Just chop ’em and move on.
Also, please realize that these are, if anything, even richer than a regular Snickers bar, so when you begin to portion them out, don’t cut out full-size candy bar portions. We’re talking Fun Size here, so this recipe makes a lot!
Okay, the first thing you’re going to do is line a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray the heck out of it with cooking spray. It would be a big bummer if your finished product’s caramel and marshmallow gooey-ness was dotted with flakes of tin foil that refused to let go. So spray away, my friends.
Place your chocolate chips, your peanut butter chips, and 1/3 cup of the peanut butter in the microwave. Every 30 seconds or so stir them up real well to prevent hot spots and burnt chocolate. Keep this up until you get a real smooth mix. Whatever you do, don’t stick your fingers in and lick the chocolately-peanut-buttery concoction off of them because it’s gross, and you also won’t be able to stop.
Once your mixture is smooth and your fingers are licked clean, pour half of your mix into your prepared pan and smooth it out with your fingers…er, spatula. Use a spatula. Pop it in the fridge for a bit so the chocolate can settle.
Put the butter, sugar, and the evaporated milk in a medium-size saucepan set over medium heat. Stir it up until the butter melts and your sugar is dissolved. Then, stir only occasionally until the mixture comes to a boil. When those bubbles start rising, stir continuously while letting it boil for five minutes. Got that? Not three, not seven, FIVE.
Once your real five minutes has passed, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the marshmallow cream, your remaining 1/3 cup of peanut butter, and the chopped peanuts. Mix it up until all of the ingredients have become one happy glob of wonderful and immediately spread this over your chocolate in the pan. Take it easy and don’t mess up the chocolate layer underneath, and also try to get it as level and even as you can. Put the pan back in the fridge and let that peanut layer set up.
Grab another microwave-safe bowl and put your unwrapped caramels in it with about a tablespoon of water. Nuke that until the caramels are all melty and wonderful (remember to stir every 30 seconds or so). If your caramels are left over from the beginning of fall and are stiff and resist melting, add up to another tablespoon of water, but only if totally necessary. If you make your caramel too runny it will ooze out from your bar all over. While normally I consider oozing caramel confections delightful, it does add an element of too-much-messiness to this project and should be avoided if possible.
Once your caramel is perfect, lick your fingers (cause I know you’ve been dipping) and pour it over the peanut layer in the pan. Smooth it into a fairly even and level surface and pop that pan right back in the fridge for about 10 minutes or so, allowing that caramel to stiffen back up.
Once your caramel is set you can dump the rest of your initial chocolate-peanut butter mixture over the top. If you need to, you can microwave it briefly to get that lovely melty consistency again. Once you’ve spread this over the caramel layer allow it to set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before you dive in. Trust me. I know it’s hard to wait so long, but you’ll be so much happier if you do.
When your pan is totally set up, you can remove it from the pan by grabbing the foil. I use an oversized pizza cutter to portion ours, but a good sharp knife will do the trick as well.
You can freeze this if you like…or you can just eat it all.
Here’s your printable cheat sheet!