Caramel. Peanuts. Nougat. Peanut Butter. Chocolate. It's the HOLIDAY season, guys! What's a holiday without a bit (or a bunch) of indulgence! We can all make a heartfelt New Years resolution in January to cut down on sugar, carbs, eat more veggies, blahblahblah. For now, I would suggest you indulge in a batch of homemade snickers. Ok, these will seriously test your self control, which is why I ended up giving most of them away... cause I apparently don't have such good self-control. Therefore, when I know something as DELISH as these bars is lurking in my freezer, I find every excuse possible to take a trip to the kitchen to partake in the candy goodness. I had them in the house for a total of two days and and probably ate a third of the batch myself. So I decided, in the interest of my health and impending sugar coma, I had better wrap these beauties up and bestow the goodness on some well deserving friends (I became quite popular by the way). I recommend making them in stages. They really aren't difficult, they just require freezing between each layer. You can dip each bar individually in chocolate, but in the interest of time and laziness, I skipped this step. The end result? Chewy, peanutty, carmelly, chocolaty.... fabulous.
My kitchen helper.... Too bad dogs can't eat chocolate...
Ok, now the recipe!
2 cups chocolate chips or coarsely chopped bar (I used a mix of milk chocolate Hershey's bar and chocolate chips), divided in half
1/2 cup butterscotch chips, divided in half
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, divided into 3 parts (1/4 cup)
5.5 tablespoons butter (divided: 4 Tbsp and 1.5 Tbsp)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk, divided in half
1.5 cups marshmallow fluff
1 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 cups salted peanuts, chopped (or substitute nuts of your choice)
1 pound chewy caramels
Optional: (if coating the sides of your bars)
1 cup chocolate chips or chopped bar
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 creamy peanut butter
Line your pan with waxed paper or plastic wrap making sure there's plenty of extra draped over the sides and ends of the pan.. I used plastic wrap but next time I'm using waxed paper as some of the caramel stuck to the plastic wrap.
Bottom chocolate layer
Combine 1 cup chocolate, 1/4 cup butterscotch, and 1/4 cup peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 20-second increments, stirring each time, until all ingredients melt together smoothly. Pour into your pan, and spread in an even layer. Stick the pan in the fridge or freezer to set, at least one hour, I recommend overnight.
Combine 4 Tbsp butter, 1 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup evaporated milk in small heavy-bottomed pot. Heat on low until the mixture melts, mixes, and starts to bubble. Stir as necessary. Remove from heat, and add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup peanut butter, and 1.5 cups marshmallow fluff. Stir until all ingredients are melted and smoothly combined, then let it cool slightly. Pour into your pan on top of the chocolate, and spread in an even layer. Stick the pan back into the freezer to set.
Caramel and Peanut Layer
Combine 1/4 cup evaporated milk, 1.5 Tablespoons butter, and pound of caramels in the (cleaned) small pot, or melt in increments in the microwave. Stir frequently until the caramels melt into the milk and butter. Allow to cool until it's not going to burn you. Coarsely chop the 1.5 cup peanuts, and stir into the caramel. Pour caramel/peanut mixture into your pan, and spread in an even layer. Stick the pan back in the freezer to set.
Top chocolate layer
- Melt 1 cup chocolate, 1/4 cup butterscotch chips, and 1/4 cup peanut butter, just like you did for the bottom layer. Pour into your pan, and spread in an even layer on top of the caramel.
Stick the pan back in the freezer to set.
When completely set, remove pan from the freezer, and lift up the waxed paper or plastic to remove the frozen snickers. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Use a sharp, heavy kitchen knife to cut the rough edges off your block, making the edges nice and square and tidy (You can eat the not so pretty ones). Cut into bars. This can be a bit tricky if the bars have not softened enough or have softened too much. Return the block to the freezer as needed to solidify, as it cuts much more tidily when firm.
Dip edges (optional)
Melt 1/2 cup chocolate, 1/4 cup butterscotch chips, and 1/4 cup peanut butter, as you did for the top and bottom layers. Take each individual bar and dip each edge in the melted chocolate mixture. Set on waxed paper and stick in freezer or fridge to dry and set.