TWD#2 Fee Fi Faux Snickers
I love Snickers. I wouldn’t say its my favorite candy but its definitely in my top 3 candy bars. So of course I was thrilled when Erin @ Dinner And Dessert chose this recipe for me and my fellow TWDers to bake this week.
This recipe wasn’t complicated per se but I think *I* made it harder than it should have been. haha.
First faux pa. I forgot the peanuts. So off to the grocery store to get peanuts. Second stupid moment. I got unsalted and not salted peanuts. Turd. To make matters worse, after I left the grocery store, I smacked my forehead when I realized that I came home with no dulce de leche. Crap. Then I got the “brilliant” idea to make my own!
(Recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my home to yours | photos from me!)
For the crust
1 cup AP flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
For the filling
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
1-1/2 cups salted peanuts
1-1/2 cups store-bought dulce de leche (see notes)
For the topping
7 oz bittersweet chocolate, coursely chopped (I used 1/2 bittersweet 1/2 semi-sweet)
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temp
[NOTES: I was too lazy to hit up the grocery store (again!) so I used homemade dulce de leche from this recipe. Recipe says 4 hours but mine took 5.5 hour. Maybe I didn’t have the stove turned high enough? *shrugs]
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet. (I used a 9×13 pan b/c I didn’t read the recipe correctly. Probably why my bars came out kinda skinny. *shrugs)
To make the crust—
Toss the flour, sugar, confectioners’ sugar and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Toss in the pieces of cold butter and pulse about 12 times, until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Pour the yolk over the ingredients and pulse until the dough forms clumps and curds – stop before the dough comes together in a ball.
Turn the dough into the buttered pan and gently press it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork and slide the sheet into the oven.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it takes on just a little color around the edges. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.
To make the filling–
Have a parchment – or, better yet, a silicone mat-lined baking sheet at the ready, as well as a long-handled wooden spoon (you’ll be cooking sugar that will climb to over 300 degrees F, so you’ll want to keep as far away from it as possible) and a medium (about 2-quart) heavy-bottomed sauce pan.
Put the sugar and water in the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Keeping the heat fairly high, continue to cook the sugar, without stirring, until it just starts to color. (If sugar splatters onto the sides of the saucepan, wash down the splatters with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.) Toss in the peanuts and immediately start stirring. Keep stirring, to coat the peanuts with the sugar. Within a few minutes, they will be covered with sugar and turn white – keep stirring until the sugar turns back into caramel.
When the peanuts are coated with a nice deep amber caramel, remove the pan from the heat and turn the nuts out onto the baking sheet, using the wooden spoon to spread them out as best you can. Cool the nuts to room temperature.
When they are cool enough to handle, separate the nuts or break them into small pieces. Divide the nuts in half. Keep half of the nuts whole or in biggish pieces for the filling, and finely chop the other half for the topping.
Spread the dulce de leche over the shortbread base and sprinkle over the whole candied nuts or the big pieces.
To make the topping—
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water or in a microwave oven, using a low power setting. Remove the chocolate from the heat and gently stir in the butter, stirring until it is fully blended into the chocolate.
Pour the chocolate over the dulce de leche, smoothing it with a long metal icing spatula, then sprinkle over the finely chopped candied peanuts. Slide the pan into the refrigerator to set the topping, about 20 minutes; if you’d like to serve the squares cold, keep them refrigerated for at least 3 hours before cutting.
Cut into 16 bars, each roughly 2-1/2 inches on a side.
Husband rating: A
He liked it but isn’t a huge fan of dulce de leche. He said I should have use peanut butter or nutella for the filling instead. Interesting for next time?
Wifey rating: A
They were good but very rich so I could barely finish one piece. I am glad I decided to use 1/2 bitter and 1/2 semisweet chocolate b/c I am sure the bitterness would have overwhelmed the bar too much for me. I honestly liked eating the caramalized peanuts more than the whole bar! hehe.
Next week: Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie Cake