Salted Peanut Chews
Usually all it takes is me seeing the words “peanut” or “peanut butter” in a recipe title to get me to save it immediately. And sometimes it takes even less time for me to get my butt in the kitchen and whip it up. For some reason, however, these beauties slipped through the cracks. Part of it is probably due to my habit of saving recipes in multiple locations – doggy-eared magazines, binders with clipped recipes, Google Reader, regular ol’ bookmarks, and who knows where else. I don’t remember when I saved this recipe, but I was doing a purge of my bookmarks last week when it jumped out at me. A cookie bar topped with marshmallows and then a layer of goodness that can only be described as a cross between a Rice Krispy treat, peanut brittle and peanut caramel. So in essence, only the most fabulous things ever!
This is a pretty easy recipe to throw together, with positively amazing results! The one caution I have is that when you make the peanut topping, you really need to work a bit quickly. It’s key to only heat the mixture until the chips are melted and everything is smooth; if you overcook the mixture it will start to thicken and harden (much like caramel). So, cook only until everything is melted, and then move swiftly with getting it smoothed out on top of the marshmallows.
Then pop it in the fridge and try to restrain yourself for about 45 minutes while it chills and sets. All of that willpower will be worth it, though, when you have a whole pan of these babies sitting in front of you. Totally delicious and addicting – consider yourself warned!
Salted Peanut Chews
Yield: 36 bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 15 minutes | Chill Time: 45 minutes
For the Base:
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 cups miniature marshmallows
For the Topping:
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 bag (10 ounces) peanut butter chips (1-2/3 cups)
- 2 cups crisp rice cereal
- 2 cups salted peanuts
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat all the base ingredients except the marshmallows with an electric mixer on low speed until crumbly. Press the mixture firmly in the bottom of an ungreased 9×13-inch pan.
2. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately sprinkle marshmallows over the base. Base 1 to 2 minutes longer or until marshmallows just begin to puff. Cool while preparing topping.
3. In a 3-quart saucepan, mix all topping ingredients except cereal and peanuts. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, just until the chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in the cereal and peanuts. Immediately spoon the warm topping over marshmallows; spread to cover. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes. Cut into 36 bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.