Yes, you read that correctly... we're about to make my version of Snickers bars from scratch! A crunchy buttery shortbread cookie base with a layer of salted caramel coated peanuts alllllll dunked in dark chocolate.
So NO, this is not an actual Snickers because there's no nougat... so I'm basically creating a Snickers/Twix bar hybrid and I'm here for it! It's less sweet and more sophisticated than your standard candy bar.
Talk about indulgence!
And these are SO much better than the store-bought candy bar for so many reasons.
- We are using DARK chocolate. No need to explain why this is better than milk chocolate. Right?
- Homemade salted caramel without added modified oils and cloying sweetness. Just pure buttery, creamy, caramelized sugar enhanced with sea salt.
- Buttery tender shortbread base.
And... it's a SMALL BATCH recipe which means we can enjoy these in moderation.
Moderation is something I struggle with but I'm trying to savour more in 2021... When it comes to dessert I can be a bit of a "more is more" kind of girl, but I'm going to try and enjoy decadent things more slowly...
Let's see how long that lasts!
If you haven't noticed yet, these bars are INCREDIBLE!
Let me take you through the experience... you pick one up and place it between your teeth. Slowly you bite down and, *crack*, that chocolate shell shatters under your teeth. It's my favourite part!
You sink through the caramel and the crumbly shortbread cookie... as you pull away the caramel oozes out. A hit of crunchy flaky salt tingles your taste buds and you crunch through a roasted peanut... your eyes open wide! You put your lips together to close your mouth and let the dark chocolate melt slowly as you savour the salty/sweet caramel. It's pure magic.
What you need for Small Batch baking:
1. A loaf pan will become your best friend! A standard loaf pan that is 9x5 inches (where the base generally measures 8x4 inches) is ideal.
2. A medium-sized bowl. It's important to keep the bowl small so that the ingredients can blend together evenly. If you were to cream this small amount of butter and sugar in a large bowl, you would end up smearing it all over the bottom of the bowl since there is a higher surface area. You would lose much of the ingredients along the sides. Using a smaller bowl will give you more control of the ingredients.
3. A sturdy spatula or wooden spoon. No mixer required for this recipe! I do not recommend using stand mixers for small batches since the volume of ingredients in the bowl is not enough to catch on the paddle or whisk attachments so it just rests at the bottom doing nothing. You can use a hand mixer, but I find manual labour is best!
For this recipe you will need to make a batch of my Easy Salted Caramel Sauce. This recipe is SO delicious! It uses the wet method for making caramel and you can make it in advance!
How to make thick caramel:
In order to get a thicker consistency so that the caramel doesn't run off the bars as you're coating them, gently boil the finished caramel for 2 minutes while stirring constantly before pouring it out into a jar to cool. This step is important as it evaporates more water to concentrate the sugars. It transforms this caramel from a sauce into a gooey confection.
I can't wait for you to make these so that we can share the joy and obsession!
Wondering how long these will last in your house... [embarrassed to say the number of days (hours!) these lasted 'round here].
Homemade Snickers Shortbread: Chocolate-Covered Caramel Shortbread Bars!
- ¼ cup 56g unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 2 tablespoon 30g packed dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup 71g all-purpose flour
- ½ cup 120ml Easy Salted Caramel Sauce
- ⅓ cup 50g chopped roasted peanuts
- 3 ½ oz 100g dark chocolate
- 1 teaspoon 5g coconut oil
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line an 9x5-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- To make the base, cream together butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until smooth, creamy and paste-like. Add flour and baking powder and mix it through until combined. Turn dough out into prepared pan and press it down evenly to form a flat layer. Use a piece of parchment or waxed paper on top of the crust to help smooth it out or run the back of a spoon over the surface. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- For the caramel, prepare it as directed here. Return the saucepan to medium heat and let the caramel bubble gently for 2 minutes while stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Stir in salt and then pour into a jar to cool for 10 minutes.
- Once the caramel has cooled a while, measure out ½ cup and stir in chopped peanuts. Pour it over the shortbread base in an even layer, then place in the fridge to set until caramel is firm.
- Slice the chilled slab into 10 small bars using a hot dry knife. I fill a glass with boiling water, dip the knife in the hot water and wipe it dry between each slice. Place the bars onto a try and then in the freezer for 5 minutes while you melt the chocolate.
- For the chocolate coating, combine chopped chocolate with coconut oil in a medium heatproof bowl and microwave on high power with 30 second bursts until completely melted and smooth. Dip each chilled bar in the melted chocolate, then place back onto the tray to set. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes just before the chocolate hardens completely. Serve chilled or at room temperature.