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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Trick or Treat Salted Nut Bars

These could be the perfect tasty Halloween treats to serve at a party, but they are one of the hardest things to make. The marshmallow layer was very tricky and required a lot more powdered sugar than the recipe called for. You are supposed to beat the marshmallow creme with the powdered sugar at a low speed until combined, but that was not happening. Instead it all clumped together in the beaters and I had to use a wooden spoon to get it out. Once it was on my cutting board it was nothing but a big sticky mess. So like a good bread dough, I kept adding a small amount amount of sugar until I thought I had a good working consistency. Using my hands proved to be an issue because they kept sticking to the mixture. I sugared up my trusty rolling pin and had much more success.
Anyway, they are good , but only for the most patient of cooks. The recipe came from my Cooking Club Fall 2011 issue.


Trick or Treat Salted Nut Bars


crust:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter

topping:

1 (14 oz.) bag wrapped caramels

2 Tbsp. water

1 cup + 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar, divided

1 cup marshmallow creme

2 cups salted roasted peanuts, divided

1/4 cup candy corn


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8-inch square baking dish with foil, spray with cooking spray. Beat crust ingredients in a large bowl at medium speed 1 to 2 minutes until fine crumbs form; press into bottom of pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack.

Unwrap caramels. Heat caramels and water in medium heatproof bowl set over saucepan of simmering water 8 to 10 minutes until melted (bowl should not touch water), stirring occasionally. remove from heat; keep warm.

Meanwhile, beat 1 cup of powdered sugar and marshmallow creme in large bowl at medium speed until combined. Sprinkle remaining powdered sugar over flexible cutting board or sheet or parchment. Lightly coat hands with powdered sugar; gently pat into 8-inch square. Brush off excess sugar.

Spread 1/2 cup of melted caramel over crust; sprinkle with 1 cup of peanuts. Top with marshmallow square, pressing firmly to adhere. Pour remaining caramel over marshmallow layer. Top with remaining peanuts and candy corn; patting down firmly.

Refrigerate 30 minutes until set.

Lift foil to remove bars and remove from foil. Cut into 24 squares ( I cut mine into 20). Cover and store in refrigerator and let come to room temperature before serving.


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