Homemade Snickers BarsPosted: March 13, 2012
I wish that I could claim this recipe as my own, but it’s entirely Dorie Greenspan’s. I once made a Snickers muffin (courtesy of Nigella), but this is the first time I have attempted to do anything more complicated, Snickers-wise, than chopping. This particular recipe involves a shortbread base, a layer of dulce de leche, candied nuts, a layer of chocolate, and more nuts. It’s not difficult, but it’s definitely involved. It seems to be just the ticket for a Russian winter that lingers on and on. No one will see you in a bathing suit–at this rate–for years! Actually, if you cut these up very small it ends up being less revolting-Cheesecake-Factory-concoction and more of a sweet nibble; Snickers for grown-ups who’ve progressed beyond the Easy-Bake stage into a milieu of more sophisticated things.
We celebrated Women’s Day (said to be the biggest holiday after the new year) on the 8th here in Russia, which means that women such as myself received congratulatory chocolates from their students/colleagues/partners. Not knowing what to do with such a giant box of filled truffles, I melted them in my favourite alchemical project–sweets-making. Candies abound in Russia, as they seem to everywhere, but there’s something very satisfying and you’ve-earned-it about making your own.
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar (which I didn’t have. It worked fine without.)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
- 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 1/2 cups salted peanuts (I used a combination of peanuts, cashews and hazelnuts, which seemed to work well.)
- 1 1/2 cups dulce de leche
- 8 oz chocolate (you can use massacred filled truffles, as I did)
- 3 tbsp butter
Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F) and butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Feel free to use another similar-sized tin. Your sweets will be beautiful no matter what. Place the dish on a baking tray.
First, the crust: Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt, then cut in the cold butter until the mixture is in even crumbs. Add the egg yolk and mix lightly until everything is uniform.
Turn the dough out into your prepared pan and press it down firmly. Prick it all over with a fork and then put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges. Transfer to a rack and let it cool.
Prepare the filling by heating the sugar and water in a pan over medium heat and cook it until the sugar dissolves. Keeping the heat high, keep cooking the mixture until it just starts to colour. Add the nuts and keep stirring until everything just caramelizes (2-4 minutes). Immediately remove the pan from the heat and turn over the nuts onto a baking sheet. Spread the mixture as thinly as possible and let cool. When it is cool enough to handle, break the mixture apart into smaller pieces. Divide them in half, with one half for the filling and one half for the topping.
Spread the shortbread base with dulce de leche, then sprinkle half the nut mixture on top. Now time to make the topping: melt the chocolate over low heat until it’s all melted. Remove it from the heat, then mix in the butter. Smooth the chocolate over the dulce de leche, then sprinkle over the rest of the nuts. Pop it in the fridge or freezer until it’s time to slice and serve. Note that your Snickers will melt pretty quickly once brought to room temperature. Get ’em while they’re hot (or, erm, not).
Makes around 12 bite-sized squares