Monday, March 3, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie #2

This week's TWD recipe was Snickery Squares. They are supposed to bean adult/gourmet version of a Snickers bar. It was complete fate that brought this recipe and Argentina in the same week because I needed 1/2 cup of dulce de leche for my Alfajores, and 1 1/2 cups of dulce de leche for this recipe. The recipe I had made 2 cups, and I didn't know what I'd do with the other 1.5 cups after making the cookies (besides eat it with a spoon). I knew making this TWD recipe was meant to be!

These bars were good, but I have mixed feelings about them. My husbandand I both thought the chocolate seemed to overpower the rest of the layers. I think also the caramel/peanut layer could have been doubled. If I make these again, I'll definitely use 3 cups of dulce de leche.

I absolutely loved the peanuts. They tasted exactly like cracker jacks peanuts. I never knew it was as simple as making caramelized sugar. They cooled and hardened much faster than I expected, and I couldn't stop snacking on them while waiting on the crust. Overall, I'd say it's a good recipe, I would just tweak it next time and use more dulce de leche and maybe a little less chocolate.

Snickery Squares

For the Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

2 TBSP powdered sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled

1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

For the Filling:
½ cup sugar

3 TBSP water

1 ½ cups salted peanuts

About 1 ½ cups dulce de leche (I used homemade)

For the Topping:
7 ounces bittersweet, coarsely chopped (I used 6)

½ stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature

Getting Ready:
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 8 inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet.
(I used a 5x10)

To Make the Crust:
Toss the flour, sugar, powdered 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 with a fork and slide the sheet into the oven. Bake the crust for 15-20 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 silicone mat-lined baking sheet at the ready, as well as a long-handled wooden spoon and a medium heavy bottomed saucepan. 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. Toss the peanuts and immediately start stirring. Keep stirring, to coat the peanuts with 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.

To Make the Topping:
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Remove 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 rest of the peanuts. Slide the pan into the fridge 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.

I was a little worried my bars wouldn't come out nicely, so I took this photo of the whole thing before cutting into it. Luckily they didn't stick and came out really nicely.


amanda. said...

I had the same problem with my peanuts! I couldn't stop eating them while my crust was in the oven! I finally had to just walk away.

The bars look great!

Anonymous said...

These look so scrumptious! Great job!

noskos said...

I had the same problem with the peanuts, they are too good :-)

Your bars look delicious!

Marie said...

Your bars look fantastic! I forgot to buy peanuts and so had to make mine with pecans. These were also very moreish and I do confess to eating more than a few before I got them into the bars. I also added some extra caramel. These bars are just too good!

CB said...

You hit it right on about those peanuts. I sat there waiting for my condensed milk to turn into dulce and probably ate 1/2 of the peanuts! Your bars looks awesome! Great job!

Anonymous said...

great job Ashlee!

Gretchen Noelle said...

The peanuts were very fun (and easy!) to make! Lovely bars, but I agree I would need to tweak it a bit next time.

I hope you enjoyed the alfajores too! They are one of my favorite desserts here in Peru!

Lynette said...

my probem, when making this, was the dulce de leche!! i snacked on them to the extent that i had to make up another batch of it!

your bars look gorgeous!

Di said...

Add me to the peanut snackers. And I don't even like peanuts that much! =) Your bars look great!

Engineer Baker said...

Beautiful! And yes, those peanuts are addictive!

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

Glad to know I wasn't the only ones who couldn't keep her hands off the caramelized peanuts. More dulce de leche is ALWAYS a good choice, in my book.

Amy said...

I also snacked on the peanuts as I made the other layers. Yours look fabulous!

Jaime said...

i wished i hadn't skipped the step w/the caramelized peanuts!

great job!

Jhianna said...

I ignored the measuring part of it and added dulce du leche until it looked good! The only problem is that the caramel glops out the side whenever you try to eat one of them. Not really a problem when I think about it!

(Oh, and us too with the peanut snacking. I had to warn the hubby to back off after the 10th time he came in to snitch one! LOL)