TWD: Snickery Squares aka grown up SnickersMarch 3, 2008 at 11:28 pm | Posted in Bars, Chocolate, Tuesdays with Dorie | 30 Comments
I’m knee deep in Master Baker baking, but it’s time for TWD aka a nice and much needed break from all things cinnamon! This week’s recipe is Snickery Squares picked by Erin of Dinner and Dessert. They’re basically a grown up version of snickers bars, which are one of the few candy bars I enjoy. I think it’s the massive amounts of nuggat that repulse me when it comes to candy bars, I’m just not a fan.
So yesterday I was talking to my favoritest, CB and she mentioned the dulce de leche that we needed to buy or make. Rut roh I don’t think they have it at my grocery store. She then informed me that the recipe she was trying takes 4 hours. Lovely.
Well her boil in the can in a water bath didn’t go so well (in the end it did, but it took 5.5hrs ugh). So, it was time to find another, hopefully faster recipe. Wondering around I saw on chow.com that I could just heat sweetened condensed milk on the stove in a sauce pan. It would go faster and seemed like a good idea. I don’t have my new stove yet and my current stove doesn’t understand low so I ended up with some “burnt bits,” but you couldn’t taste them so maybe it wasn’t really burnt. Did I mention that I’ve never tried Dulce de Leche and the post office ate my Blake Makes dulce that I was expecting. In the process of asking fellow TWDer Lemon Tartlet how I know when it’s done and discussing such things as how Dulce is nerdy, needs an inhaler and can’t play dodge ball I think I cooked it too long. It was a little more on the thick caramel side than it was supposed to be, but it tasted good so all was well.
After that, everything went just swimmingly until it came time for the chocolate. Heating chocolate is easy right? Yes, it is, but my wonderful husband decided to purchase some completely unsweetened chocolate. I love dark chocolate, but unsweetened takes it to a whole new level of bitter … also know as the narsty level. As usual I didn’t pay attention to what I was doing, opened it up and started melting the chocolate. Luckily, I like to taste test everything as I go (hehe it’s the best part of baking) and the second the smooth, yummy looking chocolate hit my palate I knew something was very wrong. Remember the yuck faces you made when you were a kid, oh ya I had my grown up yuck face on after tasting the unsweetened chocolate. As horrible as it was, it would have ruined my delicious dessert if I didn’t try it, so in the end it was worth it!
All in all a fun recipe to put together. G loved them and I thought they were pretty good. I liked the individual parts alone better than the whole thing put together, but that’s easy enough to work around.
Recipe after the break
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 store-bought dulce de leche
For the Topping:
7 ounces bittersweet, coarsely chopped
½ stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 8 inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet.
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.