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Snickery Squares

Snickery Squares

When I received Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours for Christmas in 2007, this recipe was one of the first that jumped out at me. It looked like an ooey, gooey, homemade version of a Snickers bar. And Snickers bars are, well, awesome. The problem? I was suffering through a peanut allergy and, after throwing an internal tantrum, had to turn the page and make a mental note about these bars should the day come that I could eat peanuts again. Why, hello, peanut-allergy-free day! (For details on my nut allergies and how I overcame them – among others – read this post.) I’ve been allergy-free for over a year now, so I am long overdue for making these beauties. How I resisted shortbread crust, dulce de leche, caramelized peanuts and chocolate ganache for so long is beyond me.

Caramelized Peanuts

Believe it or not, caramelizing the peanuts was my very first time working with homemade caramel in any form. A new kitchen conquest, complete! It was easier and less intimidating than I anticipated. I just followed the directions to a “T” and had no problems whatsoever. The result was a batch of unbelievably addictive caramel peanuts that made me want to go to the ballpark and enjoy a box of Cracker Jacks.

Speaking of addictive, dulce de leche could have its photo in the dictionary next to the word. If you haven’t tried it before, you simply must. It is milk caramel and is made by slowly heating sweetened milk. There are directions on the web for making your own dulce de leche from sweetened condensed milk, but I find it easier to just buy a jar. Some people have found it at their grocery store without a problem (apparently the most common location is in the International – Mexican/Hispanic aisle), but in all of the trips to countless grocery stores I have made, I have never found it at any of them. I buy mine at a small Italian grocery market, which always has it in stock. So long story short, you may have to do some searching for dulce de leche, but it is well worth the trouble!

Dulce de Leche

This recipe is a relatively easy one to put together, even though it includes multiple steps. The peanuts don’t take very long at all to caramelize and once spread out on the pan, they cooled quite quickly. I would estimate an hour or so, start to finish (not including the time in the refrigerator to set the bars). Since the dulce de leche is a little on the soft side, I found that these were the best straight from the freezer (I refrigerated to set, then cut into squares and stored in tupperware in the freezer). Neither the crust nor the filling froze completely, and they were perfectly chilled. The ganache topping did crack when bitten into, but candy bars aren’t made for neatness, now are they?

Snickery Squares

Snickery Squares

Yield: 16 squares

Prep Time: 45 minutes (active), 3 hours (inactive)

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

For the Filling:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
1½ cups salted peanuts
1½ cups dulce de leche

For the Topping:
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature

Directions:

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet.

2. To make the crust, toss the flour, granulated sugar, confectioners' 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.

3. Turn the dough into the buttered pan and gently press it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork and slide the sheet into the oven.

4. Bake the crust for 15 to 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.

5. To make the filling, have a parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet ready, as well as a long-handled wooden spoon. Put the granulated sugar and water in a 2-quart 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 in the peanuts and immediately start stirring. Keep stirring, to coat the peanuts with the 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.

6. 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 large pieces for the filling, and finely chop the other half for the topping.

7. Spread the dulce de leche over the shortbread base, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the whole candied peanuts over the dulce de leche.

8. To make the topping, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water or in a microwave, using a low power setting. Remove the chocolate from the heat and gently stir in the butter, stirring until it is fully blended into the chocolate.

9. Pour the chocolate over the dulce de leche, smoothing it with a long metal icing spatula, then sprinkle the finely chopped candied peanuts on top. Place the pan in the refrigerator 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.

10. Cut into 16 bars. Store covered for 2 days at room temperature, or refrigerate for 5 days.

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58 Responses to “Snickery Squares”

  1. Sara on May 6, 2010 at 12:29 am

    These look amazing!! I had no idea you could overcome a peanut allergy. Glad you did…because you’d be missing out! :)

    Reply

  2. Married to an Aussie in OK on May 6, 2010 at 12:54 am

    OMG YUM!!!! And I gotta say, it’s things like this that make me think I’m glad to have my chicken allergy rather than a nut allergy!

    Reply

  3. bunkycooks on May 6, 2010 at 7:08 am

    That’s pretty neat you could overcome a peanut allergy! These look really good, so lucky you! :)

    Reply

  4. Katrina on May 6, 2010 at 7:35 am

    These look soooo good! I love snickers, but I know I’ll love these more.

    Reply

  5. My Delicious on May 6, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I`ll do it for certain! it`s great!

    Reply

  6. Taylor on May 6, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I’ve been wanting to make these for so long! I’m glad to hear they are relatively simple…I’m gonna have to give them a try!

    Reply

  7. Maria on May 6, 2010 at 9:46 am

    My hubs is allergic to nuts, so I guess I will have to make these all for myself. Bummer:)

    Reply

  8. The Townsend Bakery on May 6, 2010 at 10:13 am

    These LOOK so GOOD!!!! I just might have to try to make them this weekend!

    Reply

  9. Ann on May 6, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Oh my gosh those look so good! I’m not a huge fan of peanuts though.. Maybe I can try them with walnuts, pecans, or another nut?

    Reply

  10. Rachel on May 6, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Wow, now this is how you do a yummy dessert. I’m lucky to not be allergic to anything, but I have a friend who can’t have anything good… I am so glad I am not her, haha.

    Reply

  11. Jean on May 6, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I have this book and the few things I’ve made from it have been great. Will have to try it. Your pictures make me want to have some now! :-)

    Reply

  12. Lisa @Lisa is Hungry on May 6, 2010 at 11:32 am

    This looks amazing. Way to reinvent snickers! Will try soon!

    Reply

  13. Julia on May 6, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Good job on your first time with homemade caramel. Looks SUPER tasty! I already added it to my ‘must bake’ list.

    Reply

  14. jen @ project cookie 365 on May 6, 2010 at 11:46 am

    O.M.G. This is similar to a pie I’ve been trying to re-create! Snickers pie, with a cheesecake filling layer, but no nuts (crossing my fingers that my son outgrows his allergy, then there will be nuts for sure!) I made one just this week, and it wasn’t *quite* there yet, but I’ll try your crust, and maybe the dulce de leche option… hmmm… :) Looks sooooo yummy! Especially the caramelized nuts… mmm

    Reply

  15. Belinda @zomppa on May 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    What a dessert…the dulce de leche pretty much seals the deal.

    Reply

  16. C and C Dish on May 6, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I keep staring at the picture of these Snickery Squares…they look sooooo good!

    Reply

  17. dorie on May 6, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    What a delicious way to celebrate being allergy-free! Congratulations for shaking that allergy and more congrats for doing such a great job on the cookies.

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 6th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

      Thank you Dorie! This really is a genius recipe, you rock!

      Reply

  18. The Housewife on May 6, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Could I move in next door to you? Caramelized peanuts, dulce de leche, bittersweet chocolate and a cookie crust? These are ALL of my favorite things :D And yes, I’ve often dreamt of swimming in a pool of dulce de leche! It may make me sound like a crazy person but hey! it’s dulce de leche!

    Reply

  19. Fuji Mama on May 6, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I FINALLY got that book for Christmas this past year and this is one of the recipes I have bookmarked! Now I’m going to be forced to make it, because you have made it utterly irresistible looking!

    Reply

  20. Tracy on May 6, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Wishing I wasn’t allergic to peanuts/nuts right now. :-)

    Reply

  21. kristan roland on May 6, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I have this cookbook too and I love it!! I haven’t made these bars yet though…they look so good!!

    Reply

  22. Joan on May 6, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Father’s day has come early for my dad. He LOVES Snickers. Will have to make this recipe this weekend!

    Reply

  23. Allison on May 6, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Wowza those look unbelievable!

    Reply

  24. Heather (Heather's Dish) on May 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    you have GOT to be kidding me with those things! i almost licked the screen but someone walked up behind me… ;)

    Reply

  25. A Boston Food Diary on May 6, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    These really look insanely delectable! I may have to make them….tonight!

    Reply

  26. Kerstin on May 6, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Wow, these look amazing! I was surprised about how easy it is to make caramel at home too!

    Reply

  27. sweetlife on May 6, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I have made these and they are so yummy, glad you got to enjoy these..

    sweetlife

    Reply

  28. bridget {bake at 350} on May 6, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Oh, HOW could you do this to my waistline?!?!? Wow…they look scrumptious!

    Reply

  29. A Bowl Of Mush on May 6, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Yum!!

    I love snickers and I would definitely love these snickery squares!

    Delicious!

    Reply

  30. maggy on May 6, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    You…are…killing…me! WANT NOW. Huge fan of a Snickers, but an ever bigger fan of these. WOW!

    Reply

  31. Katie@Cozydelicious on May 6, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Yum! I love that you eat these from the freezer. I love most bars, cookies, etc from the freezer best, Your squares look beautiful!

    Reply

  32. Katrina on May 6, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    LOVED these when I made them as a TWD rewind! I’ve never seen that jarred caramel. It looks better than the dulce de leche in a can.

    Reply

  33. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on May 6, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    These look so good! I bet they are great with a glass of cold milk!

    Reply

  34. Jillyann on May 7, 2010 at 7:24 am

    No Nut allergies here…for which I am thankful. I am however allergic to eggs but there is such a small amount it actually might be worth risking a two day tummy ache!

    Reply

  35. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on May 7, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Congratulations on getting over the allergy. These look amazing! I love snickers, I’m sure I’ll love these!

    Reply

  36. Cookin' Canuck on May 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    These are over the top, out of this world fabulous! I can’t wait to try these.

    Reply

  37. dokuzuncubulut on May 8, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Very savory. Super!!

    Reply

  38. Linn @ Swedish home cooking on May 8, 2010 at 2:33 am

    I’m making snickers squares sometime, it is one of my favorite treats! Your recipe is a bit different so I’m definitly gonna try your way of making it.

    Reply

  39. Cherine on May 8, 2010 at 3:21 am

    Those are mouthwatering!!!

    Reply

  40. Simply Life on May 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    oh my gosh, those look amazing!

    Reply

  41. Nisrine@Dinners & Dreams on May 8, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Delicious squares. I love dulce de leche!

    Reply

  42. Springrime on May 9, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I can’t believe how good these look!

    Reply

  43. Miss Stovetop on May 13, 2010 at 8:13 am
  44. Jen @ How To: Simplify on May 13, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Snickers are one of my favorite candy bars. I’ll have to put this on the “to bake” list since they look so delicious!

    Reply

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  47. Rachel on October 20, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Yum! Just made these but I used walnuts instead of the peanuts. Can’t wait to try them, they look AMAZING!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

      Oooh love walnuts! Can’t wait to hear how you liked them!

      Reply

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  50. Marie on December 6, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Dulce de leche is not available in my area, would you please suggest an alternative product? Thank you.

    Reply

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