Sunday, May 20, 2012

Salted Peanut Bars

Yesterday's cold, rainy weather lent itself to holing up in the house and not feeling guilty.  Except for when I went to the gym.   Rainy weather shouldn't deter me from fitness, but who am I kidding...sometimes it does.    Now today, we have beautiful weather in Denver - ideal for food photography outside along with a bike ride.   The Bike MS is looming - a little over a month away. Between now and then are my "excused absences" from road biking including a long weekend in Tahoe and mission trip in Missouri.   So the only person who will be hurt if I don't ride every opportunity I have is me.   My butt and legs will blame me each of the 150 miles. 

Now onward to awesome.    The recipe for these bars found their way to my inbox in the past week or so, and I held on to it for a rainy day.  Like yesterday.   Easy to make, and although the recipe said it makes 36 bars, I cut each square into two triangles.   They are very rich, so a little will go a long way.  If you must have two, you must.   It's all good.  

I love dry roasted peanuts which is why this recipe appealed to me.   If you've never mixed them with candy corn for a sweet and salty mix, remember to do it this fall.  Southwest Airlines, one of the few airlines to serve anything (and with a smile!) , serves peanuts on their flights.   And if for some reason there is someone with a strict peanut allergy on the plane, they will give you double crackers instead.   I can't imagine having an allergy, much less one so severe that someone else eating peanuts can require an epi-pen and a visit to the emergency room.  So, if you, or a family member, has this kind of allergy, this recipe is not for you.

The other thing I realized while making this recipe is that there is an overpriced monopoly on peanut butter baking chips.   At the grocery store there was just one choice, Reese's, and it was almost $4 for a 10oz bag.   I was not willing to drive around on a chip hunt, so I sucked it up.

What You Need

1 pouch (1lb 5oz) Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
3 cups mini marshmallows
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter/margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 bag (10oz) peanut butter chips
2 cups crisp rise cereal
2 cups dry roasted peanuts, salted

What You Do

Preheat oven to 350.   Line your 13x9 with foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir cookie mix, oil, water and egg until soft dough forms.  Press dough in pan using floured fingers.   Bake 15 minutes until set.  Immediately sprinkle marshmallows over crust; bake 1-2 minutes longer until marshmallows begin to puff.

In a 4 quart saucepan, cook corn syrup, butter, vanilla and chips over low heat, stirring constantly, until chips are melted.   Remove from heat; stir in cereal and nuts.   Immediately spoon cereal mixture evenly over marshmallows.  Refrigerate until firm (overnight worked well).   Pull bars out of pan using foil and cut into the shapes of your choosing.   They slice really well when cold. 

Recipe Source:  Betty Crocker

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