I basically love making stuff. Especially for friends. This Christmas, Ryan and I decided to make Snickers bars and package them in customized-etched French mason jars. (Here's an example of the ones that we made for our friends, Jeff and Sabrina.)
It's safe to say the Snickers took a few tries. Thank god glass etching is easy. I'm the sort of person who, once I get it in my head that I'm making something, will not be deterred by say, trying to make caramel one billion five times. Eventually they turned out great though, so I thought I'd share the recipe, which I've customized from the original. I used organic ingredients where possible, and where not, the best possible GMO-laden counterparts.
Homemade (Hella Messy) Snickers Bars
Time: Seriously, probably six hours.
Serves: A bunch? 30?
First, grease a pan with butter. Make sure you do this adequately, otherwise the bars will be a mug to cut later. I have made these twice, and both times used different sized pans. Size, ahem, doesn't matter. Second, make the:
Bottom chocolate layer:
1 bag milk chocolate chips
1/4 c. smooth peanut butter
Melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a medium saucepan over med-low heat. Make sure you don't burn the chocolate. You might be inclined to use a double-broiler 'cause you're fancy. There'll be a point when the chocolate mixture is, like, 98% smooth and that's when to pull it off the burner. If you keep it on longer, the chocolate will get little hard chunks in it and you'll feel like a failure. So once the chocolate is melted, remove it from the heat, pour it into the greased dish, and let cool for about 30-45 minutes. Then you will make:
1/4 c. unsalted butter
1 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. evaporated milk
1 1/2 c. marshmallow creme (I like this stuff)
1/4 c. smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 c. salted peanuts, roughly chopped
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract (Here's how to make your own)
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in the sugar and milk, dissolving and bringing to a boil. Let it cook for just under 5 minutes, stirring. (Avoid burning the milk.) Add in the fluff, peanut butter and vanilla, and stir 'til it's smooth. I find that I have to turn down the heat a little when I add the marshmallow, etc., since I've made the mistake of overcooking the nougat. You'll know it's over-cooked because it'll turn slightly grainy, but will still taste delicious. Remove it from the heat and stir in the peanuts. Pour over the chocolate, and let it cool for say, an hour. The next step will be to make the:
I've adapted this from The Perfect Scoop, which is a really awesome book if you ever want to make your own ice cream.
6 T. unsalted butter 3/4 c. granulated sugar 1 c. heavy cream 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 tsp. fleur de sel (I use Malden's)
Melt the butter in a heavy sauce pan over med-high heat, add the sugar and stir frequently until sugar is a golden brown. Remove the sugar mixture from the heat as soon as you see it start to smoke a little. (Note: It's super easy to over-cook sugar. WATCH IT LIKE A HAWK.) Pour half of the heavy cream in slowly. Use caution and possibly a face guard, as the mixture will start to boil like an episode of Breaking Bad. Add the remaining cream, vanilla and salt, stirring constantly. In the event that you have little bits of toffee forming, just remove them. Place your caramel in the fridge and let it thicken up for about an hour or two. When it's chilled, pour over the nougat. Lastly, you will make the second batch of:
*See above for instructions.
When everything is mixed and settled, place the Snickers in the fridge for at least an hour.
To serve, cut into individual pieces, place into little pieces of wax paper, and seal with cute craft-store painters tape. Your friends will (probably) love you.