Homemade payday candy bars made of sticky-sweet, gooey caramel balanced by the crunch of a thousand salty peanuts. They’re almost paydays. They would be more aptly titled payday “wannabees” being they’re not exactly alike yet completely delicious in their own right. You’ll find the same flavors are present but with a much softer caramel, not the firm, crunchy one found in the originals.
The caramel is super easy to make by melting dulce de leche, mini marshmallows, butter and peanut butter together on the stove. You can easily make your own dulce de leche, a milk caramel, by roasting sweetened condensed milk in the oven for an hour or you can buy it already made. Look for it in the baking aisle or the Spanish section of your market. If you never had it before then you’ll want to seek it out because it is one of the most delightful things you will ever taste. Think smooth, creamy, spoon-able caramel that doesn’t stick to your teeth.
To assemble the bars half the peanuts are spread in a pan, the caramel confection is poured over them then the rest of the peanuts are sprinkled on top. After spending a little time in the refrigerator they’re ready to cut up into bars and
They don’t look like much, you might be thinking, because I thought the same, but for all their simplicity they have strangely addictive qualities. I hope you get a chance to make them, even if you’re not a payday candy bar lover, so you can understand exactly what I’m talking about.
Homemade payday candy bars made of sticky-sweet, gooey caramel balanced by the crunch of a thousand salty peanuts. They're almost paydays. They would be more aptly titled payday “wannabees” being they're not exactly alike yet completely delicious in their own right.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a shallow baking dish - I like to use a non-stick loaf pan.
- Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and set it inside a larger roasting pan. Pour in hot water to reach about halfway up the side of the smaller pan.
- Bake 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool.
- Line a 9x9-inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Add 2 cups of peanuts and spread them out evenly over the bottom of the pan.
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium-sized heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the marshmallows and stir until they're melted.
- Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the dulce de leche and the peanut butter. When the mixture is completely combined, pour gently over the peanuts. Smooth it out with a rubber spatula then sprinkle the remaining peanuts evenly over the top. Use your hand to press them down gently into the caramel.
- Refrigerate until set about 2 hours. Use the parchment to remove from the pan to a cutting board and cut into squares or bars with a sharp paring or chef's knife. Store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator or in a cool, dry place up to one week.
Adapted from Michael Symon
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