Snickers-Inspired Brownies

Ok, so I’m not the world’s biggest candy fan.  That may come as a shock to some, but candy has never been my go-to treat.  I have ALWAYS gravitated towards baked goods.

That said, I am a fan of the occasional Snickers bar.  They’re just good.  I like the chocolate/peanut/nougat ratio and their slogan is right – they really do satisfy.

So…how to combine two things I like?  Obviously, Snickers brownies.

I mean, duh.

Ingredients

Brownies

  • 1 cup, semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 T sweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs, brought to room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 t vanilla
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 cup flour

Caramel (yup, we’re doin’ this from scratch)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ t salt salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 T butter, warmed a little (doesn’t need to be completely room temperature, but it will melt easier if it’s not immediately out of the fridge)

Nougat

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 cup marshmallow fluff
  • 3 T creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup peanuts

Chocolate

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ t vanilla
  • 1 T vegetable oil

Directions

So, we’re making four different components.  As you might guess, that means this recipe is a bit more involved than many I’ve made, and definitely makes more of a mess.  But I promise it’ll be worth it!

We’ll start in order, with the brownies but first – prepare a pan.  Get an 8” or 9” square baking pan and butter and flour it or you can do what I did and just line it with aluminum foil and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.  Set that aside.

Add the semisweet chocolate, the unsweetened chocolate and the butter to a microwave safe bowl and put it in the microwave.  Heat it at 10 second intervals, taking it out and stirring it each time until everything is almost melted.  When you see just a couple chunks take it out and stir vigorously until everything is smooth.

Next, add in the cocoa powder, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla and salt and mix with your hand mixer until well combined.  Put the mixer aside, add in the flour and mix that in with a wooden spoon until just combined.  Don’t overmix – just get the flour evenly distributed in there.

Pour your batter into your prepared pan, and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or so, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.

Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Next, the caramel!  This part seems a little intimidating, but it’s really not that bad.  First, get a saucepan and add in the sugar, salt, water and vanilla.  Turn the heat up to medium and stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves.  Then, turn the temperature up to medium high and keep cooking and stirring occasionally until it gets that deep golden brown color of caramel.  This should take another 5 minutes or so.  You can eyeball it to confirm that it’s done, or if you actually have a candy thermometer, when it hits 350 degrees.

When it’s done, take it off the heat and whisk in the cream and butter.  Whisk quickly so that it doesn’t harden and continue stirring until it’s well combined, and you have your caramel!  See?  Not so bad.

Get your brownies and pour the caramel evenly over the brownies – spread it around a little with a spatula if you have to.

Once the caramel cools a little, cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and put it in the fridge to cool faster.  You probably want to then take a break for a bit here – you want the caramel to be cool before you start with the nougat layer (you can also stick it in the freezer if that’s an option).

Once the caramel is cooled we’re on to the nougat, which is maybe the most involved part.

Start with a small saucepan, and put in the sugar, evaporated milk, butter and vanilla.  Turn the heat to medium high and get it boiling, making sure to stir throughout.  Once it starts boiling, stop stirring, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 5 more minutes without stirring anymore.

While it’s cooking for the last 5 minutes, put the marshmallow fluff and the peanut butter into a bowl (Pyrex or other heat proof).  After the 5 minutes is up, pour the sugar mixture over the fluff and peanut butter and stir until everything is well combined.  Then, add in the peanuts and stir again until they’re evenly distributed.

Pour the nougat layer over the caramel layer, cover lightly with aluminum foil and put that bad boy back into the fridge.  Let this sit for about an hour before you start the chocolate layer.  Grab a beer, maybe.

Almost done!

The final layer is the chocolate layer, and that’s the easiest.  Put the chips, vanilla and oil into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 10 second intervals, taking the bowl out every 10 seconds and stirring.  Keep doing this until the chips are almost completely melted.  Once you get to that, take it out for good and keep stirring until the heat melts the rest of the chips.

Pour the chocolate evenly over the nougat layer and once again cover loosely with aluminum foil and put back into the fridge.  (By the way, I did NOT do a particularly stellar job of melting this chocolate so it looks a little gritty…but it still tastes awesome.  SO much for me saying this was the easiest part).    Let it cool for a couple hours, then take it out and cut it into pieces.IMG_2294IMG_2296

Unlike, say, most cookies, this is a dessert you should keep in the fridge (in a Tupperware or Ziploc bag) until you’re ready to enjoy it!  Take it out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before you plan on eating them so the caramel isn’t hard as a rock.

Makes about 16 brownies, though of course it totally depends on how big you cut them  😊IMG_E2304

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