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Monday, October 28, 2013

Salted pretzel chocolate chip cookie dough Snickers bars

These Salted Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Snickers Bars are also called Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pretzel Snickers Bars.  Whoa, what a mouthful!  Literally and figuratively.  I think I'm going to have to start referring to these as BBCCCDPS Bars.  It's just such a mouthful to say the whole thing, so I'm going to refer to them using the acronym from here on out.

As soon as I saw these, I knew that I must make them.  Must must must.  They just looked so fantastic and so darn tasty.  Nougat and chocolate and caramel and peanuts and cookie dough and pretzels?!  My head was spinning.  And although they contain the components of a snickers bar (nougat, chocolate, peanuts, and caramel, in case you've been living under a rock for, well, all your life), they have added cookie dough AND pretzels.  Sweet and salty.  Yum!!


Best part?  It's a no bake recipe!  So I made one layer, then watched some TV and ordered in dinner (hey, I worked today and I was making these bars, I deserved a break when it came to cooking dinner).  I made the second layer, ate dinner, and then made the third layer.  Unloaded the dishwasher, made the fourth layer, and then microwaved the fifth layer and then assembled them.  It's that easy! (Ok, ok, it wasn't that easy, there was actually a bit of "cooling" time in between layers, but they were still pretty easy to make!).

There are actually several pots needed for this recipe -- although I washed the same pot between layers.  Again, not that easy, but again totally worth it.   For the top layer, I just caved and used the microwave -- shhh, don't tell.

All I can say is, grease the pan very well.  I used Pam and I don't know that it was enough.  Next time I make these -- and I will likely make them again -- I would probably brush the entire pan liberally with melted butter.

**These are delicious -- and super sweet! -- but mine look nothing like the original recipe.  Check out the link below to see the difference.  Either way, they're delicious, but mine are not quite as pretty as the original**

Salted Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Snickers Bars
from Half Baked Harvest


Bottom Layer
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips (or can sub dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Nougat Layer
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canned coconut milk or regular milk
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
1 cup salted peanuts chopped, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 14-ounce bag of caramels (I only found 11 oz bags, so I had to buy two in order to get enough)
1/4 cup coconut milk or cream
Brown Butter Cookie Dough Layer
1 1/2 (3/4 cup) sticks butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream or coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 -3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Top chocolate layer
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips (or can sub dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup pretzels (twist or sticks)
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted
Thoroughly grease a 9x13 inch-baking pan.
Melt 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips with 1/4-cup peanut butter in a saucepan or microwave, then pour into the baking dish and spread until even.
Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or in the freezer for 15 minutes.

While the chocolate hardens make the nougat layer.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add in sugar and milk, stirring until dissolved and bring to a boil.
Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in marshmallow fluff and vanilla, stirring until smooth.
Turn off heat and fold in peanuts, then pour over bottom chocolate layer.
Let cool completely, about 30 minutes or 15 minutes in the fridge.
While nougat layer cools make the caramel layer.
Combine the caramels and cream in a saucepan over low heat.
Let melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth, this took about 10 minutes.
Pour over nougat layer and let cool completely, about 10 minutes.  FYI, I think my caramel was too hot when I poured it onto the nougat layer, as the nougat bubbled a little and the layers may have mixed a little in the center while I was spreading it.
While the caramel layer cools make the cookie dough.
In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan add the remaining butter, melt butter over medium heat until just browned.
Butter will melt, foam, and froth, then begin to brown along the bottom.   Mine got a little darker, but I don't think it was burnt.  That's what happens when you walk away from the pot and get distracted doing something else.  Again, shhhh, don't tell.
Whisk browned bits off of the bottom of the pan and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl.
Allow to cool 10 minutes.
**If browning butter is not your thing you may skip the step and just use softened room temperature butter.**   Next time, I'd probably go without the browning step.  Made the pot dirty again.  And frankly, I love cookie dough as it is.  But it was good with the browned butter.
Add the brown sugar, cream or coconut milk and vanilla.
Beat until combined, fluffy and light in color.  Mine didn't get light or fluffy.  Oops.
Beat in the flour and salt until combined.  I added more flour to make it a cookie dough consistency (just under 1/4 cup).
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Spread the cookie dough over the caramel layer, be carful not to press too hard into the caramel. You don't want to mix the two layers.  This was less of an issue than when I poured the caramel on the nougat.  However, I didn't have enough cookie dough to cover the entire caramel layer -- the edges were a little bare, so when I made the top layer, I made 1.5 times the recipe to ensure that the whole thing was covered.
Melt 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips with 1/4-cup peanut butter (I 1.5 timed the recipe.  But of course as I am typing this, I realized that I 1.5 times'd the chocolate, but TRIPLED the peanut butter.  No wonder I thought it looked more peanut buttery than the  bottom layer.  Crap!  Sometimes I'm such an idiot!!...but in the end, it actually came out OK) in a saucepan, or just microwave them.
Pour over caramel cookie dough and spread until even.
Sprinkle with the pretzels (I didn't measure them, but eyeballed them) and drizzle with the remaining melted chocolate (I did 1/4 cup semisweet and 1/4 cup milk to contrast the chocolate layer -- which now I realized I didn't need to do since my top layer was overly peanutbuttered.  Duh).
Let cool and harden completely.
Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving, then cut as desired.  I may not have waited quite long enough, but when cutting them, the bottom layer stuck to the bottom of the pan.  It might be better if I had frozen them, it might have been better, but my freezer is full of other stuff :-/
These can stay at room temperature, but they do get soft and gooey.
The original recipe says that they personally liked them best kept in the fridge, but left out for 15 minutes or so before eating!

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