03 November 2008

Dorie's Snickery Squares

Every single food blogger on the planet with a copy of Dorie Greenspan's beloved Baking book has made these bars, so it was only appropriate that I caught up and made them myself....

Dorie likens these bars to Snickers candy bars, but they actually don't taste like Snickers bars. They are decidedly better - the shortbread crust is fantastic, in fact I'll probably use it as a base for other desserts in the future. The center is sweet, dense, with candied peanuts that are to die for. And the chocolate crust, of course, is much better than the cheap milk-crud they dip those candy bars in! I can now see why these are so popular in the Dorie-obsessed blogosphere.

They are also terribly rich, so keep in mind that a batch of these will last you a long time (or will feed many, at least).

Snickery Squares
(from Dorie's Baking: From My Home To Yours, 2006)


For the Crust:
1 c. all-purpose flour
¼ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

For the Filling:
½ c. sugar
3 Tbsp. water
1 ½ c. salted peanuts
About 1 ½ c. store-bought dulce de leche

For the Topping:
7 oz. bittersweet, coarsely chopped
½ stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature

Getting Ready:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 8-inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet.

To Make the Crust:
Toss the flour, sugar, powdered sugar and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Toss in the pieces of cold butter and pulse about 12 times, until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Pour the yolk over the ingredients and pulse until the dough forms clumps and curds-stop before the dough comes together in a ball.
Turn the dough into the buttered pan and gently press it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough with a fork and slide the sheet into the oven.Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, or until it takes on just a little color around the edges. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.

To Make the Filling:
Have a parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet at the ready, as well as a long-handled wooden spoon and a medium heavy bottomed saucepan.

Put the sugar and water in the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Keeping the heat fairly high, continue to cook the sugar, without stirring, until it just starts to color. Toss the peanuts and immediately start stirring. Keep stirring, to coat the peanuts with sugar. Within a few minutes, they will be covered with sugar and turn white—keep stirring until the sugar turns back into caramel. When the peanuts are coated with a nice deep amber caramel, remove the pan from the heat and turn the nuts out onto the baking sheet, using the wooden spoon to spread them out as best you can. Cool the nuts to room temperature.

When they are cool enough to handle, separate the nuts or break them into small pieces. Divide the nuts in half. Keep half of the nuts whole or in biggish pieces for the filling, and finely chop the other half for the topping.

Spread the dulce de leche over the shortbread base and sprinkle over the whole candied nuts.
To Make the Topping:
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Remove chocolate from the heat and gently stir in the butter, stirring until it is fully blended into the chocolate.

Pour the chocolate over the dulce de leche, smoothing it with a long metal icing spatula, then sprinkle over the rest of the peanuts. Slide the pan into the fridge to set the topping, about 20 minutes; if you’d like to serve the squares cold, keep them refrigerated for at least 3 hours before cutting.

Cut into 16 bars.


Stacey said...

Yum, those look so awesome! Stop by my blog, I have an award for you.

Snooky doodle said...

wow these look so so good. It s one of those bookmarked recipes I wish to try. Pity I don t have this book.

ashley said...

oh goodness those look amazing!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

You mean to tell me I have had this recipe in my house for over a year and never made them? That's a tragedy! The look outrageously good!

Sarah said...

These look delicious--I think it is about time I pick up one of Dorie's cookbooks. Not quite sure why I don't have one!

whitneyingram said...

Darn that Dorie and her crafty ways. Not only do those look good, but the photography is great. Nice work!