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~Chocolate & Peanut-Butter-Snickers Cookie Squares~

IMG_1526Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.  Just when I thought Snickers couldn't be improved upon, I find out they make peanut-butter-Snickers bars.  Yes, my love of milk chocolate and peanut butter struck again for the second time in two weeks -- this time in the form of bar cookies.  By the time you read this post, I will have sliced these into small, three-four bite squares, individually wrapped them in plastic and stacked/stashed them in a corner of my freezer. 

IMG_1287Amongst the foodie cravings I get, believe it or not, chocolate isn't in my top ten.  That said, I confess to having a big weakness for Reese's peanut butter cups and Snickers bars.  There's just something about the combination of mellow milk chocolate and salty peanuts or peanut butter that I find hard to resist.  I love it enough to keep a bag of mini-Reese's cups and a bag of fun-sized peanut-butter Snickers bars in my freezer.  My recipe for  ~ Over-the-Top Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies ~ is a tribute to Reese's peanut butter cups.

Everything I love in each & every bite:

IMG_14493/4  cup salted butter, at room temperature, very soft (1 1/2 sticks)

2  cups light brown sugar

3/4  cup Jiff extra-crunchy peanut butter

2  large eggs, at room temperature

1  tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2  cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1  tablespoon baking powder

1/4  teaspoon sea salt

1  cup Quaker old-fashioned oats

1  cup milk chocolate chips

16  fun-size peanut-butter-Snickers bars (Note:  In the event you're using different sized Snickers bars, this is 14 1/2-15 ounces total candy.)

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing pan

IMG_1443 IMG_1443 IMG_1443 IMG_1443~Step 1.  While the butter and eggs are coming to room temperature, spray a 10"-square baking pan (preferably with a removable bottom) with no-stick cooking spray, place a 10"-square of parchment in the bottom, then spray the parchment.  Set aside.  Unwrap, then chill the Snickers bars for about an hour.  Once they are cold, which makes them easier to evenly cut, slice each one into four pieces, placing the pieces in a  bowl as you work.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350°.

IMG_1454 IMG_1454 IMG_1454 IMG_1454 IMG_1454 IMG_1480 IMG_1480~Step 2.  In a large bowl, on  medium-high speed of hand-held electric mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, peanut butter, eggs and vanilla.  Using a large rubber spatula fold in (all at once) the flour, baking powder and salt, followed by the oats, then the chocolate chips.  You will have 5 cups of stiff cookie dough (I measured it for you).  Remove 1 1/2 cups (about one-third) of cookie dough from the bowl.

IMG_1484 IMG_1484 IMG_1484 IMG_1495 IMG_1495 IMG_1495 IMG_1495~Step 3.  Transfer the larger portion of the cookie dough (about 3 1/2 cups) to the prepared pan. Using your fingertips, spread, pat and press it evenly into bottom of pan.  Scatter the chopped Snickers over the surface of cookie dough.  I like to arrange them chocolate sides facing up.  Using an ordinary teaspoon, dollop 3/4-1-teaspoon sized pieces of the reserved 1 1/2 cups of the cookie dough in between and around the candy pieces.  Using your fingertips, lightly-press down across the surface to flatten the dough.  Don't worry about the little empty spaces -- the dough will bake up and fill them in.

Don't worry about the cobbled looking empty spaces.

IMG_1504The cookie dough will bake up and fill them in. 

IMG_1510 IMG_1510Step 4.  Bake on center rack of preheated 325° oven, 24-26 minutes, until puffy and lightly-browned on top.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool, in pan, 1 hour -- or until pan is comfortable enough to handle without burning your hands.  Remove cookie from pan by pushing up on the removable bottom then return the cookie (still on the pans bottom) to wire rack to cool completely, 1 hour, prior to slicing.

Once out of the pan, cool completely prior to slicing...

IMG_1518... into 25, 2" x 2" Snickers bar cookie squares. 

IMG_1522Stack 'em up on a favorite holiday plate & party on:

IMG_1542Chocolate & Peanut-Butter-Snickers Cookie Squares:  Recipe yields 25, 2" cookie squares. Cookies squares, individually wrapped in plastic, freeze and thaw perfectly.

Special Equipment List:  10" x 10"-square baking ban w/removable bottom; parchment paper; cutting board; chef's knife; hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; wire cooling rack; 

6a0120a8551282970b01bb09ded3e8970dCook's Note:  To make candy out of milk chocolate and peanut butter, I can't say enough about the recipe I was given by my friend and pastry chef from Ohio:  ~ Confection Perfection:  Theresa's Buckeye Candies ~.  There are a lot of recipes for these famous candies out there, but, they all pale in comparison to Teresa's.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2017)


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