Peanut Caramel Bars
Another store cupboard baking inspiration...
If you had to pick an awesome flavour combination what would it be?
For me... it would be peanuts and caramel, and maybe a hint of chocolate! The saltiness of the peanuts combined with the sweet and rich caramel topped with bitterness of the chocolate.. a match made in heaven!
I struggled to name these bars to be honest, as they are very similar looking to a millionaires shortbread, but really don't taste like them. (They taste a lot better in my opinion) They consist of a soft peanut cookie base, I've used a wholegrain palm oil free crunchy peanut butter in the cookie. This makes it taste more like a peanut actually tastes, plus it removes all that palm oil which really isn't that great for the environment! The next layer is a peanut caramel. It is super easy to make, you just need to keep an eye on it! It's a mixture of condensed milk, brown sugar and golden syrup. Plus some peanuts for good measure! I recommend you buy unsalted nuts so you can control how much salt you put into the bar.
The final stage is the chocolate... my best advice when baking with chocolate is to use the BEST chocolate you can find! There is nothing worse than creating a beautiful dessert or bake and then ruining it with a horrible chocolate, because trust me, you can tell the difference.... I know that sometimes it can be a little pricier, but good brands you can find in the supermarket like Green and Blacks and Lindt, will do the job perfectly. If you wanted to go fancy and use the chocolate that the professionals use, I recommend Callebaut. It is the cheaper brand of chocolate in the industry, but still is a great chocolate. The king of all chocolate (in my opinion) is Valhrona. But by no means this doesn't come at a cost! But it is worth it...
A helpful tip when buying chocolate, especially dark chocolate, always go for a chocolate with 50% or higher cocoa solids. It ensures that there is a good amount of cocoa in the chocolate and that it isn't stuffed with fats and sugars to bulk it out. You will get a richer and deeper chocolate flavour in your creations.
These bars, are a great snack and little treat! I hope you enjoy them x
You will need: 8 inch square tin, loose bottomed.
200g Plain Flour
10g Baking Powder
80g Crunchy Peanut Butter
1/2 tsp. Salt
120g Caster Sugar
90g Light Brown Sugar
400g Condensed milk
1 tsp. Salt
2 tbsp. Golden Syrup
2 tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar
60g Peanuts, unsalted
120g Dark Chocolate
2 tbsp. Neutral flavoured oil
60g White Chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius. Line the base of the square tin with baking parchment.
2. In a free standing mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter, both sugars and peanut butter together until pale and fluffy.
3. Add the egg and salt to the mixture and continue to mix.
4. Slowly add the flour and baking powder, and mix until a dough has formed.
5. Press into the prepared tin. Making sure it is completely flat and evenly distributed in the tin.
6. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 mins, until the edges are browning. Leave to cool completely.
7. Now let's make the caramel. Place all the caramel ingredients except the peanuts, into a small pan. Cook on a medium heat for about 5-10minutes until golden brown and fudgy. Add the peanuts to the caramel and pour on top of the cookie base. Leave to cool completely until nice and firm.
8. Finally, let's finish with the chocolate. Melt the chocolate until completely liquid. Add the oil, and stir until mixed together. Pour over the caramel. Melt the white chocolate and fill into a piping bag. Pipe 6 vertical lines of white chocolate onto the dark chocolate. Feather using a skewer or cocktail stick by dragging it up and down perpendicular to the lines you piped.
9. Leave to set overnight until fully set. Remove from the tin, (I recommend dipping the tin in hot water to melt the chocolate a little), and cut into slices using a sharp knife and a damp cloth to wipe between each slice. Store in a tight container.