Bless this mess. That should be the name of this recipe.
I spent the weekend cleaning out the fridge and freezer and came across a container of nougat and caramel that I used a couple of weeks ago for my Payday cake and thought I’d try to make a homemade snickers squares with it.
Have you ever had an idea that you knew wasn’t the best, and you knew that things weren’t really going to turn out the way you wanted, but you did it anyway? That was me with this recipe. I knew that the caramel wouldn’t firm up since it was a sauce and not a chew, but somewhere in the distance I heard a voice saying “it’ll be fine, just go with it”, so I did. I wanted to make squares instead of candy bars and had the idea of using coating chocolate instead of melting chocolate chips. I thought it might help with the structure.
I was basically wrong on all accounts. The coating chocolate was way harder (read, way too hard) than using melted chocolate chips, and as soon as I cut into the chocolate, it cracked like bark and the caramel oozed everywhere! I put the tray on my lap and took a bite. It was so delicious and so terribly messy. The caramel, the nougat, the chocolate; it tasted just like a snicker’s bar that had been frozen and partially thawed. I was happy to have the sheet pan on my lap because caramel was everywhere. I’m definitely going to try this again, but next time, I will make caramel squares and use melted chocolate chips. The recipe below is for a proper snickers square.
For the nougat
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup evaporated milk
- 1½ cups marshmallow fluff
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups salted peanuts (, roughly chopped)
For the caramels
- 1 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup honey
- 6 tablespoons butter (, cut into small pieces)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 teaspoons fleur de sel
- Two 12 ounce packages of chocolate chips
Make the nougat
- Combine butter, sugar, and evaporated milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Stir in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool slightly.
Make the caramel
- Prepare an 8-inch baking pan by lining it with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the cream in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil. Stir in the sugar, corn syrup and honey and stir until it begins to boil. Periodically wipe down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Cook the candy, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 257 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat immediately and stir in the butter, vanilla, and salt. Pour into prepared pan and let set at room temperature until firm enough to cut. Cut the caramel into small squares with a chef’s knife.
Assemble the squares
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until the chocolate has melted. Spread half the chocolate into an 8 x 8 inch square. It’s ok if the edges aren’t perfect. Let the chocolate sit for a few minutes; just until it begins to cool and turn solid. Carefully spread the warm nougat on top of the chocolate layer with an offset spatula. Remove the caramel from it’s pan and lay it on top of the nougat layer. Immediately spread the melted chocolate on top of the caramel and place in the refrigerator until it sets. Cut into squares.