Is there a happier word than payday?…. Okay, maybe “weekend”. These bar cookies are a bit like a payday candy bar. They are salty and sweet.
I love salty/sweet. Yin and Yang, Lucy and Desi, Tom and Jerry, opposites are good, no?
Have you noticed there seems to be a lot of salty/sweet recipes these days? If you like salty/sweet treats, this is your recipe. I adapted this recipe slightly from a cookie recipe found in the cookbook: The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle. I made this recipe once a couple of years ago and brought them to work. People asked, what are those things? [in a good way]. I needed a favor from a co-worker and I told her I would make her ANYTHING SHE WANTED for a favor and this is the cookie she chose, so there ‘ya go. The next time you are craving something salty/sweet
(or you need to bribe someone) give these a try.
Payday Cookie Bars
recipe adapted from “crunchy peanut bars” in The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C firmly packed light brown sugar
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2/3 C light corn syrup
1 2/3 Cups (10 oz.) peanut butter chips
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 Cups (12 oz.) salted “party” peanuts
20 Kraft caramels; unwrapped
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
fleur de sel (sea salt)
Make the crust:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9×13 inch pan by lining the pan in both directions with double thickness aluminum foil; allowing about 2 inches of overhang on each end. Lightly spray the foil with non-stick spray.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and salt; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the butter with the brown sugar at medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. At low-speed, add the flour mixture and mix just until crumbly, 10-15 seconds.
4. Pat the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Prick the dough well with a fork. Bake the crust for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool while you prepare the topping. Leave the oven on.
Make the topping:
5. In a large saucepan,, combine the butter, corn syrup, and peanut butter chips and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
6. Pour the topping over the crust, using a spatula to spread it to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle the peanuts evenly over the topping, and press them lightly into the topping. Bake the bars for 18-25 minutes, until the topping is bubbly. Cool the bars completely in the pan on a wire rack.
7. Lift out the bars from the pan in one whole piece and carefully peel off the foil. *Make the caramel drizzle as below. Drizzle the caramel over the bars in a diagonal pattern. Sprinkle with fleur de sel or sea salt. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut into bars.
1. In a medium nonstick saucepan on low heat combine the caramels and the heavy cream until melted. Save the fleur de sel to sprinkle over the bars once you drizzle the caramel.