A friend of mine and I were discussing how our mother’s helped wipe away our heartache with chocolate and a movie. My friend has carried on that tradition with her teenage daughter as I will one day with mine. I certainly am not suggesting downing a carton of ice cream every time life turns a little sour. But, it was in that tender moment, however; after a break up when my mom took the time to run to the store for ice cream and a video game that I felt more like a girlfriend than a daughter. I think as a teenager it was nice to know that my mom was human. She suffered with me that night and it meant the world to me.
Salted nut bars may not be ice cream or have chocolate in them but they are dreamy. They are crunchy, salty an sweet all rolled up into one tantalizing treat.
1 pound peanut-butter sandwich cookies, coarsely crumbled
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 cups peanut butter chips
2/3 cup light corn syrup
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups miniature marshmallows
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
2 cups rice krispy cereal
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13X9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Pulverize cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add melted butter; process until crumbs clump together. Press crumbs into prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes or until golden.
Melt peanut butter chips, corn syrup, butter and vanilla in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth, about 5 minutes. Spread 1/2 cup of peanut mixture over crumb base.
Top with marshmallows and return bars to oven. Bake until marshmallows puff, about 2 minutes, then remove from oven. Do not let marshmallows turn brown or else they will become crunchy.
Toss peanuts and cereal with remaining peanut mixture to coat. Drop spoonfuls of the topping over the marshmallows, then spread with a spatula (sprayed with cooking spray to prevent sticking). Cool bars before cutting.
-Substitute chocolate chips for the peanut butter chips or mix some in with the rice cereal and nuts.
-Replace the 1/2 cup layer of peanut butter mixture with caramel topping.