July 27, 2010

Homemade Snickers Bars for a Bridal Shower {Naptime Simple Tips}

What’s Going on Today: Morning at the beach, afternoon hosting friend’s bridal shower with Mom.
Naptime Goals: Set out napkins, dessert plates and centerpiece.
Today’s Menu: Lemon Cake, Fruit Salad, Meringues, Homemade Snickers Bars, Champagne.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: When hosting parties keep the kids far, far away from the house.

There was a period in my 20′s when I attended a bridal shower or wedding every other week. That era seems to be over now that most of my friends are, in fact, married. Instead, those bridal showers have been swapped for baby showers, baptisms and the like. I have to say, I kind of miss the exciting parties that surrounded all of our weddings. It was such an fun time, the start of a new chapter, picking out flowers and china. Last weekend I was thrilled to relive that excitement when my Mom and I hosted my friend’s younger sister’s bridal shower. It was a chance to dust off our champagne flutes, do up the house with ribbons and host some present-opening fun.

As a centerpiece for our afternoon dessert buffet my Mom ordered a professional cake in the shape of the bride’s house. It was lemon flavored, layered with thin swipes of jam and whipped cream. It was decadent to boot and it was up to me to figure out how to supplement the citrus sponge with a few more sweet nibbles. Since I love just about any recipe by Dorie Greenspan and, of course, we needed something chocolate, I decided to try out her recipe for Snickety Squares. They are the perfect make-ahead sweet and can easily be cut into bite size pieces.

I did a lot of preparation for the shower the day before. While my daughter napped I made the squares, baking the shortbread, layering the dulche de leche and chocolate, topping it all with caramelized peanuts. Then I set about folding the napkins, pulling platters out of the closet and doing some general clean-up in anticipation of guests the next day.

The squares chilled in the fridge overnight and I cut them into bite size pieces right before the shower. Not only did they prove easy to make, they looked great on the table and were the perfect foil for the rest of the buffet which was full of fruit flavors. The entire event came together beautifully though, truth be told, we were all paying more attention to our friend, the bride-to-be, then the food.

Recipe

Homemade Snickers Bars

adapted from Dorie Greenpan’s Baking From My Home to Yours

Ingredients

Crust:

1 c. all-purpose flour
¼ c. sugar
2 T. confectioners’ sugar
¼ t. salt
1 stick (8T.) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

For the filling:

1/3 c. sugar
3 T. water
1 ½ c. salted peanuts
1 16oz. jar store-bough dulce de leche

Topping:

7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsley chopped
½ stick (4 T.) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter an 8″ square pan and set aside.
2. Pulse the flour, sugar, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor a few times. Then, add in the cold butter and pulse about a dozen times until the mixture looks like a coarse meal. Pour the yolk in, pulse just until a ball of dough forms. Press this ball into the bottom of the cake pan. Prick it all over with the tines of a fork and bake for 15-20 minutes or just until the edges begin to color.
3. To make the filling: line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. In a medium saucepan put the sugar and water in the saucepan and cook it over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Then, continue cooking, without stirring just until it starts to turn an amber brown. Toss in the peanuts and start stirring with a LONG handled spoon. The peanuts will get coated with sugar and turn white, then turn a nice amber caramel. Remove them from the pan when they are lightly browned, but not burned, and turn them onto the lined back sheet to cool.
4. When the crust is cool layer on the dulce de leche and sprinkler top of it with half of the carmelized peanuts.
5. Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave, or in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, until just smooth and combined. Pour this over the dulce de leche.
6. Chop the remaining peanuts finely and sprinkle them over the chocolate.
7. Cool the entire pan in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours if you’d like to serve them cold. They can stay, covered, in the fridge for a few days.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

Chill these well and cut them into bite size pieces right before serving them. If you want to get extra fancy you can serve them in mini-muffin holders.

Naptime Stopwatch

Making these takes about 30 minutes, not including time for cooling and chilling.

Naptime Reviews

My daughter actually found these a little too sweet but happily tried a few bites nonentheless.

  • Angie

    Oh my God. These look amazing! I am going to have to try them, though I don't know what dulce de leche is. Thanks for posting this recipe – my mouth is watering

  • Angie

    Oh my God. These look amazing! I am going to have to try them, though I don't know what dulce de leche is. Thanks for posting this recipe – my mouth is watering

  • Chris Furniss

    dulce de leche is like a really milky smooth caramel. it's actually really easy to make yourself. Just buy a can of sweetened condensed milk, take off the label and put it into a pot of simmering water for 1-2 hours. More details here: http://weeklygeekshow.com/2009/11/practical_alchemy_dulce_de_lec.phpThese bars look fantastic. Totally going to make them.

  • Chris Furniss

    dulce de leche is like a really milky smooth caramel. it's actually really easy to make yourself. Just buy a can of sweetened condensed milk, take off the label and put it into a pot of simmering water for 1-2 hours. More details here: http://weeklygeekshow.com/2009/11/practical_alchemy_dulce_de_lec.php

    These bars look fantastic. Totally going to make them.

  • Carolyn Jung

    Homemade? I already can't resist the store-bought ones. So, these would definitely be deadly in my house. ;)

  • Carolyn Jung

    Homemade? I already can't resist the store-bought ones. So, these would definitely be deadly in my house. ;)

  • steph

    I love snickers! I bet these are almost better than the original. They look great.

  • steph

    I love snickers! I bet these are almost better than the original. They look great.

  • oneordinaryday

    Oooh. They look fabulous!

  • oneordinaryday

    Oooh. They look fabulous!

  • Kelsey B.

    thanks everyone, I am sure you will love them! @Angie, as @Chris says, Dulce de leche is a smooth milk caramel. I've bought it and made it myself, either technique works well. Enjoy!

  • Kelsey B.

    thanks everyone, I am sure you will love them! @Angie, as @Chris says, Dulce de leche is a smooth milk caramel. I've bought it and made it myself, either technique works well. Enjoy!

  • The Urban Baker

    i have made these and they are delicious. when i made them i made my own dulce de leche, which is surprisingly easy. thanks for the reminder.

  • The Urban Baker

    i have made these and they are delicious. when i made them i made my own dulce de leche, which is surprisingly easy. thanks for the reminder.

  • FoodontheTable

    This looks amazing! I would be afraid I would eat the entire pan before the shower, though.

  • FoodontheTable

    This looks amazing! I would be afraid I would eat the entire pan before the shower, though.

  • dorie

    As always, beautiful! I love that you paired my Snickery Squares with a fancy cake. I like when desserts are mixed like that.

  • dorie

    As always, beautiful! I love that you paired my Snickery Squares with a fancy cake. I like when desserts are mixed like that.

  • El

    I have to say, these look really, really good!

  • El

    I have to say, these look really, really good!