Thursday, September 15, 2011

Salty Caramel Peanut Brittle Bars

Sweet and salty - you really can't beat that combination, and these bars do not disappoint! A yummy sugar cookie base is topped with crunchy, salty peanuts, chocolate chips, caramel sauce, and a little bit of sea salt as an added oomph of saltiness. I wasn't sure about the sea salt on top, but I ended up really liking it; however, I think next time I would just use 1/4 tsp. instead of the 1/2 tsp. the recipe calls for. 

Dusty and I loved them and gobbled up an embarrassing amount (well, I did anyway), and the rest went to my friends at the office - hopefully they liked them, too. The recipe calls for peanuts, but I think it would be just as delicious with cashews or pecans - of course, both of these nuts are spendier, but might be nice to use for a special occasion, such as Christmas! I think I might use these as one of my Christmas cookies this year, and try the cashews or pecans - it's nice, too, because the recipe makes a 10x15 pan, which is great when you're making up cookie trays. I also think it would be delicous to use cashews and white chocolate chips . . . hmm, note to self . . .

Aren't these flowers gorgeous?! Dusty surprised me with them
when he got home from work last Friday - he's the best!
In other news, we put a patio in this past weekend! And by "we" I mean Dusty and his dad. The only thing I got to help with was sweeping the sand over the top of the stones to fill in the cracks at the end . . . I know, I know, I'm indispensable. Luckily, Dusty's mom came, too, so she and I were taking care of the boys and doing yard work so I at least felt like I was accomplishing something and not just twiddling my thumbs waiting to see the finished project. The patio looks really great and is going to be wonderful this fall - props to Dusty and his dad! (Before and after pics to come at a later date)

Salty Caramel Peanut Brittle Bars (slightly adapted from 
  • 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz.) sugar cookie mix
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. cold butter, cubed
  • 2 c. salted, dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 jar (12 oz.) caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 10x15 pan.
2. Reserve 3 T. of cookie mix, and combine the rest with the brown sugar. Cut in butter with pastry cutter or two knives, until crumbly. Press evenly in the bottom of the pan and bake for 15-18 minutes.
3. Remove crust from oven and immediately sprinkle with peanuts and chocolate chips.
4. Heat caramel in the microwave for approximately 1 minute - just until drizzling consistency. Stir in reserved cookie mix, and drizzle even over bars. 
5. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 12-14 minutes or until caramel is bubbly. Let cool to room temperature before cutting. 
The original recipe can be found here

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