Candy Bar Cookie Bars

More bars this week!  I’m really getting to like trying these bar recipes.

Here’s what you need:

1 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup butter

¼ cup dark or light corn syrup

¼ cup peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 ½ cups quick cooking rolled oats

1 12oz package semisweet chocolate pieces

1 cup butterscotch-flavor pieces

2/3 cup peanut butter

1 cup chopped peanuts

 

And here’s what you do:

Preheat oven to 375.  In a medium saucepan heat and stir brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup over medium-low heat until smooth.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the ¼ cup peanut butter and vanilla; stir until smooth.

For crust, place oats in a large bowl.  Pour brown sugar mixture over oats, stirring gently until combined.

Press oat mixture in the bottom of an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.  Bake for 10 to 12 minute or until edges are light brown.  Cool slightly in pan on a wire rack.

In the same saucepan, heat and stir chocolate pieces and butterscotch pieces over low heat until smooth.

Stir in the 2/3 cup peanut butter until smooth.

Sprinkle half of the peanuts over crust.  Slowly pour chocolate mixture over the peanuts, spreading evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining peanuts over the top.  Cool completely in pan on a wire rack until bars are firm.  Cut into 1-inch squares.

What I did:

I followed the recipe exactly as stated.  At one point I scrubbed up like I was prepping for surgery and dug right in to the oat mixture to press it into the bottom of the pan.  There is something oddly satisfying and comforting about squishing warm and sticky oats into a pan.  I know, there’s something wrong with me.  And the smell of toasting oats in the oven is one that cannot be matched.

I was fine with everything until it came to melting the chocolate and butterscotch in the saucepan.  I had scraped all of the brown sugar mixture out of it, so it was basically clean.  I’m not sure that I should have done that because the chocolate and butterscotch pieces did not melt well.  The mixture looked a bit…dry.  Thinking back, I think it was a lack of some sort of binding agent (like butter or any sort of fat).  It should have been ok with the peanut butter, but it wasn’t enough for my satisfaction.  It was fine enough to work with, but I would have liked to have seen it smoother.  There was a bit of it left clinging to the edges of the pan when I was done, and it wasn’t to be moved but a rubber spatula at all.  Perhaps I should not have scraped the pan so much when I was putting the mixture in the oats…

I had fun hauling out my big knife again, this time to make short work of the peanuts.  They are surprisingly easy to chop up!

This is definitely a bar that needs to be completely cooled before you eat it.  When they were completely cooled to room temperature, they came out very gooey and fell apart easily.  So, I stuck them into the fridge, and they’ve been living there ever since.

Reaction:

I’m not incredibly impressed by the way they came out.  Scott cut them up once they had chilled out in the fridge for a while, and said that they were really difficult to get out of the pan.  But, he LOVES them!  And they’ve gotten rave reviews from his coworkers.  He has asked me to make them again, so I will have to try again with some modifications.

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!

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