Are you making a specialty food? Tell us about it
TELL US

Sticky Peanut Cookie Bars Recipe

Sticky Peanut Cookie Bars
Difficulty: Medium | Total Time: 55 mins | Active Time: | Makes: 12 servings

It’s hard not to like these cookie bars, layered with caramel, peanuts, and chocolate. If you decide to give them as a gift, you might want to make two batches—they tend to disappear pretty quickly.

This recipe was featured as part of both our Chocolate Desserts photo gallery and our Picnic Recipes photo gallery.

INGREDIENTS

For the shortbread:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into small chunks

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted roasted peanuts
INSTRUCTIONS
For the shortbread:

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Butter an 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Combine peanuts, flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until peanuts are ground and mixture is well combined. Add butter and pulse again until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Press mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish and prick it all over with a fork. Bake until lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack.

For the topping:

  1. Combine sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to boil mixture, swirling the pan occasionally (but not stirring), until it turns a deep caramel color, about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and carefully stir in cream and vanilla extract (mixture will bubble up and steam).
  2. Sprinkle chopped chocolate evenly over cooled peanut shortbread.
  3. Stir peanuts into caramel mixture and immediately pour over shortbread and chocolate base. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt over peanut bars and allow to finish cooling. Cut into rectangles and serve.