Chocolate Caramel Peanut Bars

July 28, 2021
Created by Harmons
1 hour
Serves 18-24
  • Shortbread
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup baker's sugar (superfine)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Nougat
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/3 cup (3 oz) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 7 oz mini marshmallows
  • Caramel and Peanuts
  • 11 oz caramel squares
  • 1-2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • Topping
  • 1 cup (6 oz) milk chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp (2 oz) creamy peanut butter

To make the shortbread, use cooking spray to coat bottom of an 8”x 8” baking dish. Place parchment paper in bottom and up sides of dish.

In a medium bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add sugar and salt. Mix for 2-3 minutes, scraping down sides often. Beat in vanilla. Add flour and chocolate chips to creamed mixture. Beat until dough holds together, about 3 minutes. Spread evenly in baking dish. Press with fingers or bottom of a juice glass or measuring cup.

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake until lightly golden, 12-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the nougat, in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter and peanut butter. Sift powdered sugar over mixture and stir until well combined. Continue cooking until sugar is bubbling and smooth. Add marshmallows, stir until melted and combined. Remove from stove and stir in vanilla.

While shortbread is still hot, spread nougat mixture evenly over it. Let cool, 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm caramel and cream until smooth and creamy, 3-5 minutes. Remove from stove and stir in peanuts. Evenly spread over nougat layer. Put in freezer for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the topping, using a double boiler, in a bowl, add chocolate and peanut butter and melt. Stir until well combined and spread evenly over caramel layer with offset spatula.

Place in freezer until chocolate is set, 20-30 minutes. Cut and serve.