Celebrate National Peanut Butter Day

For a decadent peanut butter treat, try these peanut butter blondies topped with buckeyes and encased in chocolate.

The Pastry Chef's Baking
Celebrate National Peanut Butter Day with a peanut butter blondie, topped with a layer of buckeyes, and encased in chocolate.

I've been toying with the idea of making a homemade version of a Snickers bar for awhile. Snickers is another childhood candy favorite but I rarely eat it nowadays. I've done a homemade Twix version and a homemade Almond Joy version. Now it's Snickers' turn. Technically, I suppose this really isn't a Snickers bar though since it doesn't have nougat. Instead, I used a peanut butter blondie as the base, covered it with a layer of caramel and roasted peanuts and topped that with the peanut filling from a buckeye recipe that Lauren, one of my friends from culinary school gave me.  Lastly, I enrobed it in milk chocolate. 
To make this, you need 1 pan of Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Brownies without the milk chocolate in the middle, a cup or so of caramel melted with a little milk until just the right consistency (not too thick, not too thin, Goldilocks), sprinkled with chopped roasted peanuts (roast the peanuts first then let them cool before using), topped by a layer of Lauren's buckeye filling (recipe below), enrobed in melted milk chocolate candy melts.

I received a new-fangled brownie pan for Christmas that makes bite-sized square brownies. While they would make "Snickers" that were a bit too big to be bite-sized, it still was a good petit four-type size that I thought would work. Because my vision called for multiple layers, it was important that no single layer be too thick. The layers don't have to be equal in thickness unless you want them to be but at a minimum, the bottom peanut butter blondie layer should be the thickest since it's the base, the caramel and peanut layer should be enough to "glue" the bottom and top layer together without oozing out and overflowing between the layers and the top layer should be no thicker than the bottom layer.  If you use a similar pan, fill the square cavities no more than 1/2 full for baking.  Alternatively, you can make the peanut butter blondie recipe in a 10-inch square pan without the chocolate layer called for in the original recipe and just cut the blondies into small squares for the base after it's baked.

For the most part, this turned out, although not exactly as I had envisioned. The peanut butter blondie base squares didn't come out very easily from the new-fangled pan as the texture of the blondies was a bit delicate.  Still, a little coaxing with a mini spatula yielded them easily enough without breaking apart.  This turned out to be more like a peanut butter bon bon than a true Snickers knockoff.  Next time I would make the caramel peanut layer a bit thicker and possible add the milk chocolate back into the peanut butter blondie base.  But if you're a peanut butter lover, this is a good one to try.

Lauren's Buckeye Recipe

8 tablespoons butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
8 ounces confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter

Melt butter. Pour over graham cracker crumbs and mix. Add confectioners' sugar and peanut butter. Mix until smooth. Use as needed for above recipe. 

If making traditional buckeyes, shape into balls and dip in melted chocolate.  

Let cool until chocolate has set.

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