100 Days Project, Desert, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 2 – Make Your Own Snickers Bars

day2 v2

Well we are onto Day 2 of the 100 Days Project and I decided that since last night recipes were all savory, we needed desert!!

Now I adore Snickers bars!!  I honestly do not think I would have gotten through University without them. Running between classrooms, labs, and my on campus jobs, Snickers were my first choice from the vending machines from which I all too often ate my meals.  I think I rationalised that because they had peanuts, they probably had the most protein and nutrients to keep me going through the day. Hmmm . . .

Imagine my delight at finding a recipe online, from How Sweet It Is, for making your own version of a Snickers bar . . . and it was definitely one of the recipes on the top of my list for attempting during the 100 Days Project challenge.

I figured it was not going to be easy, but was somewhat dismayed when going over the ingredients list to find multiple items that are not readily available in New Zealand: Marshmallow Fluff and pre-packaged creme caramels. Now if you are willing to go for a 20min drive and pay inflated prices, you can probably get these items as well as many other American food goodies from Martha’s Backyard, the American store in the Auckland suburb of Mt. Wellington (Yes, some of you Yanks might find this hard to believe, but there actually is such a thing as an American store).  I have to admit there have been times I have been craving some particular thing (usually Cool Ranch Doritos) that I make the trek out there and would be willing to pay whatever they are charging for that item, but the main sticking point this time is commercially made Marshmallow Fluff, like most marshmallows, is not vegetarian since it has gelatine. In keeping with the DIY tradition of my adopted Kiwi home, I figured why not try to make both the marshmallow and the caramel myself. It would take quite a bit more effort and time, but what else is a Saturday afternoon for, than attempting to make a delicious treat.

Marshmallow Fluff, made from the Angel food Vegan Marshmallow Mix

Marshmallow Fluff, made from the Angel food Vegan Marshmallow Mix

Marshmallow is something I have not had in close to 20 years and I remember them being quite yummy, which is why luckily I recently picked up a packet of Angel Food Vegan Marshmallow Mix from the SAFE shop in St. Kevin’s Arcade figuring I would find something to do with it. It turns out that Snickers bars was that something. Now I do not normally make things from packets, but vegan marshmallow is something I realistically have no idea how to even start making.  Inside the packet were two sachets clearly marked A and B and easy to follow step by step directions. The biggest obstacle is that you need a candy thermometer to know when the sugar syrup has gotten up to temperature, but I was able to borrow one from a friend who lives close by. The marshmallow fluff created by this packet tasted exactly like I remember marshmallows are supposed to taste. It brought back memories of peanut butter and fluff sandwiches or just digging in with a spoon for a quick after school sugar fix. Fluff was not something my parents allowed around the house often, but it was always a treat. There was more than enough to use for this recipe and have some leftover to form into traditional marshmallow shapes for munching and potential use in another recipe later next week; are you intrigued?

caramel

My very large pan full of caramel

As for the creme caramels, I had always seen contestants on Masterchef making their own caramel so I figured it could not be that hard, right? I did a bit of a Google search and came across this page by pastry chef David Lebovitz, which seemed to outline the process of making a dry caramel quite clearly. I followed the steps and succeeded in making a lovely brown caramel. Now the recipe says to melt the store bought creme caramels and add 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream, which David Lebovitz’s blog also talks about using cream to “stop” the caramel, which means stop it from fully hardening. So I added my 1/4 cup of cream, mixed it through, and set the pan aside while working on another task for the recipe. YIKES!! When I came back to the pan, I saw that the caramel had completely hardened in the pan into a rock solid, smooth as glass sheet. Only too late did I realize that the store bought creme caramels would already have cream mixed through them, and the additional 1/4 cup was only to smooth out the texture further. I spent the next hour or so, gently reheating (you do not want to do this too quickly as the caramel can easily burn) the caramel mixture so that I could add more cream and achieve the correct consistency. In the end I wound up with a very large amount of lovely, incredibly rich caramel  . . . Phew!! If anyone needs caramel for anything, just let me know; I have PLENTY left over.

Make Your Own Snickers Bars

INGREDIENTS:

bottom chocolate layer

  • 1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate out of personal preference)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

Thoroughly grease your baking pan or put down a layer of wax paper. Melt ingredients together in a saucepan, double boiler or microwave, then pour into the baking dish and spread until even. Let cool and harden completely.

nougat layer

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetarian/vegan marshmallow fluff
  • 1 1/2 cup salted peanuts chopped, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in sugar and milk, stirring until dissolved and bring to a boil. Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in fluff, and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Turn off heat and fold in peanuts, then pour over bottom chocolate layer. Let cool completely. I wanting to make this recipe Vegan, you can substitute the butter for a non-dairy alternative like Olivani, and you can buy a soy evaporated milk and the Angel Food Vegan Marshmallow Mix from the SAFE store in st Kevin’s arcade.

caramel layer

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 250 g heavy cream

Follow the technique for making a dry caramel found on David Lebovitz’s page. Once your caramel mixture is glossy turn down the heat and stir in the heavy cream to “stop” the caramel. This may bubble a little but that is OK, keep on stirring until the heavy cream is well combined and the caramel is smooth. Keep a glass of ice water nearby and drop a small amount on caramel into the water to see if it will completely harden or keep its gooey texture. If hardens too much, add more cream, if does not harden enough, add more sugar. Pour over nougat layer and let cool completely. For a Vegan alternative you can buy soy caramel from the SAFE Store in St. Kevins arcade.

top chocolate layer

  • 1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate out of personal preference)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

Melt ingredients together in a saucepan or microwave, then pour over caramel and spread until even. Let cool and harden completely. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving, then cut as desired. These can stay at room temperature, but they may get gooey.

While I can not say this is the most successful recipe I have ever made, I learned a lot about many different processes. I succeeded in making Vegan marshmallow (which I will definitely be doing again) and my own caramel. Both of which I have never done before . . . YAY!!  The above recipe is my version, which I hope clarifies the steps and means making this will be much easier for the next person, than it was for me.  My only further suggestions would be to make sure you do each step in the order they are listed, as trying to jump around and do multiple steps at once caused more problems then it saved time.

Also you may want to use either a tin foil disposable tray or silicone baking dish for this recipe, as I had a lot of trouble actually getting the finished Snickers bars out of my glass baking dish.  If you are going to use a glass dish line it with wax paper, which will help the finished product come out (I forgot to do this).

These come out incredibly rich . . . I would recommend cutting into small pieces, and serving with a cup of tea or warm milk.

 ENJOY!!

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One thought on “Day 2 – Make Your Own Snickers Bars

  1. Pingback: Fluffernutter Bars | Beautiful Disasters

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