Sunday, December 15, 2013

Homemade PayDay Bars

I'm not a huge candy person. At least not anymore. Now that I am becoming older and more decrepit by the minute, most chocolate, candy, and caramel makes my teeth hurt horribly. So I do my best to try to avoid such treats because toothaches really bother me, more so than any other pain. 

However, there are two candy bars that I have a very hard time resisting: Almond Joy and Payday candy bars. Paul also has a slight obsession with Payday bars (he thinks they are a great energy bar substitute) so when I came across a super duper, ridiculously simple recipe for homemade Payday bars, you betcha that I added it to my Christmas baking list.

This recipe is so ridiculously easy and can be thrown together in about 5 minutes. I brought a batch in to the childcare workers at our YMCA and they quickly disappeared. Numerous requests for the recipe followed the cookie massacre. I was almost a little embarrassed to give it out. One of the ladies, after I had finished verbally dictating the recipe to her, actually commented: "That's it? Oh, well...I just thought it would be a bit more complicated than that!"

It's actually a bit dangerous that these are so easy to make.

Deliciously dangerous.

Homemade PayDay Bars
adapted from Cookies and Cups

16 ounces salted, dry-roasted peanuts
2 cups peanut butter chips
3 tablespoons butter
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (10 oz) bag of mini marshmallows
Fleur de sel (or another flaked sea salt), for sprinkling

Spray a 9 x 13" pan with baking spray or grease with butter. Sprinkle 1/2 peanuts in the bottom of the pan, reserving the other half for later.

In a large microwave safe bowl, heat peanut butter chips and butter in 30-second increments on 50% power, stirring between each interval until melted and smooth.

Pour in you sweetened condensed milk and microwave on high power for 1 more minute. Stir until smooth and combined. Fold in marshmallows to peanut butter mixture until evenly coated and then pour/scrape over your peanuts in the pan. Spray a spatula or your fingertips lightly with cooking spray if necessary to aid in spreading the mixture into your pan evenly.

Press the remaining nuts into the marshmallow mixture. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt and chill for about an hour.

Cut into squares and serve or store in an airtight container.

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