Two kinds of bars — candy and cookie — come together in a superhero-worthy pairing that, yes, truly satisfies. A chewy cookie layer replaces finicky nougat in this homemade version, leaving you free to expend your energies on making caramel from scratch. (Yes, it's simpler than you think! Just use that candy thermometer for guaranteed success.)
It's not traditional, but adding a sprinkle of exquisitely flaky sea salt like Maldon takes a nostalgic treat to the next level. And apart from being a picnic potluck standout, they're also a bake-sale no-brainer.
Snickers Bar Cookies
Makes 12 bars
For the cookie layer:
1 1/2 cups (6 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick; 4 ounces) room-temperature unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the caramel-peanut layer:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick; 2 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (5 1/2 ounces) light corn syrup
1/4 cup (1 7/8 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup (5 ounces) roasted salted peanuts
For the topping:
1 cup milk chocolate chips
Maldon salt or other flaky sea salt (optional)
Make the cookie layer: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8- or 9-inch square metal baking pan with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar together for 3 to 4 minutes until pale and fluffy.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the egg and vanilla extract until incorporated.
Stir in the flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Press the dough into the prepared pan in an even layer.
Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the dough is firm, golden, and just starting to brown at the edges. Cool on a wire layer until the caramel nougat is finished.
While the cookie layer bakes, make the caramel layer: Melt the butter over medium heat in a high-sided saucepan at least 2 quarts in capacity. Add the corn syrup, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cream. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves completely and the liquid comes to a boil.
Clip a candy thermometer to the pan and cook without stirring until the thermometer reads 246 to 248°F (hard-ball stage). Remove from the heat.
Stir the peanuts into the caramel, then carefully pour over the cookie layer. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow the caramel to firm up a bit.
Assemble the bars: Melt the chocolate chips in a small (1-quart) saucepan or skillet over low heat.
Carefully pour the melted chocolate over the bar, spreading evenly and gently with an offset spatula to cover the entire top. Sprinkle with Maldon or other flaky sea salt, if desired.
Let rest at room temperature for 2 hours, until the caramel has set and the chocolate has hardened.
Slice into 12 bars.
Make and take: The bars will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days in a covered container.