You’ll go nuts for homemade candy bars

Now that July is here, I have to often remind myself that chocolate melts.

It makes this time of year tough when I try to choose desserts to take to outdoor events, because my first inclination is almost always to make something with lots of chocolate.

Of course, there’s nothing bad about a warm chocolate chip cookie, but when an entire plate of them dissolve into a big, gooey mess, it’s not easy to share with others.

I find it ironic, then, that the recipe I found to try this week is from a blog called “Chocolate, Chocolate and More,” since this one landed in the “more” category.

If I can’t have chocolate, I’m more than happy to turn to peanuts and peanut butter for a dessert fix, and this recipe for salted nut candy bars creates something a bit like a PayDay candy bar, so not only is melting not an issue, but they’re packed with lots of peanut-y goodness.

You can find the original recipe post at http://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/salted-nut-candy-bars/. I didn’t change any of the ingredients in this one, because it was pretty straight forward.

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Salted Nut Candy Bars

Ingredients

3 cups salted peanuts

2-1/2 tablespoons butter

2 cups peanut butter chips

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

2 cups mini marshmallows

Directions

Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper (I used waxed paper, and it stuck pretty badly.) Spread out 1-1/2 cups peanuts in the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Melt the butter and peanut butter chips in a saucepan over low heat.

Add the marshmallows and sweetened condensed milk, stirring continuously until the marshmallows are melted.

Once everything is melted and smooth, pour the mixture evenly over the peanuts in the pan. Evenly spread the rest of the peanuts over the top, and press them into the marshmallow mixture.

Cover and refrigerate the pan until the bars are set. Lift the bars out of the pan and cut into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

I’d recommend putting waxed paper between the layers of candy bars if you have to stack them in your container. Mine wanted to stick together a little, but they were a big hit with everyone I shared them with.

I do think you could also heat up some almond bark or chocolate chips and coat these candy bars in chocolate if you wanted to—especially if you’re planning on eating them in the air conditioning.

After all, what’s dessert without just a little chocolate to go with it?

Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.