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Kitchen Story: Insidious Snack Telepathy

February 10, 2012

The voices in my head tell me about snacks. Appetizers are fine. Main courses can be tasty. Desserts are important. But snacks…well, snacks are king. A piece of cheese on a cracker, with a dash of Tabasco. A handful of almost stale marshmallows. An entire row of Saltines. Pickles. A slice of Black Forest ham slathered with Dijon mustard. All of these call to me. Morning. Early morning. Late at night. Middle of the day. Tea time. Snacks rule. I can’t stop thinking about them. Mind control, pure and simple.

So is it any wonder that I might seek out recipes for snackable foodstuffs? Of course not, the voices tell me to. Like many of you gentle readers, I crave the combination of salty and sweet. It’s like having two snacks in the same bite; High Efficiency Snacking. So when I found the recipe for Salted Peanut Chews, the voices were intrigued. These are reminiscent of a certain peanut-laden candy bar, with a hint of a rice cereal treat added in. They are chewy, salty, sweet, rich and highly addictive. The voices are well pleased.

Salted Peanut Chews

Pillsbury Complete Book of Baking (http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-Baking-Pillsbury/dp/0670847682/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328842447&sr=1-1

CRUST
1 1/2  cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg yolks
3 cups miniature marshmallows
TOPPING
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup margarine or butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 (12-oz.) pkg. (2 cups) peanut butter chips
2 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups salted peanuts
Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, combine all crust ingredients except marshmallows at low speed until crumbly. Press firmly in bottom of ungreased 13×9-inch pan.

Bake at 350″F. for 12 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle with marshmallows. Return to oven and bake an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until marshmallows just begin to puff. Cool while preparing topping.
In large saucepan, combine all topping ingredients except cereal and peanuts; heat just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cereal and peanuts. Immediately spoon warm topping over marshmallows; spread to cover. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars.

Yield: 36 bars.

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