Dad cuisine (frozen Snickers)

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My father was not the cook in our family. One time my mother was quite ill, and my dad gathered me and my sisters, ruefully telling us, “Well kids, I guess we don’t eat dinner tonight.” My poor mom, within earshot, dragged herself out of bed and resentfully threw something together.

Dad did have two specialties: Italian sausage with onions and peppers, and split pea soup. I still recall my sisters fighting over the hambone he used to flavor the broth.

But perhaps my father’s greatest culinary legacy was the frozen Snickers® bar. When we were kids, that was a novelty; in fact I was sure he had invented it. Finding a forgotten full-sized bar in the freezer was quite the score. (Back in the day, candy bars were the size of bricks — well before some evil marketing genius convinced us that a measly square was “fun sized.”)

To this day, I always think of my dad when I have a frozen Snickers bar. And I have to admit, those marketing gurus recaptured my heart when they came up with Snickers ice cream bars. Whether the regular frozen candy or ice cream bar, I always ate them the same way: nibbling the chocolate edges off first before diving in for the finish.

This recipe sold me from the photo, which you can find at http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/01/homemade-snickers-bars/. The blog’s author “Jessica” credits “Nikki, who lightly adapted it from an old “Taste of Home” recipe.

Home. Yes.

Homemade Snickers Bars

Makes one 9×13 pan

Made in four layers: bottom chocolate, nougat, caramel, and top chocolate. Made with lots of pre-made ingredients, it’s not too difficult!

Bottom chocolate layer

11⁄4 cups milk chocolate chips
1⁄4 cup peanut butter

Thoroughly grease your baking pan. Melt ingredients together in a saucepan 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
11⁄2 cups marshmallow fluff
1⁄4 cup peanut butter
11⁄2 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, peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Turn off heat and fold in peanuts, then pour over bottom chocolate layer. Let cool completely.

Caramel layer

1 14-ounce bag of caramels
1⁄4 cup whipping cream

Combine ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Let melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth – this took about 10 minutes for me. Pour over nougat layer and let cool completely.

Top chocolate layer

11⁄4  cups milk chocolate chips
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 do get gooey.

The blog’s author concludes: “For best results, buy one of the half-sheet aluminum cake pans at the grocery store. That way, you can pop the entire square out and cut from there!”
“Cut?” Wait a minute — Isn’t this supposed to be one serving?!

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Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht & Roumel, PC, a firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment and civil right litigation. He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and writes a food/restaurant column for “Current” magazine in Ann Arbor. Follow him at @nickroumel.

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