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Magic Valley EC News

Chocolate Caramel Bars

Crunchy peanuts add texture to this chewy treat

11 1/2 ounces milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
30 vanilla caramel candies
3 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons water
1 cup of coarsely chopped peanuts

1. Line an 8-inch square pan with nonstick foil.

2. Melt the chocolate chips and vegetable shortening in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set above (not touching) simmering water. Stir until the chips melt and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and pour half the chocolate into the lined pan, spreading evenly. Set aside the remaining chocolate and refrigerate the lined pan of chocolate until firm, about 15 minutes.

3. In a second double boiler, combine caramels, butter and water. Melt over simmering water, stirring constantly. Add peanuts and stir until well blended. Pour into chocolate-lined pan and spread evenly. Refrigerate until tacky, about 15 minutes.

4. Place the reserved melted chocolate back over the simmering water and heat, stirring once or twice until soft enough to spread. Spread evenly over caramel filling. Return to refrigerator and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

5. Lift from the pan and cut into 2-inch squares. Keep refrigerated.

Makes 16 pieces.