Peanut Butter Bar

Ingredients

  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 (14 oz) bags vanilla caramels (such as Kraft), unwrapped (68 caramels total)
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk, divided
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped lightly salted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 (7 oz) container marshmallow creme
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 (12 oz) pkg milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions

  • In a microwave safe bowl combine unsweetened chocolate and 1/2 cup butter. Heat mixture in microwave on 50% power in 30 second increments, stirring between increments until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with foil, extending foil over sides of pan. Grease foil then set pan aside.
  • For the brownie layer:
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir 1 cup of the granulated sugar into the melted chocolate mixture, then mix in eggs, one at a time, with a wooden spoon. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture and stir just until combined. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Bake 15 – 17 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • For the caramel layer:
  • In a large microwave safe bowl, combine caramels, 2 tablespoons of the evaporated milk, and the water. Microwave on HIGH power 30 second increments, stirring between increments until melted and smooth, about 3 minutes total. Stir in chopped peanuts. Spread caramel mixture evenly over brownie layer in pan, covering entirely. Place in freezer and allow to set while preparing nougat layer.
  • For the nougat layer:
  • In a medium saucepan combine remaining 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, the remaining evaporated milk (1/2 cup + 2 tsp), and 1/3 cup butter. Heat mixture over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, without stirring (in case you were wondering on the temp, mine came to 218 degrees). Remove from heat and stir in marshmallow cream and peanut butter. Remove pan from freezer and pour nougat layer over caramel layer and spread evenly to edges. Place pan in freezer and allow to set while preparing chocolate layer.
  • For the chocolate layer:
  • In a microwave safe bowl (or over stove top in small saucepan over low heat), combine chocolate chips, 1/4 cup butter and the heavy cream. Heat mixture in 30 second increments on 50% power, stirring between increments until melted and smooth (it might seem to cloy a little, just whisk it well and continue to melt and whisk until smooth). Spread evenly over nougat layer and return to freezer to allow chocolate layer to set. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container in refrigerator.