Thursday, May 14, 2015

Salted Nut Roll Bars

Everyone loves a good bar. What's better than cramming potentially LAYERS of goodness together in a handheld, visually-appealing rectangle? Not much. And socially? I feel like they symbolize a specific, goes-without-saying kind of compassion. That feeling could be a product of my upbringing -- whether it's a funeral, wedding, block party, anything in a church basement, bars are present. Card tables featuring several plates of bars, stacked like little bricks of thoughtfulness and covered in cellophane, nestled near white dinner buns and rolls of deli meats meant there was something to celebrate or someone to mourn.

So, naturally, most times I play host, I whip up at least one kind of bar. I was having a party recently and reached out to the world of Facebook for more recipes. I was very overjoyed to receive a message from the mom of one of my childhood friends -- a bar connoisseur and master baker, and one of the warmest people I know.

I was the kid who would try to be friends with your mom. My childhood was filled with instances of looking up to women and wanting to get on their level. I mean, I was often physically on their level already. I was alarmingly tall -- not lanky and awkward, but proportionally big. I think I even had hips? I shopped exclusively at Land's End and when I played dress-up at my friend Anna's house in kindergarten, her mom's high heels fit me perfectly. That's awkward for everyone involved.


My preschool "Star of the Week" profile reveals in my shockingly legible handwriting that my best friend was "Teacher Peggy." And it really felt like Teacher Peggy and I were friends. I, of course, did have friends my own age, but did they watch Designing Women? Not unless I forced them to join me. "Which Sugarbaker do you think you are?" I'd ask excitedly, with little to no response. "I'm Julia!" Yikes. And I wasn't surrounded by a lot of 9-year-olds who were reading Memoirs of a Geisha, but the skating moms did want me to be in a book club with them before we all realized those logistics were impossible and sort of sad.

It's never too early to start protecting your skin!

So, I've always had a special place in my heart for moms. "Oh, Sophie's not home right now?" I'd ask Sophie's mom, Wendy, already knowing the answer. "Well, maybe I can just hang out with you." Moms were always so kind and tolerant of my weirdness, allowing me to sit with them when I was deemed too tall for the community swimming pool where everyone else my age was frolicking. 

Special thanks to Chrys McConnell for responding to my Facebook plea and passing on the recipe for these awesome Salted Nut Roll bars. And special thanks to her daughter, Brynn, for also being my friend. :D

Salted Nut Roll Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 bag (12 oz) peanut butter chips
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Karo syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups salted cocktail peanuts
2 cups Rice Krispies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the cake mix, melted butter and egg and press into a greased 9x13 cake pan.
Bake the base for 10-12 minutes.
Place the marshmallows evenly on top of the base and bake for another 3 minutes, or until puffed.
Cool completely.
Mix the vanilla, peanuts, and Rice Krispies in a big bowl and set aside.
Melt the peanut butter chips, butter, and Karo syrup in a saucepan over the stove, stirring constantly.
Add the melted mixture to the cereal/peanuts and stir.
Spread the sticky goodness over the heavenly marshmallow pillows and stick the puppy in the fridge.
 Cut and enjoy!

If you're the person who loses their mind over a sweet & salty combination, look out. These will be your downfall. But, like, in a good and delicious way.

Happy baking! 

1 comment:

  1. I just really loved reading this post - you're so funny I can't even handle it. Also, those bars are fucking delicious.