These chocolate peanut butterscotch bars are a tasty and toothsome treat inspired by my pal Erin’s “peanut chews,” from her fab book Procrastibaking. Dessert bar recipes are some of my favorite kinds and if the recipe is for an easy dessert bar that is basically the best dessert bar recipe around (aka these chocolate peanut butterscotch bars) then I am truly excited.
Moreover this easy dessert bar recipe calls for one of my all-time favorite ingredients: marshmallows! Here’s how it all comes together: First, you scatter some salted peanuts on the bottom of an 8x8x2-inch pan. Then, on the stove top, you melt some butterscotch chips, butter salt (because salt makes everything better – and is especially good at cutting the sweetness of an uber-sweet ingredient, like butterscotch chips), marhies, sweetened condensed milk (another one of my favorite ingredients) and vanilla. Once melted, you pour the mixture over the nuts in the pan, sprinkle another layer of nuts on top and – voila – you’re (almost) done.
Next, you melt some milk chocolate (my favorite and I’m not afraid to say so) with a tiny bit of corn syrup (for shine) and spread the chocolate over the peanuts. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt (if you know what is good for you and let chill til firm. The bars that you’ll remove from your fridge about an hour and change later, will have been some of the easiest you have ever prepared and, dare I say, some of the tastiest.
Chocolate Peanut Butterscotch Bars
- 2 cups salted peanuts roughly chopped and divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup milk chocolate
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- flaky sea salt for sprinkling
- Grease an 8x8x2-inch pan with cooking spray or softened butter and line with parchment paper.
- Scatter 1 cup of peanuts on the bottom of the prepared pan.
- In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, melt the butter, butterscotch chips, marshmallows and sweetened condensed milk, stirring occasionally with a flexible spatula.
- Once melted add the vanilla and salt and stir to combine.
- Pour over the layer of peanuts in the pan and scatter the remaining peanuts over the top. It may not look like enough to cover the whole layer of peanuts, but it will. You may need to nudge it a bit into the corners.
- Warm the chocolate, corn syrup and heavy cream in the microwave, in 30 second bursts, stirring after each one, until the chocolate is melted smooth. Or, warm them on the stovetop in a small bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring frequently.
- Pour the chocolate over the second layer of peanuts, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and place in the refrigerator to firm up, about 2 hours.
- Serve slices chilled or at room temp. The bars will last up to a week wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator.