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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Payday Cookie Bars

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Every year after treat or treating as children, my parents never deprived us of our candy. They let us keep our spoils and put up with the month-long sugar high that the four of us lived all November. Bless them. (Or curse them, for my blasted sweet tooth!)

Though they let us keep our candy, my dad did require us to 'pay taxes' each year. This was my first introduction to the idea of taxes and I've been a little bitter toward the word ever since! Luckily for me, my dad's candy of choice was the Payday Candy Bar and I was happy to hand that over so long as he didn't touch my Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or Whatchamacallit (do they still sell these?!). 
Because my dad always swiped my Payday Candy Bars on October 31st, I don't know that I've ever had more than a bite of when. However, when I saw a recipe for Payday Cookie Bars on Framed Cooks, I was immediately intrigued. Rice krispies, marshmallows, peanuts, and peanut butter chips? Those are flavors I can appreciate! Maybe my dad was onto something...

I don't actually know how authentic these are to the candy bar. My research shows that the candy bar has a lot more peanuts and a solid caramel filling. Similar or not, these were a tasty little dessert bar. The top half of the bar was, unsurprisingly, my favorite part. If I made these again, I might attempt a homemade base. I've also seen variations that use a peanut butter cookie crust (yum!). Using the yellow cake mix was still yummy and very easy, but let me know if you go a different route!
What's your favorite candy bar these days?

One Year Ago: Pesto Quiche with Oatmeal Crust (one of my favorite egg dishes!)
Two Years Ago: Chickpea Spinach Stew

Payday Cookie Bars

for the cookie layer-
-1 box of yellow cake mix
-2/3 cup butter
-1 egg

for the marshmallow layer-
-2 cups mini marshmallows

for the topping-
-1 bag peanut butter chips
-2 tbsp butter
-2/3 cup corn syrup
-2 cups crispy rice cereal
-2 cups salted peanuts (I used a combination of dry roasted and spanish peanuts)

1. Mix the cake mix, butter, and egg until combined. Press mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are golden.
2. Sprinkle marshmallows over the baked crust and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
3. To make the topping, melt peanut butter chips, butter, and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and add cereal and peanuts. Once combined, spread mixture evenly over the base. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares (I chilled mine before cutting, which made it easier).