Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Bars

05cCookieBarbzLOWhere to start?

Rich came across this recipe in an email from the nice folk at Betty Crocker, and asked if I would make a batch.

Peanut butter cookie mix, melted caramel, salted peanuts, and marshmallow fluff – what’s not to love?

Oh, I added some dark chocolate chips to the top of mine because, well, it looked like the thing to do.

01aIngredientsbzLOGood call.

And, good find, Rich.

02bShapebzLO•1 pouch peanut butter cookie mix
•2 tbsp flour
•1 egg
•1/3 cup butter (5 tbsp + 1 tsp), melted
•2 tbsp heavy cream
•1 cup cocktail peanuts
•20 caramels
•1/2 cup marshmallow creme
•1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Line an eight inch square baking pan with parchment paper or heavy duty foil, allowing extra over the edges, and heat your oven to 350º.

03bCaramelbzLOLightly whisk the egg, then add the butter, cookie mix, and flour and stir until you have a thick dough.

For ease of dividing, shape the dough into a uniform square, as shown.

Divide the dough into thirds, then pat two thirds of the dough into the bottom of your lined baking pan.

Pop into the oven for ten minutes.

While the dough is in the oven, pour the cream over the unwrapped caramels in a ‘wave safe bowl and cook on high for one minute.

04aFluffbzLORemove from the ‘wave, stir, then return to the ‘wave for another 30 seconds.

Remove and stir until smooth.

Remove the dough from the oven after ten minutes, then pour the melted caramel and cream mixture over the top.

Sprinkle the peanuts over the caramel, then dot the top with the marshmallow creme.

05aCookieBarsbzLOCrumble the remaining third of the cookie dough over the top, then sprinkle with the dark chocolate chips.

Pop back into the oven for another 18 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove from theoven and allow to cool for two hours before cutting.

05bCutbzLONote: that parchment or heavy duty foil lining the pan works a treat for lifting the baked cookies out of the pan.

Cut into 16 bars and store in a covered container.

Nice cookie bars!

Now, before you take me to task for using a mix; read your labels. Betty Crocker cookie mixes do not have artificial flavors or colors added, and most of the ingredients are pretty straight forward.

You could do worse.

And, these are cookies, after all.

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