Shocking, isn't it?
But she did love candy--molasses mint chews, Dots, Jolly Ranchers, licorice whips, and Payday candy bars. Ahead of her time, Florence loved the contrast of sweet and salty. I thought about that today as I was shopping in the bulk foods section of our grocery store, and saw salted peanuts on sale.
For the uninitiated, the Payday candy bar is a creamy log of caramel surrounded by crunchy, salty peanuts. I'm in the mood for something sweet and I'd like to make something that replicates the flavor of a Payday, but candy-making on a hot summer day in July sounds just about as wacky as, well as not liking chocolate. Betty Crocker has a great recipe for "Easy Salted Peanut Chews". I'll give you her recipe, and then my version:
Betty Crocker's "Easy Salted Peanut Chews"
One pouch (1 lb. 1.5 oz.) Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
3 cups miniature marshmallows
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 tsp. vanilla
1 bag (10 oz.) peanut butter chips
2 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups salted peanuts
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
In large bowl stir cookie mix, oil, water, and egg until soft dough forms. Press dough in pan using floured fingers.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until set. Immediately sprinkle marshmallows over crust; bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or until marshmallows begin to puff.
In a 4-quart saucepan, cook corn syrup, butter, vanilla and peanut butter chips over low heat, stirring constantly, until chips are melted. Remove from heat; stir in cereal and peanuts. Immediately spoon cereal mixture over marshmallows. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm. Cut into 9 rows by 4 rows.
Yum! My version does not rely on a package of cookie mix; I would rather make my own peanut butter cookie dough, and so that's exactly what I did:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into dough. Press dough into pan as instructed above, and proceed with the remainder of Betty Crocker's recipe.