Monday, September 12, 2005

Peanut Brittle Bars

You might find yourself wondering if I like Maida Heatter. If you are, you must be very bored. This also must be the first time you are visiting bakingsheet.
These are Peanut Brittle Bars. The recipe comes from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies(thank you Cathy). Maida says these remind her of peanut brittle candy. I know how addictive peanut brittle is, so once I saw how simple these were, I immediately set about baking a batch.
Once I was done, I noticed that Maida used a picture of them on the cover of the book. The bars are salty, crunchy, buttery, peanutty and dead easy. They are a bit more reminiscent of shortbread than brittle, so they tend to crumble as you eat them instead of snapping. You'll probably get a slightly chewier cookie by using brown sugar, but why mess with perfection? Go crunchy and use a napkin.

Peanut Brittle Bars
from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 cups sifted ap flour
1 cup roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped and divided

Preheat oven to 375F.
Cream together butter and sugar. Gradually add flour, mixing at low speed, until fully incorporated. Stir in 1/2 cup of the peanuts.
Turn batter into ungreased jelly roll pan (10x15) and, after flouring your fingertips, press batter into thin layer. Evenly sprinkle remaining peanuts into the pan. Cover dough with a piece of wax paper and press peanuts into the dough, smoothing the mixture into an even layer. Remove wax paper.
Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Let cookies cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then slice into bars. Let the bars cool completely in the pan. They will be quite firm when completely cooled. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 24 bars.