Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Scarecrow Bars

There's nothing scary about these Scarecrow Bars ... except maybe that you'll be tempted to eat more of them than you should.

As always, I did a lot of baking for the Stafford United Methodist Women bazaar. It gave me an opportunity to create a few recipes in my "try sometime" pile. A few of the Scarecrow Bars got diverted to serve for dessert on Saturday when Jill's family, my Mom and Dad and brother were here for lunch. They got good reviews.

And, since I was co-hostess for PEO last night after a full day of manning the goodie table at the UMW bazaar, I took an assortment of the nine different cookie varieties I'd created for the bazaar to share with the ladies, along with a tray of cheeses, apples and grapes. (I should have taken a photo of that: It was mighty pretty, too, and a whole lot better for you than these bars and their friends on the cookie tray.)

I got recipe requests for these Scarecrow Bars last night. So, here it is. It would be a fun addition to the snack table at your Thanksgiving gatherings. If you want to make these bars for the Christmas season or a holiday cookie exchange, I have seen green and red candy corn on occasion. You could probably include holiday M & Ms, but I wouldn't guarantee that they wouldn't melt into the hot topping mixture. I haven't experimented with that yet. But a little melted chocolate never hurts, does it?
Scarecrow Bars
Adapted from Cookies and Cups blog
1 (18.25 oz.) yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups honey roasted peanuts
1 cup candy corn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9- by 13-inch pan with nonstick spray. In your stand mixer, combine cake mix, egg and butter. Beat on medium-low speed until a thick batter comes together. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes until the edges of the crust are lightly browned.

While crust is baking, make topping. In a medium saucepan, combine corn syrup and both sugars, heating over medium heat until it starts to boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter. Return back to the stove top on the lowest setting until the crust is done baking. You don't want to continue cooking the peanut butter mixture or it will burn; you just want to keep it warm. (I just turned it off and left it on top of the warm burner. That worked fine, but I have an electric stove.)

As soon as the crust is done, sprinkle with marshmallows and put back in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes or until the marshmallows puff. Remove immediately.

While the marshmallows are puffing, mix peanuts, Rice Krispies and candy corn into the peanut butter mixture. Stir until evenly coated. Immediately spread over the marshmallows as soon as the bars come out of the oven.

Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

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