19 August 2013

Snicks



What's sweet, salty, peanut-y, chocolaty and caramelly all at once and doesn't need to be baked? These amazing little two-bite "snicks." Because they are like Snickers. Except not really nougat-y. Except yes, very similar! Except, way more healthy and free of preservatives and actually satisfying (look at those whole peanuts). Snicks, like Bit Coins, are simply a muffin tin-ized form of Bark (chocolate bark, that is). They are meant to be made when you've got nuts and baking chocolate in the house and didn't buy a Chocolove or Theo bar from the store.

And yet, the fact that I've been resorting to making Snicks lately and continually "forgetting" to buy bars when I could easily do so at the market across the street, compelled me to share these with you. 



I've been making these two different ways and have varied the ways within the ways a bit too in terms of size and amount, and I'm happy to say it's pretty freestyle in that regard. It all just depends on preference but the formula is the same. Firstly let me say that the mini muffin tin is a really great tool here. Being the one nonstick baking item I own, they release the set snicks rather easily. Also, it helps set and shape them. You could, of course make snickers "bark" on a parchment-lined sheet pan, or if you have candy molds, use those. But I like the muffin tin size and shape and facility for layering.

The first way I made these incorporated milk jam. I liked that a lot and it was a great way to use up the last two spoonfuls. The peanuts get stirred into some milk jam and nestled between two layers of melted chocolate (that's in the pictures here). They set up fine after some time in the freezer and/or fridge. You do of course, for this method, need to have made a batch of milk jam (which I highly suggest you do!)

But in all fairness, I said the point of these are the quickness. So if you do not have milk jam on hand or don't want to make it just for this, resort to this second method which I like equally well and have repeated several times. No corn syrup necessary. Honey and butter (see recipe for proportions) are simply heated to bubbling, peanuts, salt and vanilla stirred in off the heat, and the mixture is scooped into the tins, chilled a bit, then melted chocolate is poured atop, along with a sprinkle of coarse salt and it's chilled again. That's it.

You can store them in the fridge once they're set. Enjoy!

Snicks

Note: Below is the stovetop method. If using milk jam, simply mix the peanuts with the jam and use that as the filling instead. The yield and setting time will depend on how big/thick you make your snicks. Quantity below fills at least 4 mini muffin wells, more if you are more scant in your filling of the tins! Try it both ways : )

2-4 squares Bittersweet or Semi-sweet baking chocolate (I used this.)
2 slightly heaping Tablespoons dry roasted peanuts
Pinch sea salt
1/8 t vanilla
1/8 t coconut oil (optional but helps with emulsion) 
1 slightly heaping Tablespoon honey
1/2-1 teaspoon butter
Coarse salt

Start by making the peanut filling. On the stovetop under a medium-low flame, melt butter, honey, vanilla salt, until bubbling and getting a shade darker-it only takes a moment. Take it off the heat, stir in the peanuts. Set aside to cool a moment. Now take your muffin tin and evenly distribute the peanut mixture, pressing down with the back of a tablespoon or pinching if needed to stick together. Place in the freezer for a bit- maybe 10 minutes. You just want it set and cooled. Take it out of the freezer while you melt chocolate. Over a double boiler, melt chocolate and coconut oil, take off the heat and stir, cool for a second, then drip evenly atop the peanut mix in the wells. Pinch on a few grains coarse salt. Shake the pan a bit to even the chocolate batter in each well. Return to the freezer. I like to keep it in there for maybe 15 minutes, then move it to the fridge to harden further. After about an hour or so, release them from the pan and store in a container in the fridge.

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