Even after attempting the homemade Twix and deciding I’d prefer the real thing instead, I still had one more candy bar to try and replicate: Snickers. According to the description on the official web site, a Snickers bar is packed with roasted peanuts, nougat, caramel, and milk chocolate. A delicious combination and not particularly intimidating except for the nougat part. Up until this point, I was a nougat novice.
I searched Pinterest for a recipe and found one from TheFrugalGirls.com that had an impressive 631 repins. Apparently I wasn’t the only one interested in this experiment. The recipe looked fairly labor-intensive with the four different layers, but at least it didn’t require turning on the oven like the Twix did (which made me very happy considering the 100-degree temps we’ve been having).
The ingredients are as follows. They’re more or less pretty basic, except that I don’t generally have caramels, marshmallow creme, or peanuts in my pantry.
Bottom Chocolate Layer:
1 ¼ cups milk chocolate chips
¼ cup peanut butter
¼ cup melted unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup evaporated milk
1 ½ cups marshmallow fluff
¼ cup peanut butter
1 ½ cups salted peanuts
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 – 14 oz. bag of caramels
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
Top Chocolate Layer:
2/3 cup milk chocolate chips
2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup peanut butter
The first chocolate layer was a breeze—just melted chocolate chips and peanut butter, which I spread into my baking dish lined with greased aluminum foil. I put it in the fridge to harden up while I started on the nougat layer.
Surprisingly, this concoction did actually have the taste and texture of nougat. And after folding in the chopped peanuts, I started to get excited about the growing resemblance to a Snickers bar. As the recipe says, you definitely need to work quickly when you spread the nougat layer over the chocolate layer, because the chocolate will begin to melt.
Next up, the caramel layer. I preferred this method of simply melting caramel squares with the whipping cream, as opposed to making the caramel from scratch like the Twix recipe. Much less room for error this way. It took about 3-4 minutes in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. The caramel was fairly runny, so it basically spread itself when I poured it over the hardened nougat layer. And back in the fridge it went.
Finally, I melted more chocolate chips and peanut butter for the top chocolate layer and spread it over the caramel. By this time about two hours had passed since I started the recipe, but keep in mind that some of that was simply waiting for the layers to cool off.
About an hour later, I was able to finally indulge in my homemade Snickers while indulging in the season finale of “Mistresses,” my summer-time guilty pleasure (and ironically the show I swore I’d never watch when I saw the previews, but I digress). First, of course, I had to compare the copycat version to the real thing. They certainly looked pretty similar. The individual layers in the homemade version had held up pretty well, and it was also easy to cut into bars. The caramel didn’t harden up as much as it had with the Twix. So how did the DIY Snickers stack up according to my taste buds?
Delicious! I could detect a subtle difference in the nougat—mine seemed more sugary, although it’s possible I was just experiencing a sweets overload in general at this point. But overall the taste and texture of the homemade version were strikingly similar to the real thing. The proportion of the layers seemed well-balanced, too. In my books, this taste test was more of a success than the Twix, and I would actually consider making it again someday. (Although not anytime soon; my sweet tooth is taking a much-needed hiatus.)
Thanks to the Snickers experiment, I discovered that it is in fact possible to make a pretty respectable candy bar copycat. And with no preservatives or non-pronounceable ingredients, which is probably part of the appeal. If you do try this recipe for yourself, make sure you have plenty of friends, co-workers, or neighbors to share with. I’m willing to bet they’ll be more than happy to help out.
Amanda Dolechek is a Kansas native who graduated from Kansas State University in 2006 with a degree in Human Ecology & Mass Communications. Currently a marketing writer/editor for a worldwide company based in Wichita, KS, she also writes for fun on her DIY blog, Little House on the Corner. When not typing away at the keyboard, she can be found walking her two dogs with her husband, trying out a new recipe, perusing clearance racks for a great bargain, planning her next vacation, or indulging in reality TV shows like Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor. You can find more of her musings on Twitter @adolechek.