Friday, August 7, 2009

Homemade KitKat Bars


Of all the classic candy bars, I have the most nostalgic relationship with the KitKat. Well, the KitKat and the Life Savor, because those are the two treats my grandmother would always bring to my sister and me when she watched us as children, before settling into an evening with the Golden Girls (remember them?).


I have to admit that I haven't had a KitKat in years. It's not a treat I normally buy for myself, it's so much better when it comes as a gift. I'm not going to tell you that these little treats would ever pass for the real thing. If you wanted something that tasted just like the Hersey's original, I'm sure there's a convenience store within easy access where you can just buy one. This is a slightly more inspired version, with a few more layers of flavor: peanut butter, butterscotch, chocolate, and the slight salt of the club crackers. Intrigued? Here's the recipe, right after a quick note.

As you may know if you've been reading along, I'm working on a PhD in art history. This week, I began studying for my oral exams, and will be on kind of a brutal schedule until December, when I sit for them. So things might slow down a little around here. And the focus will probably shift toward things that are quick to prepare and make for good leftovers. But to make it up to you, I've got a little something special coming up in the form of my first giveaway! So check back in a couple of days. Okay, onto the recipe.

Homemade KitKat Bars
From Paula Dean's Best Desserts

75 club crackers (I didn't actually count, just buy a box of crackers)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups gram cracker crumbs (from about 14 graham cracker sheets)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk (I used 1/2 and 1/2)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup cream peanut butter
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup butterscotch-flavored morsels

In an ungreased 13x9" baking sheet, put a layer of club crackers. You may need to cut a few in order to cover the entire base. I cut 2 crackers in half to lay them on the side.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the graham cracker crumbs, the brown sugar, the milk and the white sugar. I made the graham cracker crumbs simply by putting around 14 sheets of crackers in my mini food processor (in batches) and processing until they reached the consistency of fine crumbs.

Boil the mixture for 5 minutes (starting the timer the moment you start to see bubbles) and stir the entire time. Remove from the heat, and spread half of the mixture over the crackers already in the baking pan. I used an off-set spatula for this, but that's not necessary. Lay another layer of club crackers over the butter mixture. At this point, I returned the remaining half of the butter mixture to the heat for under one minute to get it flowing again. Spread the remainder of the butter mixture over the second layer of crackers. Add a final layer of crackers over the top.

In a small saucepan, melt the last three ingredients together, then spread this mixture over the third layer of crackers. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Cut into bars and store in the refrigerator.

17 comments:

The Cooking Photographer said...

These are really neat! How cool is that, homemade KitKats!! (I feel my inner kid jumping up and down lol)

Kristen said...

Oh my gosh - I love Kit Kats! I am soooo making these.

The Food Librarian said...

These look great! Good luck studying for those oral exams!

POD said...

That Paula Dean is going to croak on camera. But those bars look fantastic.

captaintodd said...

These are wonderful. The salty crackers and subtle pb and bscotch mix are perfection! I can't believe I've never had these before.

Snooky doodle said...

Delicious! these are better than the real KIT KAT much bigger ! :)

Ago said...

Ohhh I Love it!!! That's so gooodd!!! :-D

Bethie said...

Holy cow! These look better than the real deal.

Ricki said...

I used to LOVE KitKats--these look sooooo good! But I don't remember them having peanut butter--is this a new twist?

Ah, yes, I remember PhD orals (not too fondly, sorry). Best of luck with it--I'm sure you'll do wonderfully well! :)

Anonymous said...

are these as good as Joanie's peanut butter and chocolate bars?

Peabody said...

I have this recipe somehwere and have always wanted to try it. Yours look fantastic. Makes me want to have one...now!

Donna-FFW said...

How awesome do homemade kit kats sound!!

Zoe said...

love kitkats too! They are way underrated.

Andrew's Mom said...

Those look great - and I still love the Golden Girls -I watch them on WE and Hallmark all the time - my husband wants to do an intervention!

Dana said...

Those look amazing, a million times better than the real thing.

Liesl said...

Someone at my work made these once and I couldn't believe how good they were!!!! I keep meaning to make them but never get around to it...thanks for putting it back into my brain!! YUM!

The P & A Food Chronicles said...

oooo.. this makes me wanna stop my diet... LOL