Warning! These brownies are not for the faint of heart. They are nothing short of true decadent indulgence. Layers of rich chocolate brownie, gooey peanut caramel, pillowy nougat and intense fudge frosting – if you like the candy bar, you will adore these.
This recipe was inspired by my mother. Snickers are her favorite candy bar, specifically the king size variety. Not necessarily because it is more Snickers (although that definitely doesn’t hurt), but because the proportions of chocolate to caramel to nougat actually change to varying degrees across the various form factors of the candy. According to mom, the king size Snickers has the absolute perfect proportions.
I’m not nearly as big a fan of the candy bar as my mother, but I do love the flavor combinations and the contrast in textures between the caramel, nuts and nougat. Now brownies, those I could eat daily, maybe multiple times a day. So I decided to take the Snickers candy bar and reinvent it as a super decadent brownie instead. To up the flavor, I do incorporate actual chunks of Snickers candy bars into the brownies, but I think the crowning glory on these is the pillowy soft home made chocolate peanut butter nougat.
If you’ve never made nougat before, it might seem intimidating, but, trust me – it really isn’t all that difficult. It comes down to timing, making sure that your egg whites are whipped to the right consistency when your syrup comes to the right temperature. Also, be prepared to work quickly once the nougat is at the right consistency (a soft fluffy dough, thicker than marshmallow cream and slightly pulling away from the sides of the bowl) so you can get it spread evenly over the brownies.
These are definitely more of an investment than a regular batch of brownies; more time, more effort, more ingredients and more dishes to clean so I wouldn’t say that they are a “go to” brownie recipe, but if you are looking for decadence and indulgence and maybe a little bit to impress, these are THE brownies to make.
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream
- ½ cup peanut butter crunchy
- 12 oz chocolate dark
- 1 cup butter unsalted
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 eggs large
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 10 fun size Snickers bars chopped
- 1 batch peanut caramel
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1 cup water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 egg whites large
- 4 oz chocolate milk
- 3 oz peanut butter creamy
- 6 tbsp milk
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 oz chocolate quality semi-sweet
Make the caramel:
- Place the sugar, water, and salt in a small saucepan with high sides over medium heat. Cook, swirling or shaking the pan occasionally until light amber in color. Immediately add ½ cup cream and vanilla. Continue cooking until firm ball stage (245°-250°).
- While the caramel is coming to temperature, heat the peanut butter and 2 tbsp cream in the microwave for about 30 seconds, stir until smoothly combined. As soon as the caramel is at temperature, immediately pour over the peanut butter mixture and stir until smoothly combined. Set aside.
Make the brownies:
- Pre heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease, or line with non-stick foil, a 9” x 13” brownie or cake pan.
- Place the dark chocolate, unsalted butter, and espresso powder in a large microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring after each just until the chocolate is fully melted. Whisk in the sugar, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs until well combined. Stir in the flour and cocoa powder just until the flour disappears. Fold in the chopped snickers.
- Spoon ½ the batter into the prepared pan, smooth out to the edges in an even layer. Drizzle the peanut caramel over the batter leaving about ½” around the perimeter of the pan. Spoon the remaining batter over the top of the caramel, gently smoothing to completely cover the caramel.
- Place the pan in the pre-heated oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes. The top will appear set, the brownies may wiggle slightly due to the melted caramel layer. Allow to cool while making the nougat.
Make the nougat:
- Melt together the chocolate and peanut butter, set aside.
- Combine sugar, water, corn syrup and salt in a 3 qt pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, attach a candy thermometer, and cook to 245°-250°. While the sugar mixture cooks, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- As soon as the sugar mixture reaches temperature, turn the stand mixer on to low and slowly drizzle the sugar mixture into the egg whites. Return the mixer to high and beat until the mixture looks like a dough (thicker than marshmallow cream and pulling away from the bowl slightly).
- Add the melted chocolate mixture to the mixer bowl and mix until combined. Spread the mixture over the top of the brownies using a silicone spatula press and spread it into an even layer.
Make the fudge frosting:
- Combine milk, butter, sugar, and cocoa in saucepan on stove. Turner on burner to medium. Stirring constantly, the mixture will heat and boil.
- When it hits a rolling boil, continue cooking and stir constantly for 1 minute. Use a timer.
- Remove from heat. Quickly add salt, vanilla, and chocolate chips.
- Stir continually until blended and creamy. Watch closely, the boiled icing will go from shiny to flat in color. This means it is cooling and starting to set. Pour the frosting over the nougat layer and very quickly spread with spatula.
- Allow the frosting to set completely before cutting into squares.