Salted Caramel Peanut Bars

by Shawnda on May 10, 2011

in Candy,Chocolate,Cookies and Bars

Pay Day candy bars are one of my guilty pleasures. When we take a road trip, there are three things that we have to grab at a quick pit-stop before getting on the highway: A bag of Funyuns, a Diet Pepsi, and a PayDay. When it comes to sitting in the car for hours, I prefer to spend the time honing my “empty calorie intake” skills.

It ain’t fancy. It’s probably more than a little shameful. And it’s a lot salty. But it’ll serve as lunch between here and Austin, a trip that takes far too long when you’ve got a big bowl of Kerbey Queso in the front of your mind and a teething toddler in the backseat.

Salted Caramel Peanut Bars

These Salted Caramel Peanut Bars are a dressed-up version of a treat we saw in an issue Everyday Food a while back. We used homemade salted caramel that was studded with pretty flecks of vanilla bean, added more peanuts, and added a chocolate layer. It’s fancier. And still probably more than a little shameful. But it’s delicious.

Salted Caramel Peanut Bars

A simple candy bar gets a makeover with salted caramel, chocolate, and vanilla bean.


  • 2 1/2 cups roasted/salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 recipe caramels (or see note below)*
  • 6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • Cooking spray


  1. Liberally grease the bottom and sides of an 8x8 pan.
  2. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of peanuts over the bottom of the pan (the bottom should almost be completely covered).
  3. Pour caramel sauce over the peanuts, tilting the pan to spread it evenly.
  4. Heat chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts until completely melted. Pour over the caramel layer and spread evenly.
  5. Immediately top with remaining peanuts and let completely cool. Cut into 8 bars (or 16 squares) and store individually wrapped for a to-go treat. (I kept them in the fridge.)


Yields: 8-16

Inspired by Everyday Food

Estimated time: 30 minutes

*If you want a faster version, the original recipe called for cooking 50 unwrapped caramels, 1 cup mini marshmallows, and 1 Tbsp of water over medium heat until melted and combined. You can still add a pinch of salt and vanilla bean scrapings to the quickie version for a more flavorful caramel.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: