Friday, April 1, 2011

Georgia Cookie Candy

After two glorious weeks basking in the Florida sunshine, we arrived home a few days ago to bone chilling temperatures. Mind you, 26ºF really isn’t that cold when one has been used to it for a few months now, but coming from 88º weather, one can forget what cold is like really quick. If there is an upside to dealing with the less than favorable weather, it would be the excuse to stretch the comfort foods out a little longer. 

My inspiration for making these cookies was a layover we had in Atlanta on the way to Orlando. My husband has a very soft spot for the city of Atlanta for a few reasons, so the Hartsfield Airport shops for him are like watching a kid in a candy store. As he was browsing and slightly salivating, I did as well - minus the salivating part - and came across a cookbook, A Taste of Georgia. As I skimmed the cookbook, I knew I had to have it in my arsenal of cookbooks.

As we were leaving the shop, I passed an issue of Paula Deen's magazine. She is the queen of southern cooking - and my kind of lady. Butter smothered on everything, full fat ingredients, Oh yeah. As I flipped through it, 18 of those annoying subscription cards floated out. As I picked them up, (yes, I pick them up) I noticed these cookies on one of them. They looked very interesting and right up my alley. I took one of those cards and decided to use it for a bookmark during my holiday reading, only so I could remember to make these cookies in the near future.

Welcome to the future. I thought today was as good as any to give these a whirl. They are incredibly simple to make and have the all important moan factor.

Don't worry if the words, 'Oh my ya'll!' fly out of your mouth while eating them.

I got used to it after the 3rd piece.

Recipe adapted and slightly modified from Paula Deen's original recipe

Just a note: With this recipe, I recommend using the best chocolate and peanut butter ingredients you can afford. You can and will really taste the difference!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup crunchy peanut butter - If you don't have crunchy peanut butter, add ¼ cup chopped peanuts to the mix. The crunchy helps awesomeize these!
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
1½ cups crispy rice cereal

Line a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan with foil.

Combine the butter, peanut butter, and and graham cracker crumbs in a food processor. I used a hand mixer to see if a food processor was really necessary. It isn't and worked just as well. I also didn't have crunchy peanut butter on hand, so I added ¼ cup chopped peanuts to the mix.

Add sugar and mix well. This is what it will look like using a hand mixer.

Press into the foil-lined pan using your hands or a spatula.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water.  You can microwave the chocolate as well, but I find that the chocolate can seize up on you really quick, so it's safer to use the double broiler method.

Pour the cereal over the peanut butter mixture. Using a spatula, spread chocolate over cereal, making sure to cover bars in it's entirety.

Chill for several hours. When ready to serve, allow the candy to come to room temperature before cutting into pieces.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yield: 36-40 pieces.

Happy Baking!

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