When our dog, Muffy, the greatest squirrel hunter ever, passed on to that great kennel in the sky in 1988, our neighbor brought us a plate of Salted Nut Bars. I can remember taking a bite and wiping away tears at the same time...but whether I was, at that point, crying over Muffy or over the sensational taste of these simple bars, well, my memory fails me - but probably a little of both. I can't eat a Salted Nut Bar without thinking about Muffy - or without trying to remember the neighbor's name who gave us the bars and the recipe...written at the top of my recipe card is C. Kimball...Connie? Cheryl? Cathy? I have no idea but she gave us years and years of Salted Nut Bars - for which we're ever so grateful!
Salted Nut Bars fall into the "no-bake" category...but not the "no-bake crap" category...I know you all know what I'm taking about..."no-bake crap" is usually something like Cheerios thrown in with melted almond bark and then called "Cheer-E-O-Chocolate Drops" ...or melted chocolate chips poured over shredded wheat, or white chocolate dipped Grape Nut clusters...all crap...and these are definitely NOT that...these are rich, chewy, and the salted nuts provide all the crunch you could ever want, along with plenty of protein, thereby qualifying these as a health-food (in my world)!
Anyway you slice them, they're dang good...roll out the ol' meter, bang it 5 times, bring on the coma and put me to bed - these are definitely worth the chew!
Salted Nut Bars - Adapted from C. Kimball
2 jars (16 oz.) dry-roasted salted peanuts
4 tablespoons butter
1 bag (10 oz.) peanut butter chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 bag (16 oz.) miniature marshmallows
Grease bottom of 9x13-inch pan. Pour one jar of nuts into pan and spread into one layer, covering bottom of pan. Set aside. In a large saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter and peanut butter chips together, stirring as needed. Warm up can of sweetened condensed milk by running it under hot water or placing it in a bowl of hot water for about 5 minutes. Pour sweetened condensed milk into the chip/butter mixture and stir until blended. Remove from heat and add marshmallows and stir quickly. (Some of the marshmallows will melt, most will not, that's how you want them...overcooking and melting all the marshmallows will make for a very soft center.) Pour mixture over nuts in pan, covering all. Add remaining jar of nuts to the top of mixture and press down gently with the back of a spatula. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before cutting into 1x2-inch bars. Makes about 30 bars.