How to turn twenty: 1. Lie around all day, doing nothing, in various locations around your home like your bed, deck, kitchen floor, etc. 2. Bake something from one of your many cookbooks because that's why you bought them and it is getting pretty ridiculous that half your room is covered with them. But this is just a theory. 3. Try White Russians on for size, Big Lebowski style. Get a little too loopy, Big Lebowski style. Wear your Big Lebowski shirt that your awesome big brother got you, Big Lebowski style.
Finally step 4. Pay the consequences for taking step three too seriously but reap the benefits of accomplishing step two. How I will miss these four steps as university starts today and drinking White Russians in class is frowned upon. Maybe if they are disguised as iced lattés, it could work. Only joking! ..unless you agree in which case I'm totally serious. Kidding (?)
These would be amazing if they were dipped in a White Russian. Last drink reference, promise. These bars are pretty glorious themselves. They have all of the key ingredients of a Peanut Buster Parfaits from DQ minus the ice cream. If you throw a scoop of ice-cream on top, you got yourself a deal. One key thing here, which isn't necessary but actually is, is the caramel. This caramel. It truly makes everything and anything better. It would even be good in a White Russian (don't fight it.)Hot Fudge, Peanut Butter and Caramel Bars
Adapted from beloved Buns In My Oven and Martha Stewart's fudge sauce
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
hot fudge sauce*
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp corn syrup
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
rest of the top
1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky it up)
1/2 cup caramel sauce*
1 cup dark brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 (I did two 8 x 8 inch pans) baking dish with parchment. In the bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 whole egg and the yolks of 2 eggs. Set aside the egg whites for the topping. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and beat until fully incorporated. Spread the batter in the prepared baking dish. It will be thick, so just use your fingers to smoosh it all around the pan.
Combine heavy cream and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until bubbles barely break the surface. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted. Measure out 1/2 cup of the hot fudge sauce (there will be extra) and place it in a separate bowl. Add the peanut butter and mix until fully combined and is a pourable consistency.
Pour over the batter in the baking dish and spread to cover. Pour the caramel over as well. Beat the 2 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold in the brown sugar gently. Spread this over the hot fudge and peanut butter. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom crust is cooked through, but not crunchy. Cool and then cut into bars and serve. Makes about 32 squares.
* You can totes use store bought fudge sauce but why do that? And homemade caramel sauce is the bomb too. Do it up.