Well, candy making is a powerful incentive, and I finished last night, a full five days before school starts. It is unprecedented in my life to finish so far before a deadline, that is how much I have been looking forward to trying this treat.
The Frito candy is made up of pretzels, Fritos and peanut butter cups, all topped with a quick brown sugar caramel and chocolate. I love the interplay of sweet and salty, so I was excited.
I make a chocolate caramel matzah candy for Passover that is very similar to this, with matzah as the base layer instead of the pretzels and chips. It is outstanding, no matter how much I make people always request more. I once drove more than 30 miles across town to trade some eggs for more passover margarine in order to make “just one more batch” at everyone’s request.
Given the success of the matzah candy, I figured the same idea had to be good with pretzels and fritos. Since I was planning on serving it to houseguests rather than with a meat meal, it did not have to be parve, so I decided to experiment with making half of the batch parve and the other dairy to taste the difference.
I am surprised to report that my husband and I both actually prefer the parve version. The candy is so rich that the butteriness of the caramel in the dairy version pushed it over the top. It was almost too much, whereas the parve version tasted just right to me (in a still rich over the top kind of a way). I also preferred my homemade peanut butter bar scraps that I used in place of the Reese’s peanut butter cups, because with only one side coated in chocolate they added a stronger peanut butter flavor to the candy as a whole. (I keep scraps from my peanut butter bars in the freezer to use as brownie mix-ins, and that is what I used here).
This treat is in no way elegant, but it is a fun and delicious and absolutely worth making.
Parve Recipe (adapted from Cookie Madness, here
is the original dairy version)
2 cups pretzels
1 cup fritos
1/2 cup chopped peanut butter bar bits
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a 13 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper.
Place pretzels in the food processor and pulse to break. Add Fritos and pulse to break–don’t pulverize. Dump them into the pan and discover peanut butter bars over the mix.
Melt margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and bring to a full boil. Boil for 1 minute. Pour sugar mixture over pretzel mixture and bake for 8 minutes.
Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips, return the pan to the oven for 1 minute and spread the chocolate into an even layer.
Cool at room temperature and then place the pan in the freezer to set the chocolate. Break the candy into pieces. Store in the freezer until ready to serve.
Note: I prefer this served cold, right out of the freezer, but it can also be served at room temperature.