Several times a year I get together with my two sisters, my niece and my daughter for what we call a SOTT (Sisterhood of the Traveling Tiara) day to celebrate a birthday. We each bring new foods and desserts to share throughout the day. It’s a festival of snacking! The food is usually to accompany a couple of chick flicks that would have bored our men anyway, and maybe a new craft we wanted to try out. So, often when I’m online surfing blogs and sites for recipes I bookmark them. Then when a SOTT is coming up I have a whole list to choose from, usually on both of my computers!
My sister Linda emailed me a link to a recipe for Fritos bars a few weeks ago. They looked so good and I immediately decided I must try them, possibly for our next get-together. I love Fritos even crumbled in my lettuce salads, so this was definitely speaking my name! But looking at the bars on the site Linda’s link took me to, I thought they seemed messy and just not right.
I then did a Google search for Fritos bars and found the Jennifer Cooks website that I thought had a much better spin on the bars. Do you ever do that? I will have an idea of what I want the food to look like and keep searching the Google images until the right picture makes me want to lick my monitor. Well, depending on where I am and how hungry I am!
Jennifer seemed to have a better understanding on how to handle the bars. They’re very similar to the old tried and true Special K Bars recipe I’ve made many times over the years.
Crushing the Fritos a bit made them much more manageable. Then stirring the ingredients all together in a large bowl before spreading them into the pan was a smarter way to better blend the flavors. The original recipe had called for just dumping the warm mixture over the chips in the pan. I could imagine chips not being coated with the peanut butter mixture and falling all over as you tried to eat a bar. Not cool. Yep, Jennifer had it right!
People give me skeptical looks when I say I’ve found a new recipe called Fritos bars. Yet those who are true foodies just look surprised and say “Oh yes! A good blending of sweet and salty!” Those are my kind of people. At our SOTTs we usually eat lunch in house or out at a restaurant, then a dessert bar later, followed by salty snacks awhile after that. We joke about craving a nibble of salty things after we have our sweets to balance out our day. Based on that, it’s a win/win situation with these treats. Sweet and salty, and sweet, and salty… etc. You can concentrate on whichever part you’re in the mood for!
10 1/2 ounces Fritos corn chips, lightly crushed
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 ½ cups milk chocolate chips
Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside.
Place corn chips and peanuts into a large bowl.
In a saucepan, bring the sugar and corn syrup just to a boil over medium heat. Watch it carefully, it is easy to boil a minute too long and the bars will get pretty chewy! Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Pour into bowl of chips and nuts and stir gently until coated.
Pour corn chip mixture into greased baking pan and spread evenly.
Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute; stir and then microwave for 30 seconds more, if necessary to melt.
Drizzle melted chocolate over Frito Bars and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, cut into squares and serve.
Jennifer’s recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips but I just melted a whole 11.5 ounce bag, about 2 cups of chips. Finding there was too much chocolate to drizzle prettily like she did, I spread the chocolate over the entire top with a small frosting knife. The extra chocolate adds a few more calories, but hey they were already dripping with sugar calories, people! But you could cut back on the chocolate if you really must cut some calories.
Calculating the calories on my favorite calorie counting site, I found that when cut into 36 fairly uniform-sized bars, each bar has 184 calories. Not a diet food by any means, but definitely worth a nice splurge now and then. You could freeze them in plastic bags by ones and twos and ration them out to yourself to avoid a serious binge of calories. I’ve done that. Often. And it’s nice to preserve them longer by freezing them. We have just the two of us here and that’s a lot of bars and calories to eat all at once, before they start growing fur and walking away! But this time I am the one who decided the recipe was definitely a “keeper”.