Thursday, February 24, 2011

Paula Deen Edition: Give her a break

What a coincidence: Paula Deen was the guest of honor on "Top Chef" last night (fellow Georgian Richard Blais greeted her with deep-fried mayonnaise, which I think should become a tradition in my native state).

And I made a Paula Deen recipe this week. The reason: Bake sales.

The bake sale obligation does not end when your child leaves elementary school. When you are a known cook, you will be asked to cough up a few dozen of something on quick notice. It's wise to always have a few easy, crowd-pleasing recipes that people will pay for like it's gold coated with crack. And is there a better description for a Paula Deen recipe?

I had an office bake sale coming up (a good cause, raising money for the very fund-worthy Arts & Science Council) when I spotted Paula Deen's Homemade Kit-Kat Bars making the rounds on a couple of Web sites. Club crackers coated with boiled sugar and melted chocolate goop? I am so there.

Paula Deen's Homemade Kit-Kat Bars

75 Club crackers (about 1 1/2 sleeves)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 butterscotch chips

Line a 13-by-9-inch rectangular baking pan with crackers. (The original recipe called for breaking crackers to fill in the edges. But I later realized it wasn't necessary. I'll explain later.)

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs, dark brown sugar, milk and granulated sugar. Bring to a boil. (Because the graham cracker crumbs make the mixture sort of thick, I never saw it actually boiling. It was more a question of listening for bubbly boiling noises. Just keep stirring so it doesn't burn.) Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Pour half of the sugar mixture over the crackers and spread out with a flat or offset spatula. (This is the one place I had trouble. The sticky sugar goop made the crackers shift around like cracked sidewalk pavers. It would have helped to have a little room to push the first cracker layer back into place, and broken pieces of cracker made that more difficult.)

Arrange another layer of crackers over the sugar layer. Top with the other half of the hot sugar mixture. Top with a third layer of crackers.

Combine the peanut butter, chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a small saucepan. Melt, stirring, over medium-low heat. Spread evenly over the top cracker layer, scooching a little melted chocolate into any open edges.

Let stand two hours (I cheated and went for one hour, which worked fine). Refrigerate at least two hours or overnight. Cut into long pieces. (A good tip for protecting your baking pan: Use a bench knife, a long, straight-edged cutter, to press down through bars cookies without sliding a knife and scratching your pan. In this case, I cut straight down through the middle long-wise, then cut each half into thin sticks about 1 1/2 inches wide.) Package 2 bars in sandwich bags or wrap in plastic and seal to strangers or your closest co-workers.


Anonymous said...

Give me a break!

Anonymous said...

Wow that's a lot of work but they sure sound good. The part I really don't like is putting the sticky sugar stuff on the crackers, but the crackers won't stay still!

Anonymous said...

Paula Deen has a recipe for a good cold fish.

Anonymous said...

Emmy Lou Harris' hair is prettier than Paula's.

Anonymous said...

Julie & Julia / Kat & Paula

Anonymous said...

That Deen woman induces me to vomit.

Anonymous said...

Well, clog my arteries. Deep-fried mayo. Paula Deen is fat and unhealthy because that's the food she eats and promotes. Unhealthy diets. Disgusting.

A Taurus Tested said...

You guys need a life. We can abuse our bodies in do many different ways. Its not what goes in the body that harms us its what comes out our mouths. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

anonymous is virulent

cool arrow said...

WTF? Last time I checked Kit Kat's don't have crackers in them. This recipe doesn't sound very good at all.

MonaLisaK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MonaLisaK said...

Rule of thumb,
If you can't say anything nice...
Don't say anything at all.

Love Paula Deen she is a wonderful southern lady.

And God bless everyone, especially Anonymous.


Aliesha ♥ said...

What is the problem with some people? Dont u guys have better things to do than bad-mouthing others. Are ur body so perfect to condemn someone who has the heart to share something with others? Have u tried it yet to say it's not good? Shame on u. And if u think the beautiful woman is fat n unhealthy, why r u checking out on her recipe? U dont like what she shared, then just move on to other recipe or other chefs that u think promotes healthy foods n not disgusting. Someone else can appreciate better what some of u considered unhealthy and disgusting. What disgust me the most is condemning others when all u r is Anonymous.

Anonymous said...


Kara said...

I don't like Paula Deen. For a lot of reasons. But O!M!G! this recipe sounds good.

And whoever was confused about the crackers? They will soak up the sugar but retain some of the crispness just like the wafers in real kitkats!