Salted Nut Squares

This is one of those recipes that I’m almost embarrassed to share. Don’t get me wrong. These little squares are quite tasty. It’s just that they’re so easy to make that it seems almost wrong.

Salted Nut Squares | Bake or Break

There’s plenty to like about these salty treats. First of all, peanut butter is always welcome with my taste buds. That is, of course, enhanced by all the peanuts. And, for a girl who really is not a fan of them, the marshmallows work beautifully. Plus, they have that wonderful sweet and salty thing going for them.

Salted Nut Squares | Bake or Break

With only 5 ingredients and no baking involved, you can have these bars whipped up in short order. As much as most of us bake around the holidays, this is a perfect recipe to have in your arsenal for parties and gifts.

Salted Nut Squares

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Yield: about 30 bars

Salted Nut Squares

Ingredients

  • 3 cups salted peanuts (no skins), divided
  • 2 & 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • kosher salt or sea salt, optional

Instructions

Place 1 & 1/2 cups peanuts in the bottom of an ungreased 11″x 7″ pan.

Melt butter and peanut butter chips in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir until smooth.

Remove from heat. Stir in condensed milk and marshmallows. Continue stirring until smooth and well-blended.

Pour peanut butter mixture over peanuts in pan. Sprinkle remaining 1 & 1/2 cups peanuts over top of peanut butter mixture. If saltier bars are desired, sprinkle lightly with salt.

Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Then, cut into bars. Bars can be served chilled or at room temperature.

Notes

These can be made in a 9″x 13″ pan. Use another cup of peanuts, divided between the bottom of the pan and the top of the bars. The same amount of filling will work and give you slightly thinner bars.

Recipe slightly adapted from Taste of Home.

http://www.bakeorbreak.com/2011/12/salted-nut-squares/

78 Comments

  1. sweetroad December 5, 2011 Reply

    These look so smooth and peanut butter-y. I love peanut butter desserts because they aren’t too sweet- they have that nice saltiness too!

  2. Nan December 5, 2011 Reply

    I think these would ship well. Hint, hint.

    Will definitely try these! They sound good…and easy!

  3. betty December 5, 2011 Reply

    I love to combine sweet and salty things, the best is that they only need 5 ingredients, I want to make them!

  4. Choc Chip Uru December 6, 2011 Reply

    This looks both easy and super delicious with no effort – cant wait to try it and add it to my baking blog!!!

  5. Lucy December 6, 2011 Reply

    Yum — those look so easy…I think I might complicate them a little and add a layer of melted chocolate. Can’t wait to try them!

    • jennifer December 6, 2011 Reply

      Lucy, it is only due to a huge amount of restraint on my behalf that I didn’t do exactly that. I have some leftovers, so it may happen yet!

  6. Jenni December 6, 2011 Reply

    Wow, these look amazing! I am pretty sure I would eat the whole pan by myself. Unless my husband beat me to it!

  7. Tom December 6, 2011 Reply

    Hey Jen try adding some carmel to the center of it like a payday candy bar..http://recipes.calputer.com/hershey-payday-candy-bar-recipe.html

    • jennifer December 7, 2011 Reply

      Tom, I’m not sure I could take all of that at the same time! Those could be dangerous.

  8. Lynda @ healthy hoboken girl December 6, 2011 Reply

    Jennifer it was so nice to meet you at the cookie swap! Your blog is beautiful. I love the photos, and your story. Let’s stay in touch and be baking buddies!

    Have a great holiday season!

    • jennifer December 6, 2011 Reply

      Lynda, it was great to meet you, too! Happy holidays!

  9. Mochene December 7, 2011 Reply

    These make me think of Payday bars.

  10. Michelle December 14, 2011 Reply

    Making these asap. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  11. The Food Hunter December 14, 2011 Reply

    I love how simple these are.

  12. sharon gilliam April 7, 2012 Reply

    I make these for Christmas every year! They are my top requested sweet but they are so so easy to make. And yes, taste like a Payday!

  13. Theresa May 19, 2012 Reply

    So… I cannot read today. I saw these and immediately knew I’d fall in love. I got into car. Went to store for ingredients. Came home with peanut butter NOT peanut butter chips. Decided not to go back to store. Made with 1 cup peanut butter instead of chips. Used smaller pan. Fell in love. Delicious!

  14. Elyse May 21, 2012 Reply

    Incredible! Was devastated because I’ve never heard of peanut butter chips (Australia) so gad to know I can use peanut butter! Trying these!

  15. Lori May 22, 2012 Reply

    Do you think these can be shipped? My son is in the army and I’m always looking for treats that can be mailed.

    • jennifer May 22, 2012 Reply

      Lori, I think they’d ship well enough.

  16. Georgia May 24, 2012 Reply

    I bet these could be dropped on wax paper for individual pieces – like you do no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies/candy. Can’t wait to try these.

    Thanks Elyse for mentioning using 1 cup peanut butter instead of the chips. I have peanut butter in the pantry – not the chips.

  17. Deb H. May 29, 2012 Reply

    Help! I tried these and they taste WONDERFUL, but they are sooooo gooey and sticky I could hardly get them out of the pan. I couldn’t possibly get them to look as neat as in the picture. What did I do wrong?????

  18. jennifer May 29, 2012 Reply

    Deb, did you do anything differently at all from the recipe?

  19. Linda May 29, 2012 Reply

    I made these and they are so easy and SO DELISH. Can I freeze these for a week or two?

    • jennifer May 30, 2012 Reply

      Linda, I think they would freeze well.

  20. Kae June 2, 2012 Reply

    I can’t pull up the ingredients?! What’s the recipe?

  21. Britton June 3, 2012 Reply

    Made these today, but I am a little confused. I followed the recipe but had to add in some peanut butter as I didn’t get the right amount of chips. Are the marshmallows supposes to melt? Because mine didn’t. The mixture was getting too tough to stir. I’m not a baker, but I decided to make these and save some money instead of buying real candy bars. Also, since I am a fan of Baby Ruth’s I put a drizzle of chocolate on half of the bars. Yummy!!

    • jennifer June 4, 2012 Reply

      Britton, the marshmallows should melt when you add them to the hot butter/peanut butter mixture. The mixture should be smooth after it’s all mixed together.

  22. Tina June 9, 2012 Reply

    The recipe indicates an 11×7 pan… I’m assuming this is supposed to be 11×17? Hosting a baby shower soon and I think we’ll have these!

  23. jennifer June 9, 2012 Reply

    Tina, it’s 11″ x 7″. There’s a note at the bottom of the recipe for using 9″ x 13″ if you need to make more.

  24. Leigh June 10, 2012 Reply

    I made these today after salivating over the recipe for a couple of days now. I found this recipe on Pinterest. Mine are not currently fully chilled, but I am skeptical if they will chill fully and set due to the near 100% humidity. Also, I found that with my improvised double boiler my mixture was not hot enough to melt my marshmallows and had to put it back on the heat for it bit more to stir it in. All did melt with persistance and the sample I tried a bit ago was wonderful! I can’t wait to have more tomorrow! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  25. Golly June 18, 2012 Reply

    Oh no. You can’t get Paydays in England, so I always bring some home or request them from the states. The only reason they don’t have to cut me out of the house and carry me away on a tractor is I can’t eat Paydays all the time. Now I can, I’m about to triple in size.

  26. Laura June 22, 2012 Reply

    I was so excited to make these, but mine didn’t turn out either :(. The marshmallows would not melt at all! After I added the condensed milk, the mixture was way too cool to melt the marshmallows. Perhaps if I had added the marshmallows first? I tried putting it back on the stove to melt the marshmallows, which only made the mixture super thick and impossible to spread. Maybe next time I’ll add the marshmallows when the peanut butter chips and butter are halfway melted, or try marshmallow fluff instead. Hopefully they still taste ok!

    • jennifer June 22, 2012 Reply

      Laura, did you use miniature marshmallows? They’ll melt faster than regular-sized marshmallows.

  27. chris schuller July 3, 2012 Reply

    Also had trouble getting the marshmallows to melt. Added a bit more butter to thin it out and put back on the stove for a bit. It was very thick but I managed to spread it with a little work. Thinking about using marshmallow fluff next time. Delicious so far!

  28. terry July 13, 2012 Reply

    are these like payday candy bar?

  29. jennifer July 14, 2012 Reply

    Terry, the flavor is similar.

  30. Drina July 14, 2012 Reply

    I made these today I used marshmallow cream because I had no marshmallows they are cooling now! From what i already tasted these are gonna be great! Thanks for the recipe!

  31. Karen July 31, 2012 Reply

    These totally rock, made them for family reunion and everyone wanted the recipe….thanks!

  32. Nazerah August 8, 2012 Reply

    I made these with halal marshmallows (woohoo, perks of living in Toronto) but mine didn’t work either. Tastes great but it’s just a gooey mess, not bar like at all. My marshmallows didn’t fully melt. Trying to figure out how I can SAVE these goodies. Help!!! Should I pop it into the microwave? Double boiler the mixture and repress into tray with parchment paper lining? Ideas, anyone?

  33. jennifer August 8, 2012 Reply

    Hi, Nazerah. I’ve never used halal marshmallows, so I don’t know how/if they differ. It’s important for the marshmallows to be the mini size, and you must work quickly when stirring them so that they’ll melt well. You could try reheating over very low heat.

  34. Michelle August 11, 2012 Reply

    made them and had to keep cooking over low heat to get the marshmallows to melt. they seem really soft and Im afraid they will not set up. how long should you let them chill?

  35. jennifer August 12, 2012 Reply

    Michelle, they’ll likely need to chill for a few hours. You can even leave them overnight.

  36. Emil August 22, 2012 Reply

    Wow, this looks really nice, very creamy but also really sinfull! ;-)

  37. Kayla King August 26, 2012 Reply

    Hi,

    I am excited about trying these out. Do you have a subistitue for the peanut butter chips? Like how much peanut butter instead? Also how do I follow your great blog?

    Kayla

  38. Koni August 30, 2012 Reply

    I couldn’t wait to make these! After reading all the posts, I modified it and melted the butter and marshmallows first on very low heat (like you do for rice krispy treats). While stirring, I added 1 cup of peanut butter and stirred until all was melted (I usually add 1/4 cup peanut butter anyway to my rice krispy treats). Then I removed from the heat to add the condensed milk and mixed well – it was VERY smooth and YUMMY. It’s now setting in the fridge – CANNOT wait to eat them! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe! I’m thinking of drizzling some chocolate over the top for my hubby who doesn’t think anythings tastes good unless there’s chocolate. :)

  39. just me September 1, 2012 Reply

    Mine didn’t set up either. Tasty but too gooey to cut. Popped them in the freezer to see if I can cut them.

  40. Lauren September 4, 2012 Reply

    I made these last week and they didn’t harden enough either – turned out a gooey sticky mess – even after freezing. Tasted great but had to throw them out without eating all of them…maybe too much condensed milk, not enough marshmallow?? They would have been great otherwise. Followed the recipe.

  41. kathy September 7, 2012 Reply

    I Love Payday candybars and when I seen this receipe I had to try it. I decieded to adjust the receipe by adding 1/2c.Jiff pnut butter and only using 10 oz bag of reese pnut butter chips. I melted all ingredients together over the heat except the condensed milk I added last . I also added some marshmallows to the top. Texture seemed really smooth and not gooey…hopefully they set ……………..

  42. Mary September 26, 2012 Reply

    Just made these and put in the fridge to chill. My marshmallows (yes they were miniature) would not melt either. I put the pan back on low heat and kept adding butter until they finally melted and the mixture became smooth. I ending up adding almost an additional 2 tbsp butter. Fingers are crossed that they cool and setup because they sure do look yummy!

  43. CoppellKim September 28, 2012 Reply

    Just made these! Ahhhhh-mazing!

  44. Stacie October 1, 2012 Reply

    Just put mine in the fridge to chill and hopefully set! I did get the marshmallows to melt, and I evn used the reg ones because thye dont have the minis in Germany, and used peanut butter instead if chips, same reason! Hope these turn out!

  45. Tom | Tall Clover Farm October 9, 2012 Reply

    I believe I have a genetic predisposition to love peanut butter. Bringing home a jar of stuff, means I have lunch and dinner for the week. Not a good thing, but of course that won’t stop me from trying this recipe. Perhaps I will be able to show some restraint. Ummmm, I doubt it. ;-)

  46. worldpiece October 26, 2012 Reply

    Recipe did NOT set up. Too gooey. Just a tasty mess.

  47. kenj October 29, 2012 Reply

    These didnt set up enuf to cut even after refridgerating. The next day they were just firm enuf to cut. But were really good!

  48. Pam November 21, 2012 Reply

    Just made these, and they were perfect!!! After reading the reviews, about the marshmallows not melting. I discovered while melting the butter and peanut butter chips, that it doesnt really get hot enough, so after they are melted turn the heat up just a little more, make sure you keep stirring, just till it feels hot to the touch. Along with that, I put the sweetened condensed milk in a small saucepan, and let it set on low heat just till its warm/hot, then add all ingredients to the peanut mixture. Just keep stirring with a spoon, kind of squishing the marshmallows, and they will melt in. I am a payday’s biggest fan, and these are absolutely yummy!!! Thank you Jennifer for this delectable recipe!

  49. Christy December 1, 2012 Reply

    Are the marshmellows supposed to melt?

  50. jennifer December 1, 2012 Reply

    Yes, Christy. It’s a lot like melting marshmallows for making Rice Krispies treats. Make sure the mixture is hot enough to melt the marshmallows. If not, then return it to the heat for a few minutes.

  51. kibby December 1, 2012 Reply

    Another easy no bake peanut butter goodie – take equal amounts – like a l/2 cup of: peanut butter, honey, dry powdered milk (or we’re experimenting successfully with protein powder), and oatmeal. Then add mini choc chips as you like.. Mix and have kids make into small balls; refrig and viola! They are GOOD!

  52. debbie a December 10, 2012 Reply

    mine did not set up either…but think I will scoop it out into little muffin tins and serve that way.

  53. Ashley December 15, 2012 Reply

    I made this recipe strictly as written yesterday and they were delicious! I cut them into fairly small rectangles and wrapped them in waxed paper to make them feel more like candy. Then I made some more today, but didn’t have the right volume of peanut butter chips, so used 1 cup peanut butter chips and 1 cup chocolate chips. Yum! I hope to have some left to wrap up….

  54. Pam December 17, 2012 Reply

    I couldn’t get the marshmallows melt, either. I just transferred everything to a glass pan and put it in the microwave for a few minutes, stopping to stir after each minute until the marshmallows incorporated into the mixture. When hot, it spreads easily over the nuts. Before I did that, it was sooo hard to stir and was setting up in the pan.

  55. Cassandra December 23, 2012 Reply

    Just made these and they turned out great! I did turn up the heat when I added the mini marshmallows so they would melt, but other than that, I followed everything. Thanks! These are great! =D

  56. SheilaK December 28, 2012 Reply

    I had to put it back on the burner to get the marshmallows to melt. I used the larger pan method with the extra peanuts and was able to pour the mixture over the peanuts with no problem. After I cut them and take them out of the pan the peanuts fall off. Will try dry roasted next time, maybe they will stick better. Everyone thought it was great candy.

  57. syntitha January 12, 2013 Reply

    I just tried to make these and they are really sticky or soft. Did I do something g wrong? Or maybe not let them set long enough? I put in the refrigerator for 3 hours.

  58. jennifer January 12, 2013 Reply

    syntitha, maybe they need to refrigerate longer, although they should be somewhat soft. Did you make any changes to the recipe?

  59. Erin January 21, 2013 Reply

    I made these today.. super yummy… i also had the marshmallow melting problem but i was able to salvage it really quick by whipping out my hand mixer and giving it a whirl.. melted and mixed it up really nicely though i did make a mess lol.. this is a delicious recipe and im definitely going to make them again..

  60. Ava February 17, 2013 Reply

    They are in the fridge, can’t wait to taste them.

  61. Amy March 4, 2013 Reply

    Can’t wait to try! I love simple no fuss recipes like this, means I will probably make once a week :-) Are the marshmellows optional?

  62. jennifer March 4, 2013 Reply

    Amy, you’ll need the marshmallows.

  63. Kim March 20, 2013 Reply

    What a disappointment. Made a double batch, one for family and one for a gathering. They won’t set and are just a gooey mess. And yes, I followed directions.

  64. Kathye March 23, 2013 Reply

    I have made 5 batches of these. I really love the flavor but I have trouble as well getting the marshmallows to melt. Also after several hours in the refrigerator they do harden to where they can be cut into bars but they don’t stay that way for long. They start to get sticky fast. Have followed the recipe completely. What am I doing wrong or what can I do to correct this?

  65. Renna Hanlon October 22, 2013 Reply

    I’m getting ready to make these, but just realized I bought roasted peanuts, instead of plain ones. Will they work, you think? :-o

    Since so many had trouble with their marshmallows melting, I shall heat my milk before adding to the mixture.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! Paydays were my favorite candy bar as a child. I no longer indulge in candy bars, but I do plan on indulging in this! :-)

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry October 22, 2013 Reply

      Hi, Renna! Roasted peanuts should work just fine. They’ll just taste a bit different.

  66. Renna Hanlon October 22, 2013 Reply

    Thank you, Jennifer, for your response! :-)

  67. Cindy December 20, 2013 Reply

    My melted butter/chip mixture also wasn’t conducive to mixing in or melting the marshmellows easily, so I just put the whole thing back on the stove top on low and stirred until everything was blended. I poured into my pan of peanuts, but worked as fast as I could because the mixture hardened quickly and I wanted to even out and get nuts to stick on the top. Final result is VERY sweet but tasty. Not super easy to cut cleanly and the nuts fall off. I was planning to add to cookie trays for gifts, but realize now this isn’t the best recipe for that since they are supposed to store chilled. Oh well. I’ll try something else!

  68. Soniarene May 29, 2014 Reply

    My husband and I just finished this delightful recipe… This was fun to make and easy, make sure you have some muscle power!!!! tasting the mixture was yummmmmolicious too!!!!!

  69. nykee June 15, 2014 Reply

    Hey My mellows melted perfectly, doesnt the recipe say to melt the butter and chips, then add the sweet cond milk, with hot sweet cond milk how could mellows NOT melt.. ANYWAY mine set up great and all was good cept the peanuts WONT STAY ON! The all fall off as soon as I cut them or touch them? Did I heat the mixture too much you think?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry June 15, 2014 Reply

      nykee, you could try gently (and carefully) pressing the peanuts into the bars while they’re still warm.

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