The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
(Feiwel and Friends, 2008), 256 pages, Grades 7 and Up
For the past six years, fifteen-year-old Eli and his family have lived in an underground compound after a nuclear attack. His father built the compound to keep them safe. But now they can’t get out. He won’t let them.
Should you ever be like The Compound’s main character, Eli, who finds himself in danger of running out of Snickers candy bars FOREVER, here is a recipe to make your own Snickers bars.
Adapted from Todd Wilbur’s Top Secret Recipes: Creating Kitchen Clones of America’s Favorite Brand-Name Foods (Plume, 1993)
3 tablespoons water, divided
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons peanut butter
dash of salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup dry roasted salted peanuts
24 ounces milk chocolate morsels
1. In the medium bowl of a mixer, combine 1 tablespoon of water, corn syrup, butter, vanilla extract, peanut butter, and salt on high speed until creamy. Slowly add powdered sugar and combine until mixture has the consistency of dough. Press nougat into a 9×9 pan and place pan in the refrigerator.
2. In a medium saucepan, melt the caramels with 2 tablespoons of water over low heat. When caramel is soft, stir in peanuts, and pour mixture over nougat in pan. Refrigerate until firm.
3. Melt chocolate morsels in microwave for 2 minutes, checking halfway through (or melt in double boiler on stovetop).
4. Cut nougat, caramel, and peanut mixture into 24 chunks. Set each chunk onto a fork and dip into melted chocolate. Place chunks on waxed paper and let cool at room temperature for several hours.
If, like Eli, you really need your Snickers, you can speed up the process by putting them in the fridge for 30 minutes.
(Alternately, spread the melted chocolate on top of the nougat, caramel, and peanut mixture, and cut into chunks when chocolate has hardened).
Yield: 2 dozen bars. Not enough to last through a nuclear winter, but they’ll keep you going