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Nutty Nougat Caramel Bites Recipes

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Nutty Nougat Caramel Bites

"A finalist in the 2000 Share The Very Best Recipe Contest, this recipe was submitted Diane Bartels of Greensburg, PA. Perfect for parties and gift giving, these bite-sized candies melt in your mouth. It all begins with a butterscotch-flavored cookie base, followed by a marshmallow and peanut butter nougat filling. Then, a creamy caramel layer is finished off with milk chocolate icing."

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 (3.4 ounce) package butterscotch-flavored instant pudding mix
2 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups NESTLE� TOLL HOUSE� Butterscotch Flavored Morsels

1/4 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup NESTLE� CARNATION� Evaporated Milk
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped salted peanuts

1 (14 ounce) package caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup NESTLE� TOLL HOUSE� Milk Chocolate Morsels
1/3 cup NESTLE� TOLL HOUSE� Butterscotch Flavored Morsels
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 FOR COOKIE BASE: PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F. Line 17 x 11 x 1-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

2 COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add pudding mix, eggs and vanilla extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in 1 1/3 cups butterscotch morsels. Spread and pat dough evenly into prepared baking pan.

3 BAKE for 10 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Carefully hold pan 2 to 3-inches above a heat-resistant surface and allow pan to drop. (This creates a chewier cookie base.) Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

4 FOR NOUGAT FILLING: MELT butter in medium, heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat. Add granulated sugar and evaporated milk; stir. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

5 STIR in marshmallow creme, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Add peanuts; stir well. Spread nougat mixture over cookie base. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set.

6 FOR CARAMEL LAYER: COMBINE caramels and cream in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Spread caramel mixture over nougat layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set.

7 FOR ICING: MELT milk chocolate morsels, 1/3 cup butterscotch morsels and peanut butter in medium, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70 percent) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Spread icing over caramel layer. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

8 TO SERVE, let stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Makes 180 servings



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