So there I was, playing my Quiz RPG: World of Mystic Wiz game again (see my “Post-Watergate Salad”). The question was: “From what part of America does ‘Snickers Salad‘ originate?” The available answers were: New England, Deep South, Midwest, and Northwest. I chose Deep South—I was wrong; it was the Midwest. After conducting some vigorous research (the kind that would lend itself to inserting a ‘winking emoticon’ here), I discovered this is another one of those perfect potluck dishes that will guarantee an empty bowl by the end of the event.
I’m sorry, but I really usually picture a ‘salad’ as having some fresh vegetables/fruits/proteins somewhere in the mix. Snickers Salad does require an apple as an ingredient, however, so I guess that qualifies it as a salad. Right. Your basic salad here consists of Snickers candy, Granny Smith apples, and Cool Whip. I mentioned this to Bob and I could see his eyes light up. I’ll admit it—mine did too—Snickers is my favorite basic candy bar, although I do feel that a toffee-crunch Symphony bar could be a contender for first place.
Those simple ingredients produce a pile of white fluff in a bowl; visually, it is pretty bland-looking. There are many variations on the Snickers Salad theme. You can add relatively crunchable items such as: candy sprinkles, peanuts, chocolate chips, crushed pretzels, grapes, bananas, and/or crushed pineapple. Or you can mix various items in with the Cool Whip before you add your mix-ins: vanilla pudding mix, buttermilk (why would you add this?), lemon juice, sour cream, cream cheese, marshmallow creme, or mayonnaise (No! Not mayo!!!). You can then pour some dessert sauce over this, such as caramel or fudge. From all of these ingredients, I’ve come up with a really snazzy version.
Be sure to use a tart variety of apple; you need to offset the sweetness, and a Granny Smith is the perfect choice. I’m sure many other types of candies would work well for this. My victims, I mean guests, felt Butterfingers, Heath bars, and/or Twix bars would make nice substitutes. I agree; surprise me with a comment below if you try a different bar.
Also: if you’re looking for an easy-to-prepare dessert to make for your mom (Mother’s Day is just around the corner!), this can fit the bill.
Ultimate Snickers Salad
- 1 cup light Cool Whip
- 1 ounce miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 ounce cocktail peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 10 seedless red grapes, cut in half
- 1 Granny Smith apple (right around ½ pound)
- Two (1.86-ounce) Snickers bars
- Some purchased caramel sauce
- Some purchased fudge sauce
- Optional garnish: additional chopped peanuts and miniature chocolate chips
Place the Cool Whip in a large bowl. Mix in the chocolate chips and peanuts. Mix in the grapes and combine well.
Wash the apple and remove the core; keep the peel on. Chop coarsely and add to the bowl—mix well. Cut each Snickers bar into thirds lengthwise, then cut into ¼” bits. Sprinkle over the Cool Whip mixture, separating the candy as much as possible. Combine well. You may refrigerate up to one hour—if you let it go more than that, the mixture might become a bit weepy (all that sugar leaching out, you know…). Garnish with some sauce and more nuts and chips, if desired. Does not keep well, so only make what you think you’ll need. This serves 2 generously, or you can stretch it to serve 4.
If you would like to serve more like 6-8 (maybe even 10), just use an entire 8-ounce container of Cool Whip and triple everything else. Other brands of whipped topping are fine.