Even before the Snickers candy bar's release in 1930, recipes for salads containing a mixture of chopped candy bars, fruit and whipped cream or mayonnaise -- or both -- were a fixture in American cooking magazines. The modern manifestation of the Snickers salad, particularly popular in western mountain states like Utah, typically combines the candy bar and fruit with a mixture of whipped cream and cream cheese or vanilla pudding. Alter the basic technique in a variety of ways.
To bind the chopped Snickers bars with other salad ingredients, you'll need one or two ingredients to act as filler, or "dressing." Use thawed frozen whipped topping; prepared vanilla pudding; softened cream cheese blended with powdered sugar; or freshly prepared whipped cream made by mixing heavy whipping cream and a small amount of granulated sugar. Include just one of these elements or a combination, such as the sweetened cream cheese mixed with whipped cream or vanilla pudding. Prepare this part of the salad first to allow the pudding to set, the cream cheese to soften or the frozen topping to thaw.
Snickers salads typically contain chopped Granny Smith apples, though any type of apple or combination of apple varieties will work. Don't limit your fruit choices to apples -- add frozen berries like raspberries, blackberries or blueberries or any other chopped fresh fruit that you have on hand. Cut the apples or other fresh fruit into wedges and arrange them in individual serving bowls. When the rest of the salad ingredients have been mixed into the filling, spoon it onto the fruit and serve.
Chop the Snickers bars into small chunks and stir them into the prepared filling. Use regular Snickers; experiment with peanut butter or almond Snickers; or combine several types in one salad. For additional crunch, stir in dry-roasted peanuts, cashews or pecans. If you have leftover candy on hand that you'd like to use up -- plain chocolate, crushed toffee pieces or other types of candy bars remaining from Halloween, for instance -- dice them up and add them to the mix.
Once the Snickers and other ingredients have been mixed into your filling, thoroughly stir in the chopped apples and other fresh fruit. Serve the salad immediately, garnished with sliced Snickers bars, chopped nuts or a drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce. Or cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. If you plan to add frozen fruit, stir it in after refrigerating, just before you plan to serve. This isn't a good dish to make the night , because the ingredients may become mushy.