Friday, March 8, 2013

Peanut Pretzel Caramel "Crack" Bars

So, for the last few weeks I've had some random ingredients in my cabinet.  I had intended to make Sand Hills Lighthouse Inn's Hot Fudge Sauce , but never had the chance.

Recently, a dear friend lost her mother, and I was making a meal for her.  After making Mama F's Minestrone , I decided I needed to make a dessert.  I've been dreaming of something with peanut butter, caramel, pretzels and chocolate.  Like Take 5 Bars from Hersheys.  Crunchy, salty, peanutty, chewy, sweet, etc.  The Umami of sweet treats.

This is what I came up with, I dare you not to like them.  Or eat them ALL in one sitting!  Oh my!

Peanut Pretzel Caramel "Crack" Bars

Cookie Layer:
1/2 Cup Berry Hill Crunchy Peanut Butter
1/3 Cup Grandma's Best Granulated Sugar
1 Golden Hen Egg
1/3 Cup Grandma's Best Flour
1-2 Cups Clancy's Mini Pretzel Twists

Caramel Layer:
1 Package Werther's Original Chewy Caramels
1/4 Cup Friendly Farms Heavy Whipping Cream (you could also use half n' half)

Chocolate Layer:
1 bar Choceur Milk Chocolate Bar

Preheat Oven to 375.

Cream together peanut butter and sugar.  Add egg and mix well.  Add flour and mix until incorporated. Press cookie mixture into a well-greased (or even better, parchment lined) 8X8 pan.  Press pretzels into cookie dough in an even layer.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes until cookie is puffed, golden and cooked through (this will depend on your oven).  Remove from oven to cool.

Melt caramels & cream together in a double boiler over medium low heat (you can also set a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, just make sure the bowl does not touch the water).  This is a slow process, but continue to heat until melted and bubbly.  Stirring frequently with a spatula or other non-stick utensil.  Once melted, pour over cookie layer in pan and spread evenly.  Allow this to cool for a while.

In a glass bowl, break up chocolate.  Melt in 30 second intervals in a microwave until melted and smooth.  Pour over the cooled caramel layer.   Break remaining pretzels over top and lightly press into chocolate layer.

Allow to cool completely.  Then place in the refrigerator.  NOTE:  The chocolate layer will take a while to solidify since the caramel carries such residual heat.  If you cool overnight, it will resolidify without refrigeration.  I chose to refrigerate because I was impatient. :)

Remove from fridge and allow to come to room temp before cutting (this will help avoid cracking and make getting through the caramel layer easier).  If you've used parchment paper, lift it out of the pan to make cutting much easier.  Cut into 16 1" squares.

Eat all of them in one sitting.  Just kidding.  :)


  1. Oh, thanks. Now we have a craving. Middle child says next time we go to your house you better give us some. A LOT.

  2. No problem. Ahhhh, this means you're coming. Sigh. We're waiting for the day!!!!!!

  3. The total number that you sent to your dear friend is a secret between you and me! :) I needed a special way to thank the home health aide - introducing her to this indulgence did the trick! (And we couldn't let her eat alone, you know!!!) :)