Take-A-Number Bars

Meet Zach.

zachary

Zach is my little brother who got married (to the lovely lady pictured on the right above, incidentally) and moved to Florida temporarily where he is living my own personal dream: working in thrift stores and experimenting with new recipes. Now, is this his personal ideal? Probably not. But being in Florida so short term means that his ideal is kind of impossible, so in the few-week interim he happens to be filling his days doing two of my all time favorite things. I’m trying not to be jealous. In one of our many conversation, he started to tell me about a recipe for a homemade version of Take 5 Candy Bars that he had found online. Pretzel crust, peanut-butter fluffy-ness, caramel full of peanuts and chocolate? That’s five very nice things. In fact, we got to thinking that you could probably eliminate any one . . . or two . . . or three . . . layers, and still have a delicious treat. So, without further ado, here is my first experiment with what I am lovingly referring to as

Take-A-Number Bars!!!

If you really want to go to the source, click here, because they are the experts who really know what they are doing (at least, comparatively), but feel free to follow my meager attempts as well! You might notice that I cut every amount in half to make a half-batch. . . but I’m giving you the original figures, because I don’t want to say “half of a third of a cup” like 5 times.

Step 1: The Pretzel Crust

Making The Pretzel Crust

Crush up pretzels so that you have 2 cups. Then mix the crushed bits with 3/4 c. melted butter and 1/2 cup light brown sugar. Bake this at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Step 2: The Peanut-Buttery Fluffy-Sweetness Layer

peanutty filling

Mix together one half cup of softened butter, 1 cup of creamy peanut butter and 2 cups of powdered sugar. Spread the resulting peanut-buttery fluffy stuff over the cooled pretzel crust.

Step 3: TWO of the Take Five Components 

Caramel and Nuts

In a pan, put 1 and 1/2 cups of white sugar, 2 Tbsp light corn syrup, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/3 cup water. Don’t stir it, but DO stick a candy thermometer in and make sure it reaches 340 degrees fahrenheit! The sugar will just have started to darken/turn caramel-y colored when it is at the right temp. This takes about 15 minutes. At this point, remove it from the heat and add 1/3 cup of heavy cream, 1/3 cup butter and 1 Tbsp. sour cream. Mix it until it’s all incorporated and then let it cool into lovely caramel.

Note: If you screw up the timing/temperature on this, you might accidentally wind up with something resembling maple sugar candy (ahem, not that I know this from personal experience or anything). IF that is the case, please feel free to do what I did and re-do this step, following the directions better.)

THEN, when the caramel is cool(ish) crush up about 1 cup of honey roasted peanuts and put those bits into the caramel before spreading those on top of the peanut-butter-fluffy-stuff layer.

Step 4: The Final Chocolatey touch

The final step is melting some (2 cups) milk chocolate for the top, which I do in a microwave because it’s easy. (Double boilers = twice the dishes, right?) I skipped adding the cream that the recipe called for, because I didn’t think it was really necessary. Spread the melted chocolate on the top and let it all cool in the fridge!

1-2-3-4-5 essential layering pieces!

Step 5: Checking Out the Finished Product

I'll Take FiveAll things considered? These are pretty darn tasty.

Well chosen, Zach.

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