Monday, June 25, 2012

Pretzel bottom Snickers blondies

What has two thumbs and gave you the ultimate teaser on Friday about a candy bar-laden dessert? This girl.  

(By the way, that "what has two thumbs" line will always remind me of The Office.)

What also has two thumbs and is currently over the moon obsessed with desserts made from candy bars, spending the better part of two weeks contemplating, making, and devouring them?


If falling prey to those delightful prepackaged nuggets of chocolate, peanut butter, nuts, caramel, and other goodies stationed at the checkout lines is wrong, then I certainly don't want to be right.

Every week when I do our grocery shopping, I have a "will I or won't I" moment at the candy display as I'm scanning my ultra healthy produce and meats for purchase.  I'm proud to report that I almost always exert enough control to just say no.  Guess what my winning argument usually is?  "It's not on the list and I don't need it for any recipe."

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to tell you about a recipe so addictive that'll make you weak in the knees and allow you to pick up some items you might normally forego because they will be on your list!  After all, ingredients are completely permissible in my book and should be in yours, too.

What exactly makes this dessert so crack-like (my words)?  It's the salty-sweet combination that seems to have become super popular in the baking world over the last year or so.

It's a perfect example as to why salt is listed as an ingredient in all kinds of sweets, even over the top sweet cake frosting.  That pinch of salt totally enhances the flavors of everything else.  Like nutty, chocolatey hunks of Snickers bars.  Swoon!

And, as if the sweet chocolate and caramel and salty peanuts and pretzels weren't enough to bowl you over, the audible crunch of the pretzels will surely do it.

Extra crunchy things make me feel like I'm working hard for my food.  You know, burning extra calories.  Right? ;)

To which I countered by adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to my plate of blondies and pretzels.

Pictured plate was to be shared by husband and wife.  How much of it was consumed by each shall remain a secret.  Who has two thumbs and ate more than 50% of the dessert on that plate?...

One year ago: Classic French onion soup
Two years ago: Toffee

Pretzel Bottom Snickers Blondies
(halved and adapted from Cookies and Cups)
-makes 16 two-inch squares

1 1/2 cups mini pretzels
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped Snickers bars (about 3 standard size candy bars)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8x8 square baking dish with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pan with pretzels. If they overlap, it's fine. In your mixer cream butter and sugar together for 1 minute. Add in eggs and vanilla and continue mixing for another minute, until smooth.

Turn mixer to low, add in baking soda, salt and flour. Stir until just combined.  Dump in Snickers and turning mixer up to medium mix for 20 seconds until evenly incorporated and slightly broken up. Spread batter evenly over pretzels.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the center is almost set. Let cool completely or overnight. Cut into squares when ready to serve. Notes store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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