Wow, that’s a mouthful. No pun intended. The great thing about blondies is that they can be pretty simple. Or not, like these bars. Want to know what inspired these? I was sort of looking for a way to emulate the taste of Chubby Hubby, one of my favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors, in blondie form, and this is what I came up with.
These bars are pretty outrageous. You’ve got a sweet and salty pretzel crust on the bottom, a rich caramel-peanut butter blondie center packed with chocolate chips in the middle, and a generous layer of chopped peanut butter cups to top it all off. In other words, these bars are really rich. But really, really good.
Pretzel-Crusted Chocolate-Peanut Butter Caramel Blondies
For the crust:
2 cups crushed pretzels
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
For the blondie layer:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup AP flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup caramel sauce (store-bought is fine, or make your own by melting about 12 Kraft caramel candies with a tablespoo of heavy cream)
1 cup chopped peanut butter cups, for topping
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 baking pan and set aside.
- Make the crust by combining the pretzels, melted butter, and brown sugar in a small bowl and mixing well. Press the crust into the bottom of your prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, peanut butter, and egg. Stir in the vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until well-combined. Then, stir in the caramel sauce and chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter on top of the crust. Sprinkle the chopped peanut butter cups on top of the blondie layer.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the blondies cool in the pan (at least one hour) before slicing and serving.