No Bake Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

Chocolate Pretzel Bars

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I haven’t made a dessert like this in a while and it was DELICIOUS!!!  I’m guessing David liked it, too, since he ate three bars at one sitting.  No, it’s not gluten free.  But it was worth every bite.  You’re going to want to make this – as soon as possible.

By the way, I just call it the Chocolate Pretzel Dessert.  It’s easier.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • ¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 cups broken, small pretzel twists
  • 2 cups (12 oz. package) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Line 13×9 pan with foil leaving overhang on two sides. (1)  Lightly spray with pam.

Beat 1-1/4 cups peanut butter and butter in a large mixer bowl until creamy.  Gradually beat in 1 cup powdered sugar.  Stir in remaining 1 cup powdered sugar, 3 cups pretzel pieces and ½ cup morsels.  Press evenly in prepared baking pan.  Smooth top with spatula.

Microwave remaining 1-1/2 cup morsels and ¾ cup peanut butter in medium, uncovered bowl on medium high (70%) for 45 seconds.  Stir.  If necessary, microwave at additional 10-15 second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted.

Spread chocolate layer evenly over powdered sugar mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining pretzel pieces, pressing down lightly.  (2) Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.

Notes:

(1)     I did not do this.  I put them directly in the pan.

(2)     After about 30 minutes in the refrigerator, I cut the dessert into bars.  I’ve discovered that when desserts have a chocolate top, sometimes when you cut them after they’ve hardened, the top breaks.  So I like to cut them before the topping gets too hard.  When you re-cut later, it’s a LOT easier.

from verybestbaking.com (Nestle)

Chocolate Malt Krispie Bars

Chocolate Malt Krispie Bars 2

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I made these for the first time last night and they were awesome!  However, next time I’m going to chop the malted milk balls that go on the top instead of putting them on whole.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups malted milk balls, divided
  • 1 package (10 ounce) large marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cups rice krispies cereal
  • 1 cup malted milk powder, divided
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Chop 1 cup malted milk balls; set aside.

In a Dutch oven, combine marshmallows and butter.  Cook and stir over medium-low heat until melted.  Remove from the heat; stir in the cereal, ¾ cup malt powder and chopped candy.  Press into a greased 13×9 pan.

In microwave, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth.  Stir in remaining malt powder.  Spread over cereal bars.  Top with remaining malted milk balls.  Let stand until set.  Cut into squares.

Chocolate Malt Krispie Bars

from Taste of Home Magazine, August/September 2009 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

I don’t normally make recipes that use convenience foods but this one is great if you need an awesome dessert and don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking.  It’s easy, fast and a definitely crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (19.9 ounce) box chewy fudge brownie mix
  • 1 (16.5 ounce) package refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough
  • 8 ounces peanut butter morsels
  • 8 ounces chocolate chip morsels

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 13×9-inch baking pan with Pam.

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for chewy brownies.  Spoon brownie batter into prepared pan.  Crumble cookie dough over brownie batter.  Sprinkle peanut butter morsels and chocolate chip morsels over cookie dough.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out slightly sticky.

No Bake Crispy Pretzel Bars

Crispy Pretzel Bars

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I wasn’t sure I would like this since I’m not a big fan of pretzels but I was pretty sure my family would.  And they did.  But I liked it, too.  I didn’t really taste the pretzels especially with all the other goodies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 5 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup plain M&M’s

Directions:

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the sugar and corn syrup.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in peanut butter until blended.  Add the cereal, pretzels and M&M’s; stir until coated.  Press into a greased 15x10x1 pan.  Cut into bars.  Yield about 5 dozen.

Notes:

  • I broke the pretzel sticks into smaller pieces.
  • You’ll get 5 dozen if you cut them really tiny which I didn’t.  I cut half of the pan into smaller pieces and the other half into bigger pieces so I ended up with 12 big pieces and 24 smaller pieces.

from Quick Cooking Magazine

Moon Pie Cheesecake Bars

Moon Pie Cheesecake Bars

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this dessert was to make and not surprised at all that it tasted awesome!  If you like cheesecake and moon pies, you’re gonna love this dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 chocolate-marshmallow sandwich cookies, finely chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) bar semisweet chocolate melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 13×9 inch baking dish with foil, allowing edges to overhang 2 to 3 inches; press overhang against outside of pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter.  Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan.  Bake 6 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, granulated sugar and vanilla at medium speed with a mixer until creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in sour cream.  Add chopped cookies, stirring gently to combine.  Spoon batter over prepared crust.
  4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until bars are set.  Let cool completely.  Using excess foil as handles, lift cheesecake bars from pan.  Drizzle with melted chocolate.  Let stand 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm.  Cut into bars.

Notes:

I used Little Debbie chocolate marshmallow cookies.  There were 8 cookies in the box.  My family had eaten some of them before I made the dessert, so when I was ready to make the dessert, there were five left.  I went ahead and used all of them in the dessert.  We didn’t think five was too many.

If you don’t want to buy a chocolate bar for the chocolate drizzle on top, just melt chocolate chips.  It’s actually cheaper if you do.

I didn’t do foil handles.  I greased a glass 9×13 dish and put the dessert directly in the dish.  We didn’t have any trouble getting the bars out.

From Cooking with Paula Deen, March/April 2013

Quick and Easy Cake Mix Bars

Cake Mix Bars

This recipe was a definite winner!  It reminded us of another favorite, Chewy Caramel Bars, only it was a LOT easier to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) white cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine, cubed

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the dry cake mix, eggs and oil.  With floured hands, press two-thirds of the mixture into a greased 13x9x2 baking pan.  Set remaining cake mixture aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk, chocolate chips and butter.  Microwave, uncovered, on high for 45 seconds; stir.  Microwave 45-60 seconds longer or until chips and butter are melted; stir until smooth.  Pour over crust.

Drop teaspoonfuls of remaining cake mixture over top.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool before cutting.

from Quick Cooking Magazine, January/February 2001

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

This is a great recipe that will please just about everyone.  And it’s not hard to make.

Ingredients for Base:

  • ¾ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons bakig cocoa
  • ½ cup chopped nuts, optional (I omitted)
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows

Ingredients for Topping:

  • 1-1/3 cups (8 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons butter (no substitutes) *
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups crisp rice cereal

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat until fluffy.  Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa; add to creamed mixture. Stir in nuts, if desired.  Spread in a greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 for 15 – 18 minutes.

Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over cake; return to oven for 2-3 minutes.  Using a knife dipped in water, spread the melted marshmallows evenly over cake.  Cool. **

For topping, combine chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter in a small saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and well blended.  Remove from heat; stir in cereal.  Spread over bars immediately.  Chill.  Yield:  about 3 dozen

NOTES:

*I’ve made it with margarine in the past and it’s just fine.  So if you don’t have butter, you can still make this.

**I took the marshmallows out after 2 minutes and found them a little bit hard to spread.  Two-and-a-half or three minutes would probably have been better.  My marshmallow topping wasn’t “smooth” but it still worked fine.

from Taste of Home’s Cookies & Bars 2003