Blogiversary Guest Post: Take 5 Bars by Planet Byn

I have strategically placed Robyn from Planet Byn here on Wednesday for 2 reasons. The first being it’s hump day and I knew without a doubt she would make something sweet and fabulous to get us through the rest of the week.  And can I just say Take 5 bars!!!! My completely all time favorite chocolate bar.

The second reason is that Tuesday night this wonderful group and I got together for our pretty regular dinner date and she may have brought some.  And I may have to kidnap her and make her bake me these every day!

It was Robyn who mentioned wanting to guest blog for my milestone day and thanks to her the idea took off and so many great people came together to make it such a touching week.  As Robyn mentions below we didn’t get a chance to meet at the FBC conference and I think about that all the time.  About what an amazing time we would have had.  But no worries there.  Our next one is happening this fall during my girl here’s birthday so I think we will make up those missed memories.

 Take 5 Bars

Happy Blog-iversary Tasty G! I’m so excited to be guest blogging here today, and to join in the celebrations! 

In case you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting The Tasty Gardener, I wanted to tell you a quick story that will let you know exactly what type of person she is. I officially met Heather last Spring, when we were both attending the Taste of Burlington launch. We had actually both attended the first Food Bloggers of Canada conference, but didn’t cross paths there. Anyway, I was super excited because it was my first time covering an event for my blog. So excited in fact, that I forgot the memory card in my camera! When I told Heather and the rest of the ladies we were there with (hi Jenny! hi Rhonda!), she quickly told me not to worry, and that I could use her photos from the night.  I remember actually being shocked that she would share her pictures with me – someone she just met – and I was blown away by her kindness and generosity.

While we were leaving, I said to the group that we should meet up again and go to one of the restaurants that was featured at the event. Heather took that and ran with it, organizing a dinner at Celli’s, and the rest is history. See, not only is this the 5th anniversary of The Tasty Gardener’s blog, it’s also almost the 1st anniversary of that dinner, which kicked off an amazing year of friendship and fun. 

And so, that brings us to these Take 5 Bars. I overheard Heather and Jenny talking about these one day, and apparently Tasty G has a little obsession with these chocolate bars that you can only find in the US. I thought it would be perfect to make this homemade version for Heather to celebrate 5 amazing years of blogging. Here’s to many more!

Take 5 Bars
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Ingredients

  • Pretzel Layer
  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Peanut Butter Layer
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • Caramel Layer
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 cup honey roasted peanuts, chopped
  • Chocolate Layer
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream

Instructions

  1. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium bowl, mix together the pretzels, butter and brown sugar, and press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. For peanut butter layer, mix together butter, peanut butter and icing sugar until smooth. Spread overtop cooled pretzel crust. Chill in the fridge while you make the caramel.
  3. For caramel layer, add the sugar, water, corn syrup and salt to a medium saucepan. Add a candy thermometer and heat to 340 degrees. Remove from heat immediately and stir in whipping cream, butter and sour cream. Let cool for about half an hour, then stir in the peanuts. Spread over the peanut butter layer (the caramel will be thick and gooey, but try the best you can for an even layer).
  4. Melt the chocolate chips and cream in the microwave or over a double boiler, then spread overtop the caramel. Chill for about 20 minutes, then cut into squares.
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Double Chocolate Peanut Butter

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter

Only good things can come of combining chocolate and peanut butter.  This cookie has a deep chocolate brownie consistancy and the peanut butter chips give it just enough…oomph.

Start by combing the flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder in one bowl and beating the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in another bowl.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter

Combine the two bowls.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter

Add the chocolate chips and peanut chips.  Oh a marriage made in heaven.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets and bake.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter

Yields 3-4 dozen

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa.
  3. In another large bowl cream together butter and sugars. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  4. Combine the flour mixture with the butter mixture.
  5. Fold in the chocolate and peanut butter chips.
  6. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared pans and bake for 9-12 minutes until set.
  7. Let cool completely on wire racks.
Recipe Type: Dessert
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Chocolate Cookie with Peanut Butter Icing

Chocolate and Peanut Butter.  A match that will survive till the end of time. Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

Yields 3 dozen

Chocolate Cookie with Peanut Butter Icing
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 3-4 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder.
  3. In another bowl cream together the butter and sugars.
  4. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  5. Fold in the flour mixture until dough is formed.
  6. Roll batter into 1 inch sized balls then flatten in palm of hand. Place on cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until tops begin to crack. Let cook completely on wire racks.
  8. To make the icing in a large bowl beat together the peanut butter and butter.
  9. Add the salt, vanilla and powdered sugar.
  10. Add the milk by tablespoonfuls until you get the consistency you prefer.
  11. Spread the icing on top of cooled cookies.
Recipe Type: Dessert
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment.
In a large bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder.

In another bowl cream together the butter and sugars.

Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Fold in the flour mixture until dough is formed.

Roll batter into 1 inch sized balls then flatten in palm of hand. Place on cookie sheets.

Bake for 9-10 minutes or until tops begin to crack. Let cook completely on wire racks.

To make the icing in a large bowl beat together the peanut butter and butter.

Add the salt, vanilla and powdered sugar.Add the milk by tablespoonfuls until you get the consistency you prefer.

Spread the icing on top of cooled cookies.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookie

Once again I’ve added something salty to a sweet cookie.  I like using the peanut butter chips so the peanut butter taste is only in bites and not throughout the cookie. This way you get many different bursts of flavor as you enjoy these.

Serves per cookie

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookie
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup pretzels, in small pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl cream together butter and both sugars.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  4. In another bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda.
  5. Mix together the dry and wet ingredients.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and pretzels.
  7. Drop in tablespoonfuls on prepared pans.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until bottoms begin to brown. Let cool on wire racks.
Recipe Type: Dessert
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment.
In a large bowl cream together butter and both sugars.

Beat in the egg and vanilla.

In another bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda.

Mix together the dry and wet ingredients.

Fold in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and pretzels.

Drop in tablespoonfuls on prepared pans.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until bottoms begin to brown. Let cool on wire racks.

Peanut Butter and Apple Cookies

You really don’t taste the apple much in this recipe but it definitely adds moisture and texture to the final cookie. Adapted from www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Serves per cookie

Peanut Butter and Apple Cookies
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup grated apple.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl beat together the peanut butter, butter, sugar and brown sugar.
  3. Beat in the eggs.
  4. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture.
  5. Fold in the apple.
  6. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and press down gently with a fork.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms begin to brown. Let cool on wire racks.
Recipe Type: Dessert
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl beat together the peanut butter, butter, sugar and brown sugar.

Beat in the eggs.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture.

Fold in the apple.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and press down gently with a fork.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms begin to brown. Let cool on wire racks.

Peanut Butter Fudge

Fudge can be really simple to make.  The most important step to being successful is timing.

Serves 1

Peanut Butter Fudge

This recipe like all fudge is incredibly sweet and rich. I cut it in really small bite size pieces cause one goes a long way.

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 pound smooth peanut butter
  • 4 large marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. In saucepan mix together sugar, milk, butter and vinegar. Boil slowly for 6 minutes. It should resemble soft ball when slightly cooled.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, marshmallow and vanilla.
  3. Pour into a 9" square pan. For better cutting when cool, cut into squares just as it begins to set.
  4. Refrigerate.
Recipe Type: Dessert
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In a large saucepan over high heat add 4 cups of sugar.  I know it’s alot but hey we are making fudge, not some weird diet food.

Peanut Butter Fudge (2)

To the sugar add the milk, (calcium, that’s fairly healthy)

Peanut Butter Fudge (3)

Butter, (umm……).  I melt mine to make it easier to measure.

Peanut Butter Fudge (4)

And vinegar.

Peanut Butter Fudge (5)

Mix them together well and bring everything to a boil.  Be careful, boiling sugar is really, really hot.

Peanut Butter Fudge (6)

Boil the sugar mixture for about 6 minutes.  The best way to tell if the sugar is ready is to drop a little bit of the hot mixture into cold water.  If it turns solid immediately it’s ready.  Remove from heat.

Peanut Butter Fudge (7)

Add the marshmallows.  I cut them in half so they would melt better.

Peanut Butter Fudge (8)

If you find the mixture is cooling too fast to completely melt the marshmallows then put it back on the stove to heat it up again.

Peanut Butter Fudge (9)

Next add the peanut butter.  Yes you read the ingredients right…ONE POUND.  If it’s any consolation to your thighs I did use low fat peanut butter and the fudge still turned out great.

Peanut Butter Fudge (10)

Add the vanilla.

Peanut Butter Fudge (12)

Again the mixture will start cooling really fast so keep it warm on the stove to mix everything together well.

Peanut Butter Fudge (11)

Pour the fudge into your dish.  The recipe calls for 9″ baking dish but here I used a medium sized bar pan.  It gives you a thinner fudge that you can cut into smaller pieces. Or one giant rectangle to knaw on late at night.

Peanut Butter Fudge (13)

Spread it out evenly in the pan.  Resist the urge to start eating it with a spoon.

Peanut Butter Fudge (14)

The fudge is already beginning to cool so it’s a lot easier to cut it if you do it before it’s completely hard and crumbly.

Peanut Butter Fudge (15)

Oddly I turned my back and a piece went missing.

Peanut Butter Fudge (16)

Oh there it is!!!  Doesn’t it look fantastic.  Butter, peanut butter and sugar.  Can’t deny the wonderful team they make.  Refrigerate to set completely and enjoy.

Peanut Butter Fudge