Saturday, December 10, 2011

Take 5 Brownies

Yep, you saw right.  Take 5 Brownies.

Right now you're probably wondering.... where have these been all my life?

And also... how many of these can I eat without having to incorporate stretchy pants into my holiday wardrobe?

Or, um, maybe that's just me?

But since Take 5 bars are one of my favorite candies, I've had this idea brewing for a while.  

And this is not my first attempt.

Round 1 was largely disappointing.  It used cake mix bars instead of brownies, and incorporated peanut butter chips and peanut butter cups.  Which you'd think would be better, because let's face it who doesn't love a Reese's cup?  But honestly they just got lost in all the mess of caramel and chocolate.

I still brought the bars to Thanksgiving, and overall people seemed to like them, but I was not impressed.  

They were sooo much better in my mind than in reality.

(Ugh.  HATE that.)

I knew I could do better.

So it was back to the cutting board, if you will - and Round 2 was infinitely times better.

I'm only sad that I made them to take to a party and not to eat the whole pan.

By myself.

In one sitting.

Then again, since Cardiac Arrest was not on my Christmas list this year, perhaps it's all for the best?

Take Five Brownies

  • 1 box (family-sized for 9x13 pan) milk chocolate brownie mix
  • 1 C. crunchy peanut butter
  • 2/3 C. powdered sugar
  •  1 1/2 C. ‘snaps’ or waffle pretzels (approximate- you may need a few more or less)
  • 1 C. milk chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 1/2 C. butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 C. light brown sugar
  • 6 T. light corn syrup
  • 2 T. heavy cream
  • 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

Bake milk chocolate brownies as directed on box in a 9x13 pan.  Allow to cool completely, then combine crunchy peanut butter with powdered sugar in a large bowl.  Beat until combined, then spread evenly over cooled brownies.

Arrange pretzels over top of peanut butter in a single layer.  Sprinkle milk chocolate chips over top of pretzels and set aside.

Prepare caramel topping: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and heavy cream.  Bring to a boil and stir, making sure all sugar is dissolved.  Stir 5-10 minutes more, until caramel is thick & bubbly (about 230 degrees on a candy thermometer).  Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and pour caramel evenly over brownies.  Run the tip of a knife or the back of a spoon over the top in swirl patterns to create a design.  Refrigerate pan for about 1 hour to set.  Then remove brownies by lifting foil, and cut into bars.

Note: These are rich, so in this case less is more. I’d cut 4 columns down the short end, and 8 rows down the long end to make 32 bars.  Also, I like to cut the edges off first – totally optional, but it makes the bars look nicer!

Original Recipe; Caramel Topping recipe adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking 


  1. Oh my! These look downright amazing! It is always disappointing to make something and not have it turn out. You have totally redeemed yourself! Yum!

  2. Wow! This looks so good. Mouthwatering.

  3. Oh god, feeling my heart stopping - this deserves all the buzz and more!!! It may become a favourite brownie :)

  4. awesome idea, this looks really good.

  5. Maggie, Maggie, Maggie...what ARE you doing? First I see the Nutella caramel corn, then these brownies and then I scroll down a bit and see chocolate covered Nutella bites. Sigh. I'll need a whole wardrobe of stretchy pants. If I had the brownie ingredients on hand, I'd already be in the kitchen by now...

  6. These brownies look and sound amazing. I would love it if you came to link to my holiday recipe swap blog hop. It is my first ever! Love these recipes.
    -Erin Kennedy

  7. I have to try these as soon as possible!!! What a greattttt recipe, and photo is ..ahhh so delicious!!!!

  8. Yummm! Love Take 5 bars - I remember when they were giving them out as trials at the Hershey's factory, fell in love! I can only imagine how incredible these brownies must taste. Must. Try!

  9. YUM! I have never had a Take 5 bar, but if I ever find one, I will definitely buy one after seeing these bars. They look delicious!

  10. Yes you were right I have been wondering where these have been my whole life. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Maggie! I made these for a New Year's party (never did make the party due to a baby with a fever.) However, the hubby and I ate some and OH MY WORD! FABULOUS! Then I gave some to my sister's family and they LOVED them! I even got the "good cooker" compliment from my niece! Then I took the rest (btw, this recipe makes millions of bars, well not millions, but a lot!) to my small group and the men were drooling over these! Thank you for making me look awesome!

  12. @Alli H. This comment made my day! Thanks so much for letting me know - I'm really glad that you enjoyed them and that they were a hit amongst family & friends :)

  13. I am actually scared to make these!! Scared for my hips and waistline! Take 5 is one of my new favorite candy bars (but are very hard to find around here??). I am afraid they would be too wonderful to eat just one! Maybe I'll be brave someday soon? LOL!


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