Take 5 Bars

These simple Take 5 Bars are the most delicious chocolate bars ever! Made from peanut butter, chocolate, caramel and more, this candy bar will give you an energy boost, or just a much needed dose of chocolate!

candy copy

Today’s fun you guys.

Actually this whole week is a lot of fun…You like candy, right?

Dumb question…

Homemade Chocolate Candy Bars

So this week Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen, Bridget from Bake at 350 and I are doing a whole week of Candy Bar treats.

Otherwise known as the best week ever.

Easy Take 5 Layer Bar Recipe

For my first installation I decided to play around with a Take 5 Bar.

You know the ones, right?  They are possibly the most perfect food ever invented.

You’ve got pretzels, peanut butter, caramel, peanut and chocolate.

Most. Perfect.

I wanted to mess with the ingredients in a  Take 5 and make them into bars.

Because that’s what I do.

Let’s take about these ok…you’ve got a buttery, pretzel crust, topped with a peanut butter filling, topped again with the most delicious homemade caramel sauce mixed with honey roasted peanuts, topped AGAIN with a milk chocolate layer.

Dying yet?

Take 5 Bars | Cookies and Cups

Tips and Tricks on Take 5 Bars:

Start with the crust:  Crushed pretzels, brown sugar and butter.

Pretzel crust being pressed into a pan with a measuring cup
Peanut butter filling being spread over pretzel crust in a pan

I used the back of my measuring cup to help press the crust firmly into my pan…This helps it not crumble so much.
Bake that til it’s golden and set it aside to cool.
Then make your peanut butter layer.
Peanut Butter, Butter and powdered sugar.
It keeps getting better.
Spread it all up on your cooled crust.

Pop that in the fridge while you’re making your caramel.
Yes, I said making your caramel.

Now, if you’re really just not that into making your own, go ahead and buy a 14 oz bag of caramels and melt them with 1/4 cup heavy cream.

Try making your own, just this once. It’s beyond worth it.
This is coming from someone who gives the candy thermometer the stink eye every chance I get…so trust me.

A tablespoon of corn syrup being added to a saucepan
Candy thermometer in a saucepan

All you do is add some sugar, corn syrup, salt and water into a heavy pot…
Pop your thermometer on the side…
And then let that boil away until the thermometer reads 340°.
Remove it from the heat and stir in butter, heavy cream and a leetle bit of sour cream…again, just trust me.

Let that stuff cool for a while. Mine actually sat for about an hour and a half. I got sidetracked with life stuff, like feeding my family and Downton Abbey on my iPad.

Caramel on a whisk over a saucepan

Anyway, it’ll look like the most beautiful caramel when it’s cooled…

Chopped peanuts on a cutting board
Chopped peanuts in caramel sauce
Peanut caramel sauce being spread over peanut butter filling and pretzel crust in a baking pan

Then chop up some peanuts…
And stir those in…
Spread that on the peanut butter layer.  It’ll be a tad hard to spread, but just be patient, you can do it.
Then you can go ahead and get your chocolate out.
I used milk chocolate on top. Because, well…it’s the best.

Melted chocolate being spread over caramel peanut mixture in a pan
Take 5 Bars in a 9x13 pan

Melt that with a little heavy cream and spread it all over the caramel.
And then smooth it all over…
Pop this back in the fridge for about an hour or so, enough time for the chocolate to set and the caramel to firm up.

Also, I served them chilled…they hold together a bit better that way!

And yeah, so that’s what you do.

*Warning, these bars are insane, and also a bit messy.
So what, who cares?

Take 5 Bars | Cookies and Cups


Now, you MUST go check out what Kristan and Bridget stuffed candy into.

I hear there’s Heath Bar Salted Caramel Brownie Trifles,  or something ridiculous like that happening…

And maybe Snickers Scones, which basically makes it ok to eat Snickers for breakfast and pretend that I live on Downton Abbey all at the same time. Win.

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Take 5 Bars

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  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 40 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 50 min
  • Yield: 30 bars 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These simple Take 5 Bars are the most delicious chocolate bars ever! Made from peanut butter, chocolate, caramel and more, this candy bar will give you an energy boost, or just a much needed dose of chocolate!



Pretzel Crust

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar

Peanut Butter Filling

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Caramel Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 cup chopped Honey Roasted Peanuts

Top layer

  • 2 Cups milk chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream



  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Lightly spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  3. In large bowl combine crushed pretzels, melted butter and brown sugar. Stir to combine.
  4. Press into prepared pan, packing tightly.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. Cool completely.

Peanut Butter Filling

  1. In a large mixing bowl beat peanut butter and butter together until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar, beating until incorporated. Spread on top of cooled crust. Chill until ready to spread caramel.

Caramel Filling

  1. In a medium heavy saucepan combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and water. Bring mixture to a boil without stirring until temperature reaches 340° on a candy thermometer. (Took about 15 minutes for me). Remove from heat and immediately add heavy cream, butter and sour cream. Mixture will bubble up. Stir until combined and set aside to cool. When cool stir in chopped peanuts and spread on top of peanut butter layer.

Chocolate topping

  1. Melt milk chips and heavy cream in a double boiler or microwave until melted. Spread over caramel layer.
  2. Chill until ready to cut into squares.


I kept my bars chilled and found that they were easier to cut cold.

If you don’t want to make your own caramel layer, you can melt 14 oz unwrapped caramel pieces together with 1/4 cup heavy cream instead.


  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 305
  • Sugar: 26.7 g
  • Sodium: 165.1 mg
  • Fat: 16.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37.2 g
  • Protein: 4.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 6.8 mg

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61 comments on “Take 5 Bars”

  1. I made these for a teacher treat and they are very good. Because of nut allergies, I substituted sunflower seed butter and used pretzel m&ms instead of nuts (although you could make your own honey roasted pepitas or something). I would DEFINITELY recommend lining your pan with parchment b/c the crust is very sticky because of the sugar content and I had a very hard time getting them out of the pan. For grown up tastes, I might also sprinkle a bit of coarse sea salt on top to reinforce the salty sweet thing which got a little lost with all of the sugar. Very good though!

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