Take 5 Bars

Take 5 Bars | Cookies and Cups

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Today’s fun you guys.

Actually this whole week is a lot of fun…



You like candy, right?

Dumb question…


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.


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

Take 5 Bars | Cookies and Cups

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

I used the back of my measuring cup to help press the crust firmly into my pan…This helps it not crumble so much.
 photo IMG_8858_zps5509b044.jpgBake 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.
 photo IMG_8881_zpsf5a5eb54.jpgSpread 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.

All you do is add some sugar, corn syrup, salt and water into a heavy pot…
 photo IMG_8861_zps82288d47.jpgPop your thermometer on the side…
 photo IMG_8867_zps3bfd5444.jpgAnd 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.

Anyway, it’ll look like the most beautiful caramel when it’s cooled…
 photo IMG_8879_zps4b84d258.jpgRight?

Then chop up some peanuts…
 photo IMG_8894_zps6a9b173f.jpgAnd stir those in…
 photo IMG_8901_zpsc93bd89e.jpgSpread that on the peanut butter layer.  It’ll be a tad hard to spread, but just be patient, you can do it.
 photo IMG_8903_zpsb0392c66.jpgThen you can go ahead and get your chocolate out.
I used milk chocolate on top. Because, well…it’s the best.

Melt that with a little heavy cream and spread it all over the caramel.
 photo IMG_8915_zpsb6eb3886.jpgAnd then smooth it all over…
 photo IMG_8917_zps3d8b6807.jpgPop 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.



Take 5 Bars

  • Author: Cookies & Cups


makes 30 bars


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.


61 Responses

  1. Um, I LOVE Take 5 Bars. For some reason, our grocery store quit selling them at the check-out…which you would think would be helpful to my waistline, but so far, no. But, making them AT HOME?!? Never, ever occurred to me. And that is just another reason I’m so happy to have you in my life! 🙂

  2. Take 5 bars are one of my favorite things ever ever EVER!!! I bet one of these would taste really great cold, right out of the fridge, at 3 am.

    Not that I eat things like this at 3 am, I’m just guessing, #ofcourse.

    1. Do you mean 240 degrees on the candy thermometer?? 340 is hotter than “hard crack” stage … which unfortunately I didn’t realize until I had already created a layer of burnt hardened sugar n my nice pan. 🙁

      1. Shelly

        Yes, it is 340°. WHat kind of saucepan did you use?
        The reason that you bring it up to 340° is because of the amount of cream you add as soon as you take it off the heat.

  3. 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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