Salted Pretzel-Marshmallow Bars
I'm one of those people who torch the heck outta the marshmallow while roasting them. I make sure they're glowing with fire, lightly blow out the flames, pull off the outer layer of crispy charred marshmallow, devour, and repeat until the marshmallow is all gone. That's my kind of marshmallow roasting! It's always been that way, and I'm sure it'll never change. Now, this doesn't mean I lack the skills to make a perfectly golden marshmallow :) I just get impatient.
Ryan is the first person I've ever met who doesn't like pretzels. I LOVE pretzels. When I was growing up, my Mom would almost always have her pool bag stocked with pretzels and sunflower seeds. I love eating pretzels with cheese, dipped in chocolate, or even just plain. Ryan, on the other hand, won't even eat them in a dessert. It's just not his thing. So, sadly, we'll only be keeping enough for me to nibble on. I hope my neighbors don't share Ryan's negative palate towards pretzels. What are the odds, though, right?
These bars are coated and filled with such flavor! The peanut butter drizzle adds the perfect layer of saltiness, and the chocolate drizzle mixes so well with the toasted marshmallow and crunchy pretzel pieces. You can use any kind of pretzel shapes or sizes you want - I just love how the pretzel's square shape played off the circular marshmallows.
Salted Pretzel-Marshmallow Bars
for the bars:
1 1/2 C broken pretzel pieces
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 C packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 t vanilla extract
2 drops almond extract (optional)
for the topping:
3 large marshmallows, halved crosswise
1/4 C peanut butter
1 t vegetable oil
1/4 C chocolate chips
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a 9x9 baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 2 inch overhang on all sides (so you can pull out the bars easier after baking). Spray the foil with cooking spray.
3. Pulse 1 cup pretzel pieces in a food processor until finely ground into about 1/2 cup of crumbs. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Cool, then stir in eggs and vanilla. Stir half the pretzel mixture into the butter mixture, then add in the other half.
5. Spread the batter in your prepared baking pan. Scatter the remaining 1/2 C pretzel pieces on top. Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out clean if poked in the center - about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack, then lift the foil to remove bars from pan and transfer to a baking sheet.
6. Preheat the broiler (I did mine on low). Press marshmallow halves, cut side down, on top of bars. Broil, rotating if needed, until marshmallows are golden brown - about a minute. Let cool.
7. Melt peanut butter in microwave, by 10 seconds, until melted. Drizzle over bars. Melt chocolate chips with 1 t vegetable oil, by 10 seconds at a time, until all melted throughout. Drizzle chocolate over bars. Refrigerate until bars are set, and chocolate is hard. Cut with a knife dipped in very hot water to make more even cuts.
Recipe adapted from: Food Network Magazine, September 2012 Issue
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