Sweet and Salty Caramel Peanut Butter Bars

Someday I would like to write a book.  If I ever do, I am sure I will include some effusive, heart-felt dedication.  But, for now I just write recipes, and this recipe is dedicated to my sister.

My sister has always astounded me with her ardent love for peanut butter.  Much to her disappointment I have never done much baking with the wonder-spread up until now.  I set out to change that.

Sweet and Salty Caramel Peanut Butter Bars {Pedantic Foodie}

I invited sweet caramel and salty pretzel sticks to join me.  What could go wrong?  Nothing.  Not one thing.     

These bars are sweet and salty, rich and chewy.  They begin with a soft peanut butter cookie base. 

Sweet and Salty Caramel Peanut Butter Bars {Pedantic Foodie}

Pretzels are layered over rich caramel sauce.  

Are you excited?

Sweet and Salty Caramel Peanut Butter Bars {Pedantic Foodie}

To my sister who eats obscene and sometimes frightening amounts of peanut butter - I love you.  



   Pedantic Foodie

Sweet and Salty Caramel Peanut Butter Bars 

 makes 16 bars 

for the bars 

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  

In the bowl of your stand mixer beat to combine butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar.  Add egg and vanilla extract.   

Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Slowly add to peanut butter mixture and beat until well combined.  

Spread mixture evenly in a 9X13 baking pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool to room temperature and prepare the caramel sauce.  

for the caramel 

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon water 
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream 

In a small saucepan combine sugar, butter and water.  

Place over medium heat and stir until the butter melts and the sugar begins to dissolve.  Once the sugar has dissolved increase heat to medium high and boil for 5-7 minutes or until amber in color.  Swirl the pan occasionally but DO NOT stir or scape down the sides.  

Once the color is correct remove from heat and add vanilla, nutmeg, and eggnog.  Be careful!  The caramel may splatter.  Return the pan to the burner and stir until the caramel is smooth and homogenous. 

 Pour the caramel sauce over cooled peanut butter bar.  Layer pretzel sticks evenly over bars while the caramel is still cooling.  

Slice the bars into 16 even squares.  Enjoy!