Tuesday, June 28, 2011

M&M Cashew Pretzel Bars

There is a lot going on in these bars and it's all delicious.  The soft bar includes chopped pretzels, topped with a thick layer of ganache and decorated with cashews and M&Ms.  It's a nice balance of salty and sweet.

One of the treats up for bid during the Bloggers Bake for Hope bake sale, I've been eying this recipe from Kerstin at Cake, Batter and Bowl for some time now.  I didn't alter anything on the recipe, but I used a different pretzel since it's what I had on hand.  And I used the "spring mix" M&Ms since I don't pay full price for candy and those were in the candy bag.  I could have done dark chocolate or peanut butter M&Ms, but Dave wanted to try the original recipe.  And it turned out quite well.  I'll be making these again.

M&M Cashew Pretzel Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coarsely chopped pretzels
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup whole cashews
1/2 cup M&Ms

Beat butter and brown sugar in a bowl until fluffy.

Add flour and baking powder, mixing until smooth.  Mix in chopped pretzels.

Spread dough into a greased 8 x 8 inch pan (or line the pan with parchment for easy removal).

Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and set.  Cool for 30 minutes.

Put chocolate chips and milk in a small microwave safe bowl (I used a glass measuring cup) and microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds.  Stir until chips are melted and ganache is smooth.

Spread ganache onto cooled pretzel bars.  Evenly sprinkle cashews and M&Ms on top of ganache.  Cut into bars.

Makes 16 bars.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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