Friday, July 28, 2017

No-Bake Butterscotch Pretzel Bars

It seems like there comes a time each summer where I have to look for no-bake cookies, as the house is warm and I don’t really want to turn on the oven. We’ve had a nice summer, not all that warm, but I really prefer 65 degrees and cloudy. Several days at 85 degrees is too much for me. We also just returned from southern Oregon where it was 95, but at least there was air conditioning. I sure wish we had central air conditioning!

I had pinned these bars a while ago, knowing that soon it would be warm. I also had some pretzels left over. I like pretzels, but I eat a couple and then I am done. It’s not uncommon to find an opened yet fairly full bag of pretzels in the cupboard. Knowing that I would likely make these, I also was sure that I picked up a bag of butterscotch chips. But I guess I hadn’t. So the instructions for how I actually made these was: make the base, realize you don’t have enough butterscotch chips, go to the store, eat dinner, finish the bars, refrigerate. Even with the delay, they don’t take long to put together.

I made my pretzel crumbs in the food processor. You could crush them in a plastic bag. You want them fairly fine, but they don’t have to be completely pulverized. My cats would probably prefer I don’t use the food processor. It’s noisy but it gets the job done fast. The original recipe called for topping the bars with crushed pretzels and chopped peanuts, but I used pretzels only. These are easy to cut, but the base is fairly crumbly. The topping retains some softness, so they are best stored in the refrigerator, to stay as firm as possible. These are quite a sweet treat, so cut your squares small!

No-Bake Butterscotch Pretzel Bars
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups pretzel crumbs, made in a food processor
11 ounces butterscotch chips
1/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup coarsely crushed pretzels

Line a 9” x 13” pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the powdered sugar, peanut butter, and melted butter, beating on medium until combined. Add the pretzel crumbs and mix on medium to incorporate. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butterscotch chips and whipping cream. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring frequently, until the mixture is smooth. Spread the butterscotch mixture over the pretzel/peanut butter base and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the crushed pretzels, pressing them slightly into the butterscotch topping.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

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