Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Chubby Hubby Bars

Aside from the catchy name, these bars are insanely delicious. If you love the combination of sweet & salty, this recipe is for you. Imagine a basic blondie with chocolate chips and chopped pretzels, topped with a homemade peanut butter caramel slathered with a rich dark chocolate ganache then garnished with mini pretzels. If that isn't cookie bar heaven, then I don't know what is!

I made these bars for Elizabeth from Food Ramblings for this month's Leftovers Club exchange. Although they require a little extra work than the standard cookie bar, I wanted to make something extra special for Elizabeth for all of the hard work she puts into hosting the Leftovers Club every month. I hope she enjoyed eating them half as much as I enjoyed making them! 
If you're interested in joining the Leftovers Club, I encourage you to sign up at Food Ramblings. It's so much fun to send & receive yummy baked goods in the mail every month!

Chubby Hubby Bars
Makes 24 bars
Serves 24 (or one chubby hubby)

** Make Peanut Butter Caramel a day ahead to save time
** This recipe requires chilling to allow each layer to set so plan ahead


Peanut Butter Caramel
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon corn syrup
pinch of salt

Bar Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup malted milk powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups light brown or golden brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips (I used Ghiradelli Bittersweet  Chips)
1 1/2 cups min pretzels coarsely chopped

Ganache Ingredients:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli Bittersweet Chips)

Make the Peanut Butter Caramel:

Place the granulated sugar and water in a medium size heavy bottom saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat without stirring. Continue to boil over medium heat until the mixture turns a light amber color. Be sure to watch carefully to prevent burning. Carefully whisk in the heavy cream and cook for another 30 seconds to one minute or until the mixture turns the color of peanut butter.

Remove from heat and whisk in peanut butter, corn syrup, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Make the bars:

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9"x13" pan with non-stick foil (or spray regular foil with non-stick cooking spray).

Combine flour, baking powder, malted milk powder and salt in a medium size bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla at low speed until combined. Scrape down bottoms and sides of bowl. 

Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and chopped pretzels.

Bake at 350f  for approximately 30 minutes or until edges are set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

When bars have cooled, spread the peanut butter caramel into an even layer over the top of the bars. Refrigerate until the caramel has set (approx. 1 hour). Tip: If the caramel has been refrigerated, place it in the microwave and heat in 30 second intervals (stirring between intervals) until spreadable.

When the caramel has set, make the chocolate ganache -

Place the chocolate chips in small bowl. Microwave the heavy cream until hot and steamy, approx. 1 minute. Pour over the chocolate chips and allow to sit for approx. 3 minutes. Stir until melted then spread over the peanut butter caramel.

Garnish with mini pretzels then allow the chocolate to set. Once chocolate has set, cut into bars and serve.

Store leftovers tightly covered in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchen Prep Blog


  1. These sound amazing!! That salty pretzel on top is perfection!

    1. Thanks Marie! Sweet and salty are such a great combination!

  2. I'm really intrigued by the malted milk in them - Decadent delicious!

    1. Hi Marissa! The malted milk powder definitely makes a difference. It gives great flavor and helps to keep the bars moist and chewy for days.

  3. I'm drooling over the sound of that peanut butter caramel!

    1. Ashley, it was sooo good! I'm thinking of making different variations with other different types of nut & cookie butters. Yum!

  4. BAR HEAVEN is right!! Wowza to these!!

  5. These look unbelievably delicious!

  6. I am eating one right now-- absolutely delish!!!