Father's Day was a lot of fun this year...the kids are getting older and really getting excited to see others open the cards and gifts they have made. We were busy that weekend but I still wanted to contribute a dish to pass for the luncheon at my grandparents house. I didn't have the time for my usual multi-step fantasies like layered cakes with billowing buttercream or sugar cookie cups with sweetened cream cheese and topped with fruit. Honestly, my husband (the dessert purest) probably would have been disappointed if I HAD made something like that. So I looked to some of his favorite flavors...and the internet for inspiration. Salt, caramel, butterscotch, vanilla; different than the usual dessert but easy and quick. No problem, right! I found a layered bar based on Chubby Hubby ice cream. It had a lot of peanut butter, which we don't do here. So I just swapped it for butterscotch chips. The beauty of layer bars is that they can really be tailored to your own liking. After making these (and yes...everyone LOVED them) I decided that they could still morph further into the perfect dessert bar.
First off, the pretzels on top were a bit much. Nice to see, but after a few hours I felt like it tasted stale; as though they were absorbing the moisture from the bar and the air. So leave those off, but incorporate it into the batter. And be sure you pick out a REALLY SALTY brand! Ours left most of the good salt bits at the bottom of the bag. Toffee bits could've given it a little more crunch that was missing from the stale pretzels. Lastly, a drizzle of caramel or even a melted layer of caramel IN the bar would've been Heavenly. Have fun making your own creations!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 t salt
- 3/4 cups unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 T. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups, semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pretzels, divided
- 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9x13 baking pan. Place the pretzels in a sealable bag and roughly pound with a rolling pin. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Using a mixer, beat together butter, brown sugar and white sugar at medium speed. Mix until combined and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. On low speed slowly add the flour mixture just until it's incorporated into the batter. Add in 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped pretzels. Either stir this mixture with a spoon or you can turn your mixer back on the lowest setting until it's combined, just don't over-mix it. The batter will be very stiff. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan as evenly as possible. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining toppings (1/2 cup chopped pretzels, 1/4 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup butterscotch chips. Sprinkle mixture over top of batter and press down slightly. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and pulling away from the edge of the pan slightly. Cool completely before cutting. Serve on their own or with ice cream.