Oh hey there. You probably didn't recognize me because of my new look. Do you like it? I hope you like it. It took me forever to decide on a design that would most accurately portray my style and personality, and most importantly, keep me satisfied for more than just a few weeks or months; you know, something I can officially stick with. Your opinion means a lot to me too though, which is why I hope you'll say you like it. But if you don't, that's okay, because I know you'll like these bars.
They are phenomenal. How I've lived before them is beyond me. They're basically blondies, but they're packed with mini M&M's AND pretzels and topped with a sprinkle of salt to give you that amazing sweet and salty combo that dreams are made of. Though I've always found myself eating something sweet after something salty, I don't think I've actually ever longed for the sweet & salty combo itself. But gone are those days.
This combo is so addictive and incredibly crave-worthy. Admittedly, I was a little cautious when sprinkling the salt on top of the bars because I was afraid they'd be too salty and nobody would want to eat them. You know how it is with my family, I have to introduce new foods to them gradually. But after tasting them, I realized I could have been liberal with the salt and not worried so much. The pretzels give the bars that salty kick, but the salt is what really adds the finishing touch to the combination.
In any case, these bars were absolutely irresistible. And it's so much better eating them instead of eating some fries and having chocolate chip cookies afterwards. I mean, it's technically healthier because I'm knocking out the calories of the salty meal and getting both the salty and sweet satisfied with just one thing.
...Well, it's healthier until you eat the whole pan of them. I probably should have taken into consideration the taste factor of the bars before rewarding myself with them for losing two pounds. Dare I say that they were worth it? Worth possibly gaining back those two pounds that I lost? Even though I'm trying to fit into a particular dress for a wedding in one week? Um, heck to the yeah. And I would do it again in a heartbeat. Okay maybe not that last part, but you catch my drift :)
Sweet and Salty M&M Pretzel Bars
Yield: 16 squaresIngredients:3/4 cup all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/4 tsp salt + an extra pinch to sprinkle on top6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed1 eggpinch of vanilla powder (or 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract)1/4 cup mini M&M's1/4 cup pretzels, broken into 1/4 inch piecesDirections:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8x8 inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang on opposite sides to pull the bars out later on.In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the melted butter and brown sugar for 30 seconds. Turn speed to low, add the egg and mix well. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Remove bowl from stand mixer. Fold in dry ingredients; do not overmix.Gently fold in M&M's and pretzel pieces. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining salt on top.Place in oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the top is shiny and cracked and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.Remove bars from pan using the overhanging edges of the parchment paper or foil. Cut into squares.Adapted from Life Made Simple