Sweet Tooth Friday: Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Bars

by Allison @ Alli 'n Son on May 12, 2011

What are you favorite dessert ingredients?

This was a question directed at a friend and his family a few weeks ago. We wanted to do something nice for them. Or perhaps I just had a craving to experiment with a new recipe. Either way, something new and delicious was about to be born.

  • Caramel
  • Peanut butter
  • Chocolate
  • Marshmallows
  • Nuts

That was his answer. Nothing simple like chocolate chips and cookies. Or peanut butter and Hershey’s kisses. Oh no. I was officially challenged to create a multi-layered dessert that would knock his socks off.

Layer One: A semi-homemade chocolate chip cookie made with a boxed cake mix. I know, right? This is my little secret for fast chocolate chip cookies when I don’t feel like going to the trouble of making them from scratch.

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Bars

Layer Two: Ooey, gooey, sticky and sweet caramel peanut butter. Yes, caramel, peanut butter and a few unsalted peanuts thrown together in a blissfully happy marriage. Who knew?

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Bars

Layer Three: Chopped peanut butter cups and mini marshmallows. I may have eaten this combination by the handful.

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Bars

Let me just say that these bars were so successful that they may have caused a rift in our friends’ marriage. The bars were certainly devoured in less than 24 hours. It’s possible that they may have resulted in a fist fight at our house, over the last remaining “sample” that I reserved.

It’s a good thing I’m feisty, or Hubs surely would have gotten that last bar. Can you imagine, stealing food from a pregnant woman?

Really the only down side to asking our friend what their favorite dessert ingredients are, is that now I’m addicted to coming up with new recipes customized for friends and family. It’s an illness I tell you. One that I’d gladly share with you if I could. Well, maybe not the illness, but the desserts.

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Bars

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Bars

Yield: 24

Serving Size: 1 bar

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Bars

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Peanut Butter Caramel
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup caramel sauce
  • 4 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
  • Topping
  • 1 cup peanut butter cups, chopped {about 7}
  • 1.5 cups mini marshmallows

Instructions

    Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper, leaving extra on the sides to use as handles, or spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Stir together the cake mix, melted butter, egg and water. The dough will be stiff. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Press into prepared pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center is set. Cool completely.
  4. Peanut Butter Caramel
  5. Combine the peanut butter, caramel sauce and hot water in a glass jar with lid. Shake or stir to combine.
  6. Stir in the peanuts to 1 cup of the peanut butter caramel sauce (save the rest of the caramel for ice cream). Pour over cooled cookie crust.
  7. Topping
  8. Sprinkle the chopped peanut butter cups and mini marshmallows over the peanut butter caramel. Press lightly to secure topping in place.
  9. Allow bars to set, so the caramel thickens a little, about 2 hours. Remove bars from the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into 24 pieces.

Notes

Use remaining the remaining peanut butter caramel sauce over ice cream, brownies or just eat it with a spoon. I won't tell anyone, I promise.

http://www.alli-n-son.com/2011/05/12/peanut-butter-cup-caramel-bars/

Ready to link up with Sweet Tooth Friday? I only have a few rules:

  1. Link directly to your recipe {sweet-recipes only please}, not to the main page of your blog.
  2. Link back to my blog and/or include the Sweet Tooth Friday button {code is below and in the side bar}.
  3. Visit a few of the other blogs. Spread the sweet-love!
  4. Subscribe to my blog, follow me on Twitter, or like me on Facebook.
  5. Stop by again on Saturday. Each week I pick my five favorite recipes. If you are featured I have a nifty button you can add to your blog.

Sweet Tooth Friday


This post is proudly linked up to Mondays: Mouthwatering Mondays, Made By You Monday, Simply Share It, Mingle Monday Tuesdays: Tuesdays and the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, It’s a Blog Party, Tip Junkie Wednesdays: Show and Tell, Works for Me Wednesday, Thursdays: Ultimate Recipe Swap, It’s a Keeper Thursdays, Strut Your Stuff, Full Plate Thursdays Thrilling Thursday, Chic & Crafty Party Fridays: I’m Loving It, Foodie Friday, Grocery Cart Challenge, Food on Fridays, Friday Pot Luck, Walnut Avenue: Foodie Friday Saturdays: Sweets for a Saturday Sundays: So Sweet Sunday, Nifty Thrifty Sunday

Related Posts:

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Catherine May 12, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Wow! I’ve never been first before!
Your bars look a lot like this amazing dessert pizza they have at Max Brenner–TOTALLY making me crave that right now!

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2 Allison May 13, 2011 at 10:17 am

Congrats on being first! So glad you linked up today.

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3 MJ * iNeedaPlaydate May 12, 2011 at 7:26 pm

I think I love you. Can we be friends? The kind of friend you make desserts for? Please? 😀

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4 Allison May 13, 2011 at 10:19 am

Of course! I need someone to eat all of these goodies that I make.

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5 Kathy May 12, 2011 at 8:30 pm

This looks lethal! But, I am sure we’d be willing to try it!
Kathy

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6 Allison May 13, 2011 at 10:21 am

They are lethal! I’ll send you some from the next batch. 😉

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7 Crystal & Co May 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm

As always, I just love your photography in your tutorials.

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8 Allison May 13, 2011 at 10:22 am

Thank you Crystal! It always helps to have photos when you are trying a new recipe, don’t you think?

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9 Jessica May 13, 2011 at 7:16 am

I am craving chocolate right now if you know what I mean. I must make these this weekend- thanks girl. Just linked up my donut bread pudding. Come by and check it out if you get a chance today

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10 Allison May 13, 2011 at 10:23 am

I know exactly what you mean! I’m stopping by soon to see what you are cooking up.

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11 stephanie May 13, 2011 at 7:45 am

Hi! Found u from Mamapedia … L.O.V.E. your site! Would you mind if I introduced you to my readers & posted a recipe or 2 on my site? I will link to your site of course with a bio. My blog, http://www.SouthernMomentum.com is a collaboration of GenXer moms from all over the map who try to inspire & provide a laugh or 2 to those who need it! I know they would love your site since they have been asking me for recipes. Take a peek around & lmk what you think.
This is the test: If you can no longer locate a pen because you’ve used them all to fish Barbie clothes out of the toilet, then you may enjoy my blog :). Check this post out. http://bit.ly/mmMPiJ

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12 Allison May 13, 2011 at 10:26 am

I would be so honored to be featured! Send me the link when it’s up and I’ll help promote it.

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13 Little Brick Ranch May 13, 2011 at 8:28 am

These look AMAZING!! I love that you used a cake mix…so clever! :)

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14 Allison May 13, 2011 at 10:27 am

Thank you! I hope that blogger is fixed soon so Foodie Friday is up. I miss your linky!

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15 Jo May 13, 2011 at 8:32 am

I’m having problems adding your link to my post.I will try later!

This recipe is sure to please,I love chocolate!
I got to try!
What do you think about using pancake/waffle instead of white cake mix??
~JO

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16 Allison May 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

I fixed the button, it should be working now. Other wise the code is also in my side bar. Let me know if you still have trouble.

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17 Erin @ Making Memories May 13, 2011 at 8:52 am

Oh My HECK!!! These sound and look awesome! I even have all the ingredients! I am so going to make these this weekend!

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18 Allison May 13, 2011 at 10:29 am

You totally made me laugh by your comment! I hope you enjoy the bars.

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19 Susan May 13, 2011 at 9:06 am

Ooey Gooey! What a great recipe!!

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20 Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust May 13, 2011 at 9:25 am

Wow, peanut butter cups, chocolate chips, caramel…all in one dessert? You’re a genius!

I posted a sweet tooth favorite today! And I will be sure to add your button to my post as soon as blogger figures out what it’s problem is. :)

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21 Allison May 13, 2011 at 10:30 am

Yay for posting! Boo for Blogger. I hope they get their issues worked out soon.

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22 Andrea (Andreas Kitchen) May 13, 2011 at 10:06 am

Happy Friday Alli! I am sharing my recipe for Coconut Pineapple Muffins. This recipe is gluten free, but can be made using “regular” flour if you don’t have an issue with gluten.
Thanks for hosting!

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23 Allison May 13, 2011 at 10:31 am

Sounds wonderful! Thank you for being a loyal linker! I need to feature your GF recipes in an upcoming Sweet Tooth Favorites.

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24 Aimee May 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I linked up a couple things, including my Mile High Caramel Bars I made this week! Must be on our brains :)
Enjoy!
-Aimee

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25 lulumusing May 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm

You’ve got to be kidding, peanut butter AND caramel in the same recipe. Both are my favorite things, and I can’t wait to try them together!

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26 Cares and Mimi May 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Oh dear….I think I’ve just found my new addiction! This recipe looks amazing! Linked up our Swedish Visiting Cake – have a great weekend! – Cares

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27 thepsychobabble May 13, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Oh Yum. Can’t wait to check out the other links, too! And just in time for Bake Sale Season, lol

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28 Hazel Moon May 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Carmel, chocolate and peanut butter, such a wonderful combination! Your photos are hummy looking.

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29 Ann Kroeker May 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Brilliant! I love this concoction, but I love your inventiveness even more. You inspire! It’s such a treat (literally) for you to create a one-of-a-kind dessert for your friends. What an act of love! Thanks for linking this to Food on Fridays!

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30 Lisa @ Sweet as Sugar Cookies May 13, 2011 at 10:00 pm

I don’t know what else to say about those bars except that they look like the ultimate! I want some so badly. I linked up this week with my Brown Sugar Chai Ice Cream.

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31 Tameka Downing May 13, 2011 at 10:06 pm

OMG these look so good, I think I am making these tomorrow.

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32 emily @ the happy home May 13, 2011 at 10:20 pm

thanks for the invite, alli!

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33 Yenta Mary May 13, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Thank you so much for inviting me to the party! Oh, my word, a girl could fall into a sugar coma just drooling over all these goodies! Happily following along … :)

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34 gloria May 14, 2011 at 9:34 am

Thanks for inviting me I enjoy you blog and Im following now! I add my blueberry slump! thanks gloria

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35 Erin @ EKat's Kitchen May 14, 2011 at 10:32 am

This looks delicious…. and dangerous! How hard is it to share? Thanks so much for linking up to Friday Potluck!

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36 Denise May 14, 2011 at 11:33 am

I love everything peanut butter related — and these look so good! Now on my “to be made” list.

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37 Hollie May 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Looks so good!

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38 kitchen flavours May 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Your peanut butter bars looks so good!
I’ve just linked up. Thanks for hosting!

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39 TidyMom May 15, 2011 at 10:10 am

These look and sound FANTASTIC!!
Thanks for linking up! I shared them on my wrap up post!! http://tidymom.net/2011/cookie-recipes/
Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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40 Allison May 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I’m SO excited! Thank you so much.

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41 Kim May 15, 2011 at 9:49 pm

These look delicious! Peanut butter and chocolate are definitely two of my favorite flavor combinations.

Thanks for sharing with So Sweet Sundays! :)

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42 Rachel May 16, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Mmmmm, these look incredible! You included, like, EVERY delicious ingredient :-) They look amazing!

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43 Whitney Ulrich May 17, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Those look amazing I pinned it so I will have the recipe and wont have to search for it. Thank you for sharing. come and say hi

tyandwhitneyulrich.blogspot.com

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44 Jenn May 18, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Oh my gosh, looks so yummy! Adding to my must try recipes now!

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45 paulina May 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm

whoah…decadent! I can see why these might cause a li’l fight – hehe! Never thought of using cake mix for cookies before, what a great timesaving idea :)
p.s. lol at your note–hahahaha..

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46 Vanessa May 21, 2011 at 12:12 pm

This looks DELICIOUS!
Thank you so much for sharing this @ {nifty thrifty sunday} last week as well!
Hugs,
Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}

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47 The Better Baker September 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm

WOW! I love that you not only share the sauce recipe…but ideas to use it. Thank you! Sounds right up my alley…MMM! Will have to try it soon. I’m SOO with you about the Apple Law idea…=)

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