Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Bars

9 Dec

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Bars | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
This recipe convinced me to go back to full size peanut butter cups. By accident. For some reason I thought it called for full size peanut butter cups. Happy accident.

Previously I equated baking with peanut butter cups to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures. And what’s not to love about eating the leftover miniatures? One bite and you’re in chocolate and peanut butter heaven. Although, there were those sassy cups whose chocolate ridges stuck to the inside of the paper liner. Who gave those cups such sass?

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Bars | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
After making this recipe (because it was called Reese’s Peanut Butter Caramel Bars and how could I not make that?) I had some leftover full size peanut butter cups sitting in the pantry. How could I have failed to do the redhead math the clearly states a full size cup means more bites and more peanut butter?

This is a debate I’ve had with many a Reese’s fan… what is the preferred ratio of peanut butter to chocolate? Because we all know that it’s different with each Reese’s configuration, especially when you get into seasonal shapes.

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Bars | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
Perhaps my tastes have changed with age, but I’m digging the full size to the miniature because I want more peanut butter. However, I think the best ratio comes from the Reese’s Easter Eggs. The Halloween Pumpkins would be up there too, but I’ll say the miniature bells are WAY off. Too much milk chocolate. What’s your prefered Reese’s ratio?

Yes, miniatures would work with this recipe, but c’mon, you know the office candy jar is already filled with miniatures. Go big. Be bold. Upgrade.

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Bars | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
Is it me or does eating the full-size peanut butter cups feel kinda retro? Sophisticated? Mysterious?

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Bars | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
I wish I could tell you more about these bars, but they were GONE shortly after going on display. So what’s more to say than: delicious, decadent, moist, luscious, soft, chewy, gooey, bliss.

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Bars
by Lemons for Lulu

2 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter melted
2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 10.5oz package Reese Peanut Butter Cups unwrapped and chopped
11 oz or about 30 caramels
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350.

In a mixer, combine brown sugar and melted butter beating until creamy. Add vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in peanut butter until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Carefully add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

Grease a 9×13 pan. Spread half of the dough onto the prepared pan.

Place unwrapped caramels in a saucepan with heavy cream over medium-low heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Careful not to let the cream bubble too much (just a little around the edges). Turn down the heat and be patient. Remove melted caramel from stove and pour onto bottom layer of bars. Top with chopped Reese cups. Take remaining dough by spoonfuls, flatten in the palm of your hand and place over remaining dough onto peanut butter cups. Try to cover as much of the caramel as you can, but don’t worry if some is still showing.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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