Candy Bar Pie

By: Nealey Dozier

I'm not going to lie—I'd never tried a Take 5 candy bar until just a few days ago. When I took my first salty, sweet, insanely delicious bite I immediately wondered what in the heck I had been waiting for. Seriously, what could possibly be wrong with a combination of pretzels, peanuts, peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate? Nothing.

So when it came time to come up with a stellar Super Bowl dessert —because really, it's all about the food—I knew a replication of the Take 5 bar would be a guaranteed knock-it-out-of-the-park success.

And knock out it was! Seriously, this pie is one of the best things I've ever tasted (and I'm not just saying that because I made it.) For the sake of authenticity, I took a bite of a real Take 5 bar immediately after trying a bite of pie, and realized I never wanted to taste the processed version again. To loosely quote Paul Newman, why eat a hamburger when you know you've got steak at home?

I know what you mean, Paul. I know what you mean.

On a side note, I happened to have some extra bacon lying around (because doesn't everybody have extra bacon lying around?), so my fiance, always expected to take things a step further, enjoyed his pie with a couple of extra-crispy slices. He seemed beyond pleased with his porky discovery; as for me, I'll pass on the bacon this time. But just this once.

Prep time: 45 minutes

Total time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Yields: 10 slices
pretzel crust
4 ounces pretzel sticks, ground finely in a food processor or blender
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
caramel sauce
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy cream, warmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
pie
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
1/3 cup warm caramel sauce
1/4 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts
1 (10 ounce) bag bittersweet chocolate chips, melted

For the crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together the ground pretzels, melted butter, sugar, and salt. Press the pretzel mixture firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and chill until firm, about 45 minutes to an hour.

For the caramel sauce:

Whisk the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium-size heavy saucepan until well combined. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As it's coming to a boil, dip a pastry brush in water and brush down the sides of the pot to remove any sugar stuck to the sides. Cook the sugar mixture, without stirring, until it becomes a rich caramel color, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the warmed cream until the caramel sauce is smooth, using caution as the mixture may bubble up. (If the sauce seizes, stir it over low heat until the hardened caramel is melted.) Whisk in the butter and set aside.

For the pie:

Carefully smooth the warmed peanut butter evenly over the bottom of the pretzel crust. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the peanut butter layer and gently spread with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the caramel layer. Refrigerate for another 10 minutes, if necessary. Finish with a smooth layer of melted chocolate. Refrigerate the pie until the chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes. Pie can then remain at room temperature until serving.

Nealey moved from Alabama to the West Coast to follow her dreams, only to realize once there how much she missed good ol’ country cooking.  So she took to the kitchen and began re-creating the dishes of her past, but this time without any help from a can. What started out as a hobby turned into an obsession, so she quit her day job to pursue cooking, and eating, fulltime. Dixie Caviar is where you can follow her pursuits of all things Southern.

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