the bar snack blondie

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This is it.

This is the post in which I tell you that I’m a selfish person, and have the evidence to prove it. This is the post in which you get a glimpse into the thoughts of my former seventeen-year-old brain (thankfully, said brain has matured some since). This is the post in which I may simultaneous disgust/ confuse/ and impress you. The is the post in which I present you with what I have proudly dubbed “The Bar Snack Blondie.” (This is also the post in which I audaciously throw the word “the” in front of a recipe name, evidently.)

BUT we are talkin’ pretzel crust, smoked almond blondie, toasty potato chip top and chocolate drizzle. Bar Snack Blondie isn’t enough; the “The” is necessary.

So yes, this is that post.

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I was never big into music, and especially never big into going to concerts. Why would I want to spend money to stand in a crowded place to listen to music when I could easily listen to the same music from the comfort of my own room instead?

Well, that mentality basically went out the window right before my sixteenth birthday when my friend gave me a mixed tape (reality: it was a CD – super high tech, I know) containing two tracks from my (now) favorite artist.

My little lame dork of a self considers that to be my first (and still strongest!) musical love. (Did you just gag from the sappiness? Yeah, me too.)

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Needless to say, the next year when Something Corporate (Andrew McMahon’s first band) re-united after a ten year hiatus and was scheduled to perform at a music festival relatively near me, I had to go.

My friend and I arrived at the festival mid-afternoon and made our way over to the stage where Something Corporate (also known as SoCo) was to perform. We had several bands to wait out, but the idea was to get as close as possible.

Yeah…that didn’t happen.

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The day of the concert was beyond hot – like, strip down to your bra and walk around half-naked hot (and no, I’m not referring to myself here… this is just what happens at these spring/ summer festivals). But despite of the heat, the crowd was crazy as ever. Ready or not, my seventeen-year-old self had to dodge the crowd surfers, shove back the shovers, fend off pushing with more pushing, hang on to her purse for dear life, and fight like hell just to keep her feet on the ground, her body upright. In the midst of all of this chaos, my friend and I got separated.

I’m pretty positive that 5 years were shaved off my life from the stress of the 5 minutes apart.

Ultimately, we were about eight rows from the stage, up against the center barricade. It was a pretty good spot; considering the number of people there, I couldn’t complain.

Seeing SoCo live fulfilled every expectation I had, and then some (granted, the near heart attack-inducing chaos from earlier that day definitely enhanced every emotion I was feeling). Their ten-song set was perfection.

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If you recall from earlier in this mini-novel, I mentioned how hot this particular day was. So, of course, right between the end of the ninth and beginning of the tenth song, the girl standing in front of me fainted. Almost immediately, security and medics rushed over to help out… and, consequently, blocked my view.

Normally, I’d be empathetic to someone who fainted – be it from dehydration or something else. But in this case, because this girl “decided” to faint right before my favorite song –  the song I was anticipating and dying to hear all day – I was PISSED. Seriously. How DARE she?

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I always laugh when I tell this story (which I have been known to tell to the same person numerous times). I am so ridiculous.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think it gets much more selfish than that…

These blondes are pretty selfish, too. They hog the spotlight and are glutinous beyond belief. I mean, why have one bar snack when you can have three… plus a blondie… AT THE SAME TIME.

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Let’s talk about these layer by layer. The Crust: Crumbled pretzels, brown sugar, maple syrup, and butter. Baking for a short time sets the crust and creates this wonderfully caramel-y, crunchy base. Next up, the Smoked Almond Blondie: Like a chewy, slightly under-baked brown sugar cookie plentifully studded with smokey, salty whole almonds. Mmhmm, we’re not messing around with any almond-chopping nonsense. We’re leaving ‘em whole, just as they should be. Finally, the Chips and Chocolate Drizzle: Potato chips are also crumbled and get toasty and golden brown in the oven. Finish off this crunchy layer with a generous drizzle of chocolate – milk or dark, the choice is yours.

These blondes are certainly a mouthful, and they’re undeniably indulgent and out there (right now, half of you are probably like: potato chips on blondies? that sounds disgusting…girl has lost her mind!). But for those who are intrigued and tempted by The Bar Snack Blondie, I warn you: It’s going to bring out the selfish in you. You’re going to want the last one, and you’re going to be pissed if you don’t get it.

Now that is definitely something I can empathize with.

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The Bar Snack Blondie

Pretzel Crust, Smoked Almond Blondie Base, Potato Chip Top, Dark Chocolate Drizzle

Pretzel Crust adapted from Heather’s Dish; Blondie Base adapted from Martha Stewart

Recipe Notes:

  • I normally don’t recommend specific brands for recipes, but in this case I think it’s important. For the pretzels, I chose Rold Gold Thins as they are not overly salty and the thinner-style pretzel makes them easier to crumble for the crust. For the chips, I used Ruffles. Ruffles are perfect for this recipe as they have the right thickness to add a substantial enough crunch; I also love the ridges for really gripping the chocolate drizzle.
  • These blondies are not super sweet –  in fact, they might be equally savory and sweet considering all of the salty snack foods in them. If you want a sweeter blondie, use ¾ C packed brown sugar and ¼ C. granulated sugar instead of the amounts listed below.
  • Alternatively, you can reduce the amount of crumbled chips to 1 C.; this will reduce the saltiness and also make these a bit easier (less messy) to eat.
  • Definitely start checking the blondies’ doneness at 25 minutes (perhaps even earlier, depending on your oven). Better to have a slightly under-baked blondie than an over-baked one. I baked mine for 35 minutes, resulting in crispier, more done edges and a rather gooey center (similar to pecan pie). Baking time is dependent on your preference.

Pretzel Crust:

- 1 ½ C. crumbled pretzels

- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

- 2 Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar

- 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

Blondie Base & Topping:

- ½ C. unsalted butter, melted

- ½ C. packed dark brown sugar

- 1/3 C. granulated sugar

- 1 extra large egg, beaten

- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

- 1 C. all-purpose flour

- 1/3 C. smoked almonds

- 1 ½ C. crumbled potato chips

- 1/3 C. dark chocolate, melted

Make the Crust:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter an 8 x 8 metal brownie pan; line with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix crumbled pretzels, melted butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Mix until the brown sugar breaks down into small granules and everything is combined. Put mixture into prepared 8 x 8 and pat down to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake on the middle rack for 6 – 8 minutes, until set. Remove from oven and let cool.

Make the Blondies:

In another bowl, combine melted butter, brown and granulated sugars, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined; you do not want to whisk/ overbeat this mixture as you do not want to incorporate air. Add in most of the flour, (leaving about 2 Tbsp. behind); mix until almost incorporated. Toss smoked almonds in remaining flour (this will help keep them from sinking to the bottom); mix almonds into batter. Dump batter onto cooled crust and carefully spread out to an even layer. Top with crumbled potato chips and press lightly into batter. Bake on the middle rack for about 35 minutes (start checking at 25); blondies are done when a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.

Once cool, slice blondies into desired size pieces (16 small or 9 big servings recommended). Drizzle with melted chocolate. Depending on your preference, blondies can be served immediately or once the chocolate sets.

Yields 9 to 16 servings, depending on desired size of blondies

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