Pretzel Crusted Peanut Butter Blondies with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting & Easter Recipe Roundup

Happy Good Friday/Spring Holiday! Yes spring holiday is what the university I attend for my PhD calls today. Not much of a holiday for me since I will be working a regular day, but then my dad comes in town tonight to visit for the weekend! And it looks like we will be having perfect weather in the low 70s. I love spring-time, just wish it lasted a bit longer here before the summer heat invades.

In the spirit of everything green and in bloom right now, I made these blondies which are stuffed with pastel white chocolate M&Ms and Reese’s pieces peanut butter mini eggs. With a crust made of pretzels and a blue colored white chocolate cream cheese frosting, these bars are perfect for your Easter/Spring festivities. And they just so happen to be smashingly delicious. Don’t forget to check out my roundup of several other Easter food items following this recipe.

One year ago: Spicy Mac and Cheese

PRETZEL CRUSTED PEANUT BUTTER BLONDIES WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Makes 24 bars

Ingredients:

CRUST

4 cups pretzels

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

PEANUT BUTTER BLONDIES

8 Tbsp of unsalted butter

6 Tbsp of creamy peanut butter

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup of old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup white chocolate M&Ms (or white chocolate morsels), plus more for garnish

1/2 cup Reese’s pieces peanut butter eggs (or peanut butter morsels)

WHITE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

8 oz. Philadelphia Indulgence white chocolate cream cheese

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp blue food coloring gel

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil, letting some hang over the edges. Spray with cooking spray or grease with butter and flour.
  2. Process pretzels in a food processor until chopped small, but not too finely. Meanwhile melt the butter in the microwave. Transfer the pretzels to a mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar. Mix in the melted butter. Press into a the baking pan and bake for 10 minutes or until the crust has set. Cool crust in the refrigerator while you make the batter.
  3. Change oven temperature to 325 degrees. Add butter and peanut butter to a microwave safe bowl, and heat in 30 second increments until melted. Let cool completely.
  4. Mix the flour, oats, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the cooled butter/peanut butter and sugars until they are combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms – it will look crumbly at first, but it will come together. I even used my hands to bring it all together. If necessary, add 1-2 teaspoons of milk. Fold in white chocolate M&Ms and Reese’s pieces peanut butter eggs.
  5. Scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared crust and gently spread to cover. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  6. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese on high speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add butter and beat until light and creamy; scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and beat for another minute. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and food coloring and mix on low speed until combined; scrape the sides of the bowl again and beat on high speed until icing is light and fluffy.
  7. Spread frosting on top of cooled brownies. Top with additional white chocolate M&Ms. Refrigerate before cutting into bars.

Source: Crust from The Avid Appetite, blondie layer adapted from How Sweet It Is, and frosting adapted from Keep It Sweet Desserts.

EASTER RECIPE ROUNDUP

Brunch

 

Appetizers & Side Dishes

Desserts

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