Sweet and Salty M&M Pretzel Bars

Wednesday afternoon Stephen asked me if I could bake something up for his Scouts. Since we didn’t have a whole lot of time before we had to leave, I knew the quickest and cleanest thing to do was to make a pan of bars. I had wanted to use the little tubes of mini M&M’s I had bought in some kind of treat, I guess this was the perfect opportunity. I looked in our pantry and we had a handful of pretzels left so I snapped them up and tossed them in. Stephen was a little skeptical at first (about the pretzel thing), but once he tried them he was sold. I thought they were pretty delicious too. The combination of sweet and salty is just right. I suppose that if you can find the actual Pretzel M&M’s, you could use those too, but these are excellent just the way they are.

Sweet and Salty M&M Pretzel Bars
Ingredients
1½ c. all-purpose flour
12 tbsp. (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1½ c. light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt + a extra pinch to sprinkle on top
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ c. mini M&M’s (I bought 2 tubes at the check-out)
½ c. pretzels, broken into ¼” pieces

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving at least a 2″ overhang (this makes pulling them out cleaner and easier).
2. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and ½ tsp. salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together melted butter and brown sugar for 30 seconds. Turn speed to low and add one egg at a time. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
4. Remove bowl from stand mixer. Fold in dry ingredients. Do not overmix. Gently fold in M&M’s and pretzel pieces. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining salt over top.
5. Place in oven and bake for 22-24 minutes, or until the top is shiny and cracked and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely (30 minutes). Remove bars from pan using the overhanging edges of parchment or foil. Cut into bars.
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen- Blondies | Makes approximately 12 large bars or 24 small bars