Baked Sunday Mornings: Bale Bars

Are Bale Bars a thing? I had never heard of them before, but the headnote for this week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe doesn't specify whether the bale bar (either the concept or the name) is something that Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito invented, or if it's an update of a classic recipe. In any case, this is definitely one of the quickest and easiest recipes from Baked Elements.

There's no baking involved. All you have to do is heat butter, sugar, cream, and fleur de sel on the stove, boil the mixture for four minutes, and then stir in white chocolate and vanilla. After the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, you add crunchy peanut butter, and more fleur de sel and vanilla. Finally, your pour the white chocolate-peanut butter mixture over crushed pretzels and chopped peanuts and stir until everything is evenly coated. You press the mixture into a parchment-lined pan and chill the bars until they are hard.
I left my bars in the refrigerator overnight before slicing them, and some of the bars fractured when I cut them; many of them lost just a corner, but a few of them lost large chunks. I think that there were too many pretzels and peanuts in the bars, and not enough white chocolate-peanut butter glue to hold everything together. (The recipe provides both weight and volume measurements for the pretzels and peanuts, and I used the weight measurements. Also, I used the food processor to chop the peanuts and crush the pretzels, and the pretzel pieces were not that fine.)

Notwithstanding their crumbly texture, I thought these bars were great. And I was not expecting to like them that much, because I'm not a big fan of white chocolate. It turns out that you can't taste the white chocolate at all; no wonder the cookbook notes that "many of our friends and family who consider white chocolate to be an unnecessary evil really enjoy it in this bar." These crunchy bars basically taste like pretzels and peanut butter, with a strong dose of sweetness and salt. I found them pretty addictive.

As for those bits that broke off during cutting, we ate those too! And it seemed to me that bale bar bits would be the perfect ice cream or frozen yogurt topping. But in the future, I would just add fewer pretzels and peanuts. If you are a fan of peanuts and pretzels, and don't mind losing a corner here or there, this confection is perfection!

Recipe: "Bale Bars" from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.


Anonymous said…
Those look deceivingly healthy in your photo (like a Kind Bar or something)! I didn't crush up my pretzels as much and was afraid they wouldn't set up, but thankfully in the end they did.
Unknown said…
Mine were a bit crumbly too. I found them super sweet. Love the idea of them as an ice cream topping, or stirred into vanilla pudding or something!
Chelly said…
I agree that there is too many pretzels and peanuts and not enough "glue". MIne are still chilling but I fear I will have the same problem!
Anonymous said…
I wasn't expecting to like these as much as I did either, but thought they were really addictive!
Mine went crumbly too. But nothing ice cream couldn't fix!!! :) These tasted great!
Sheri said…
Yep, definitely too many pretzels and peanuts! Still delicious, though.
Nina said…
Which brand of fleur de sel is the best for baking?
Unknown said…
Your barslook wonderful!
You did such a great job!!
@Nina -- I take David Lebovitz's word that Fleur de sel de Guérande is the finest salt in the world. But I use Fleur de Sel de Camargue, because it's easy to find. I'm not an expert on salt, but I've always been happy with the results.