Gluten-Free Take5-Inspired Brownies

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By now you’ve probably figured out that I love food-related holidays and today is a good one—it’s National Brownie Day! Who wouldn't want to celebrate?

Anyway, last week my fiancé was putting in a bunch of hours at work and I thought he deserved a little treat. Dessert-wise he is definitely a brownie/cookie person whereas I am a pie/ice cream person. But since he was the one who needed the treat, I took a cue from his favorite candy bar - a Take5 bar - which if you’ve never tried one are quite delicious. The “5” part comes from the five main ingredients in each bar—pretzels, caramel, peanut butter, milk chocolate, and peanuts. All of which are pretty easy to come by separately.

Pretzels, peanut butter, and peanuts are straight forward. For the milk chocolate and caramel, I opted for Rolo Minis because they were on sale at Superstore. Though if you prefer, I suppose you could substitute the Rolos and peanut butter for Reese’s and caramels. Same combo, different vessels.

These Take5-inspired gluten-free brownies were tasty! Like the candy bar, each bit was a glorious combination of salty pretzels, sweet caramel, creamy peanut butter, smooth chocolate, and crunchy peanuts set atop a rich, dense brownie base.

I especially loved the hint of caramel strewn throughout each bit from adding Rolos to the batter before baking. YUM! But alas, they weren’t for me so I packaged them up with his name on the label and began working on a dairy-free version to experiment with on a rainy day. C’est la vie!

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GLUTEN-FREE TAKE5-INSPIRED BROWNIES

Ingredients*

  • 1 (16 oz) box gluten-free brownies
  • Additional ingredients listed on box (typically water, oil, and eggs)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Rolo Minis, halved + 1/2 cup Rolo Minis
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free pretzel twists, slightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped

*Amount of each ingredient can be adjusted to personal preference, excluding ingredient list on brownie box.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving additional on edges for easy removal after baking.
  2. Make brownies according to directions on box.
  3. Mix halved Rolo Minis into batter then spread in pan.
  4. In a small glass bowl, microwave the peanut butter on high for 30 seconds. Carefully remove from microwave, stir and spoon in rows onto brownie batter in pan. Pull a knife through the batter in horizontal rows spaced roughly 1-inch apart before rotating pan 90 degrees and repeating, creating a marbled pattern.
  5. Sprinkle pretzels and peanuts over the top.
  6. Bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes in pan, sprinkle with remaining Rolo Minis, and continue to cool for an additional 15 minutes or until completely set.
  8. Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan by the parchment and slice into squares.