Take 5 Cookies! aka chocolate, peanut butter, pretzel, caramel cookie sandwich!

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Get ready…for a party…in your mouth. These are my new favorite cookie.

Big statement, I know. Allow me to explain.

One of my favorite candies of all time is the Take 5 bar. It contains everything I want in a treat:

Chocolate

Peanut Butter

Caramel

Pretzels

Peanuts

It’s the perfect combination of salty-sweet, chocolate-peanut butter, gooey deliciousness.

These cookies are inspired by that candy.

First, we start with an oatmeal cookie– the nougat from the candy, if you well. Then, we add in peanut butter cups, peanuts, and chocolate chunks. Bake those cookies up. Use a creamy peanut butter chocolate frosting to make cookie sandwiches, drizzle with homemade caramel, and dip into crushed up pretzels.

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And this is what you get!!

I created these for a #creativecookiecontest, being hosted by Cookies and Cups and Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. So excited to enter them!! (If they win..I’ll let y’all know :-D)

I’m drooling. Are you? Let’s get baking!

Take 5 Bar Sandwich Cookies!
Makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies.

Ingredients:

Homemade caramel sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons butter, chopped and softened
1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
sprinkle / pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cookies:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups pulverized oats– I measured 2 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats and then put them in the food processor.
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 bag (12 oz) peanut butter cups, chopped in halves or quarters
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 cup chocolate chunks

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting Filling:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream

about 1 cup pretzels, crushed

Directions:

1) Let’s make the caramel first. Measure 1 cup granulated sugar into a heavy-duty saucepan. Heat it over medium heat and stir constantly with a whisk or rubber spatula. Eventually, after about 10 minutes, it will turn a dark brown color and become a liquid. Once this happens, and the sugar is melted, whisk in the butter. Once that is melted, slowly drizzle in the cream while constantly whisking. Caution: this will cause the caramel to bubble vigorously. Be careful not to get burned. Allow the mixture to boil for about 1-2 minutes, then remove it from the heat (keep whisking). Whisk in a pinch of salt and 1/2 a tsp of vanilla extract. Then, slowly pour the mixture into a glass container. (Don’t put the lid on while it’s hot– this was a picture after it was cooled.)

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2) Now, the cookies! Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats. Set aside.

3) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pulverized oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set this aside.

4) Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars in a large bowl. Beat them on high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl. Next, add in the eggs and the vanilla extract. Beat again until everything is combined, another minute or 2. Now, with the mixer on a low speed, slowly add in the flour/oats mixture. Allow this to mix on the low speed until most of the flour streaks have disappeared. Use that rubber spatula again to scrape the sides periodically.

5) Time for the add-ins! Put in the peanut butter cups, peanut, and chocolate chunks. Mix again with the mixture for about 30 seconds. Then, switch to a wooden spoon and hand-stir the dough until everything is evenly distributed. It’ll be thick…and so good…

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6) Using two spoons or a small cookie scoop, scoop out rounded balls of dough onto your prepared cookie sheets. Leave about 2 inches between each cookie.

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7) Bake them in the preheated oven for about 9 minutes, until the edges juuust start to brown.

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8) Allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes, and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack. Continue until you’ve made all the cookies!

9) Frosting time!! Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into a medium-sized bowl. Set it aside. In a large bowl place the butter and peanut butter. Beat them together on a medium-high speed with an electric mixer. I like to use a handheld mixer for frosting.

10) Once the butter and peanut butter are totally combined and creamy together, add in about half of the powdered sugar, about half of the cream, and the vanilla extract. Beat again, starting on a slow speed and then increasing in speed as the sugar mixes in. Add in the rest of the powdered sugar and cream. Whip it good! You’ll end up with a creamy, smooth frosting!

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11) Take a gallon-sized plastic bag. Cut a small hole in the corner, and put in a large baking tip. Fill the bag with the frosting. (If you want more detailed instructions on how to set up the piping bag and frosting, check out this post!)

12) Place the pretzels in a food processor and process until you have pretzel crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor (or blender) just put them in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin or can of food to crush ’em. Put the pretzel crumbs into a shallow bowl.

13) You’re now ready to assemble the cookies! I know, it’s been a long process, but you’re so close! Alright, lay out cookies, face-side down on a plate. Pipe a biiiig beautiful blob of frosting onto each one.

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14) Gently press a second cookie onto each frosting-topped cookie.

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15) Drizzle caramel sauce onto the top of each cookie. If your frosting has cooled down too much, pop it in the microwave (no lid) for 30 seconds so that it becomes a more drizzly consistency.

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16) Take each cookie sandwich and press it caramel-side-down into the pretzel crumbs. They’ll stick to the caramel. Also roll the edges of the cookies in the pretzel crumbs so that some stick to the frosting.

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17) Voila!!! Your cookie sandwiches are complete. I made a small cookie tower, as seen above. And then, I ate one, obviously.

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I thought I was just going to eat half of it and try to save the other half to have…later in the day. HA! Not.a.chance. Exceptions set: you will eat a whole sandwich cookie, and it will be amazing. And really, I made the cookies on the smaller side, so don’t feel guilty 🙂

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Try them! Maybe they’ll be your new favorite cookie too.

#nomnomnom

Enjoy!

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