Friday, May 4, 2012

Chubby Hubby Bars and a Bake Sale!

This past weekend I participated in the Atlanta Food Bloggers Bake Sale, and it was so much fun! The event was part of a larger national event with bloggers holding bake sales across the country to raise money for Share Our Strength, a non-profit focused on combating child hunger. Through the Great American Bake Sale program, they raise thousands of dollars for this very worthy cause. In fact, you can sign up to host a bake sale of your own, if you'd like. The Atlanta sale raised almost $4,000 this year. Special thanks to Tami of Running with Tweezers and Christine of Mele Cotte for organizing the sale. And they are awesome bakers!

Scenes from the 2012 Atlanta Food Bloggers Bake Sale.

My contribution to the sale was two dozen coconut cupcakes (based on this recipe) and the Chubby Hubby Bars pictured above (more about those in a minute). I spent last week frantically baking, once again professing my love/hate relationship with cupcakes. I love cupcakes and am getting better at them, but they do take some work. I think I spent the most time packaging them. I have learned from previous bake sales that presentation is everything. A genius somewhere out there thought of packaging cupcakes in clear party cups and I followed suit. I baked them in cute polka dot cups, placed them in the cups, put them in little plastic bags and tied them up with ribbon. Cute as a button!

Insanely decadent coconut cupcakes wrapped and ready to go.

Cuteness does not come easy for me. I'm not a crafty person. Michael's (the craft store) makes me break out into hives, but I am overcoming my craft fears and learning to love ribbon and hot glue. Let me just say that Michael's can hook you up if you need to prepare for a bake sale! For the labels, I bought regular Avery address labels and printed them myself. Here's another cute idea for labels:

Homemade marshmallows were a hit.

I love the "hello" name tag labels that Meghan from Stir and Scribble used for her homemade marshmallows. OMG, were they delicious, too! The coconut cupcakes did not sell as much as I wanted them to, I think because there were so many other delicious cupcakes to choose from. Christine of Mele Cote was particularly smart and packaged them in four packs and bakery-style mini-boxes. They looked amazing and the tiny bite my son let me have of his Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Cupcake was delicious.

Speaking of chocolate and peanut butter, let's get back to those Chubby Hubby Bars. If you've ever had Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice cream, then you know it is the greatest ice cream flavor ever. (On Ben & Jerry's website you can even track where to find it in your area!) The Chubby Hubby flavor is "Fudge Covered Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels in Vanilla Malt Ice Cream Rippled with Fudge and Peanut Butter." Yum. A few months ago I ran across the recipe on Cookies & Cups for Chubby Hubby Bars and knew that I had to try it.

I basically followed the original version except I had to improvise a bit because I messed with the melted chocolate too much and it dried kind of clumpy and ugly. To cover up the ugly, I melted some peanut butter chips and spread them across the top. Then to further cover the ugly, I topped it off with pretzel pieces. Waa laa, pretty! The end result was a cookie layer, topped by a chocolate layer, a caramel layer, a peanut butter layer, and finally pretzels. The insane amount of layers kind of reminded me of this Saturday Night Live "Taco Town" spoof. Can you say decadent? They sold out and I can't wait to make more!

And now, without further adieu, here's the recipe. Thanks to those baked and who supported the sale. I can't wait until next year -- and the next bake sale!

Chubby Hubby Bars
Adapted from Cookies & Cups

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temp
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups coarsely chopped pretzels
1 (8oz.) bag of Reese’s Mini cups (or 2 cups coarsely chopped full sized Reese’s)
1 (11 oz.) bag of Kraft caramel bits (or make your own caramel sauce)
2 tablespoons water
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
1 cup Reese's peanut butter chips
Milk (as needed)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 pan lightly with cooking spray. Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, approximately one minute. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until incorporated. Mix in salt, baking soda and flour until just combined. Slowly add in peanut butter cups and  1 1/2 cups pretzels, mixing until evenly distributed. Spread evenly in the prepared pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Let cookie layer cool completely. Once cooled, melt caramels and 2 tablespoons water in a microwave safe bowl stirring every minute until melted. Pour over cookie layer. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set caramel.

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave. You may need to add a little milk or half and half to thin the chocolate and prevent clumps. Once melted and smooth, spread over caramel. Put back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until chocolate is set.

Melt peanut butter chips and spread a thin layer over the cooled chocolate layer. Again, you may need a splash of milk or cream to thin it as it melts. Stir until smooth. Spread 1/2 cup of pretzels over the top and place back into refrigerator to cool for at least 15 minutes. 

Cut into squares and serve once the bars have returned to room temperature.


  1. Congratulations on raising $4000! Looks like you had lots of goodies! I can't wait to hear the total overall. We raised over $1400 in Central Florida.

    1. Thanks, Robin! It was a great sale. I bet your sale in Florida was pretty tasty, too. I can't wait to hear the total as well!

  2. What a great post! Thanks so much for helping out to make this year fabulous! And, these Chubby Hubby Bars? Yes please! I can't wait to make them. They sold out fast!!!

    Hope to see you again soon, before next year's sale!

  3. I bought one of these at the bake sale and it was ridiculous!! I'm so happy you posted the recipe! Thanks

  4. Thanks Chris and Tara! So nice to see you guys last Saturday!