Saturday, March 8, 2014

Popcorn Bars with M&Ms and Pretzels

I feel bad for Saint Patrick's Day.  It gets no respect.  The stores are full of Easter paraphernalia.  Don't get me wrong, I love Easter.  It's one of my favorites, but what about Saint Patrick's Day?  Shouldn't it get its day in the sun too?

I have embraced the idea of holiday themed desserts.  There is no better way to celebrate holidays, even the most obscure , than by eating sugary treats.

These are Saint Patrick's Day themed because they have mint M&Ms in them.  Maybe not the most convincing holiday themed snack, but they make up for their lack of originality with chewy gooeyness.  

I added my own mix-ins, but the recipe came from Real Simple.  The ingredients are 1 bag popped microwave popcorn, 3.5 ounces pretzels,  2 1/2 tablespoons butter, 10 ounces mini marshmallows, 1 cup mint M&Ms, 2 ounces dark chocolate, and a splash of milk.

I buttered a 9 by 13 inch pan and poured the popcorn and pretzels into a bowl.

I melted two tablespoons of butter and the marshmallows together.  

Yum!  There's nothing wrong with this picture!

I poured the melted marshmallows and butter over the popcorn and pretzels.

Time to stir!

After stirring a little bit, I added the M&Ms.  I waited a bit before adding because I didn't want the M&Ms to melt.  I bet this was unnecessary, as the melted marshmallows don't get to hot.  I am a little risk averse.  

I pressed the popcorn mixture into the greased pan.  I ended up having to butter my hand as well.  The mixture is a sticky mess until it sets.

I microwaved the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter and chocolate.  I stirred after every 15 to 20 minutes so the chocolate doesn't burn.

It was so thick that I ended up adding a little splash of milk.  It was about 1/2 a tablespoon of milk.  That way I could drizzle the chocolate with ease.  

I artfully drizzled the chocolate over the bars.

I let it set for a little over 10 minutes before digging in.  The bars were set, but the chocolate was still soft.

 It's a simple treat, but it's really delicious.  Sometimes the simplest things, like rice crispy treats, can be the most delicious.

You could easily switch out the M&Ms and pretzels for other convenience store goodies.  These are easy, versatile, and toothsome.  I liked how they were both chewy and crunchy.

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