Holiday Everything Bars

Holiday Everything Bars

If you’ve ever attended a party or potluck in Wisconsin, you may have been asked to “bring a pan of bars.” This refrain is so popular in some circles, it starts to sounds more like one word – “panabars.” Blondies, brownies, or 7-layer bars – if it can serve a crowd, it’s always welcome.

For the holidays, we’ve dressed up the traditional chocolate chip blondie bar with lots of festive trimmings. First, these Holiday Everything Bars are stuffed with a layer of Wisconsin mascarpone cheesecake filling. Honestly, you could stop right there and have an amazingly delicious dessert bar. But it’s the holidays, so we’ve added a layer of salty, crunchy pretzel twists and topped it off with holiday M&Ms, a white chocolate drizzle and crushed candy canes.

Bring a pan of these festive treats to your next holiday gathering and watch as eyes light up and the bars quickly disappear.

Get the recipe below and find many more recipes and pairings in the Holiday issue of Grate. Pair. Share.

Holiday Everything Bars
Makes 1 9 x 13-inch pan

For the Blondie:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
For the Cheesecake Filling:
1 cup (8 ounces) Wisconsin mascarpone cheese
1 egg
1 cup powdered sugar
For the Topping:
1 1/2 cups pretzel twists
1 cup red and green M&Ms® candy
8 ounces white chocolate
1/4 cup candy canes, crushed into small pieces
Heat oven to 350°F.
For the Blondie:
In bowl of electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.
In separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread 2/3 of the mixture over bottom of 9×13-inch pan.
For the Cheesecake Filling:
In separate bowl, whisk mascarpone, egg and powdered sugar. Spread over blondie dough in pan. Top with spoonsful of remaining blondie dough. (Dough will not fully cover mascarpone layer.)
For the Topping:
Press pretzels into dough. Bake 35 minutes, or until center is set. Immediately press M&Ms into top of bars. Cool completely.
In microwave-safe bowl, heat white chocolate 30 seconds to melt. Continue to heat in 10-second increments if necessary. Using piping bag or back of a spoon, drizzle white chocolate over cooled bars. Immediately top with candy cane pieces. Allow white chocolate to set before cutting into bars and serving.