Well, this weekend I officially got into the holiday spirit. My fingers are practically worked to the bone after spending both Saturday and Sunday pulling out all of the stops to make my holiday treats.


The Take 5 Candy Bar is the greatest candy bar on the planet.

Have you had one?

The 5 in the Take 5 refers to chocolate, peanut butter, peanuts, caramel, and pretzels.

I’m not sure how I made it 30 years before I got to tasting my first Take 5. But, this devil woman in my office makes them available at all times, and she wore me down.

I only call her a devil woman because she lures me in with her sweets.

And I normally don’t have a sweet tooth. Give me cheese on a cracker over dessert any day.

But that darn Take 5. It has a hold on me.

With that said, I decided that I needed to try and recreate the Take 5 at home for a holiday treat. And then I decided that I could do Hershey one better by amping up my recipe.

So, without further ado, I give you Holiday Treat Numero Uno… the homemade Take 5.

That Take 5 actually turned into the homemade Take 7 because, well… you’ll see.

The most important part of holiday baking, in my humble opinion, is purchasing parchment paper.

Parchment paper makes the baking process AND clean up infinitely easier.

And aren’t we all looking for infinite ease?

Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.

And then throw on pretzels to cover the entire bottom of the pan.

Next, we’ll add our peanut butter. I thought that Reese’s peanut butter cups would be the easiest way to get the messy peanut butter portion of the Take 7 incorporated into the recipe.

And you know what?

I was right.

Gee, I love it when that happens.

Pulse them a few times in your food processor, and dump them on the pretzels.

Please note, this is not a precise recipe. Just add more or less of your favorite parts of the candy bar.

Add some salted peanuts on top of that.
I pulsed the nuts in the food pro as well.

It is looking good already, isn’t it??

Now, we’ll add our caramel sauce.

I used one bag of Kraft individually wrapped caramels.

To melt the caramels, unwrap them, toss them in a sauce pan, and add 2 T of water.

Turn the heat on medium, and start stirring.

Keep stirring until it looks like this.

Now drizzle all of that onto your candy concoction.

At this point, I was wondering if this little experiment of mine was going to work.

I RARELY wing it in the kitchen with dessert-type recipes. But I figured that worst-case scenario, I would be gnawing this off of parchment paper all by myself while watching the final season of my girl Oprah.

At this stage of the recipe, I say MOVE OVER HERSHEY.

Because I added some Rice Krispies.

Yes, now my Take 5 is a Take 6.

But why stop at a Take 6 when I do think this could be elevated to a whole new heavenly level.

So, look out.

Here comes the Take 7.

Mini Marshmallows.
You heard me.

And so did Miss and Lola when I opened the marshmallow bag.

Why do my dogs immediately start drooling when they see marshmallows?

If you have an answer, I would love to hear it.


Top that off with your chocolate.

Now, I don’t mean to knock on Hershey.

Because as previously stated the Take 5 is my hands-down favorite candy bar.

However, I do declare that Hershey’s chocolate used on the Take 5 is not the greatest.

Sorry, Hershey.

I upgraded to Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips found in bags in the baking aisle.

I tossed the whole bag on top.

Now, throw this whole mess of sweet, waist-busting food into your oven (set at 325) for 8 minutes.

After 8 minutes, pull the pan out and use a spatula sprayed lightly with cooking spray to spread the marshmallow and chocolate.

This does not, I REPEAT, does not have to look pretty.

Allow the pan to cool for 10 minutes.

After it has cooled slightly, cover the top of your treat with parchment paper.

Get out another sheet pan, and FLIP the whole kit and caboodle over.

Your chocolate and marshmallows will now be on the bottom, and your pretzel layer will now be on the top.

We have one more step to finish up this masterpiece.

More of the good chocolate.

Get out your double boiler.

Or, if you are like me and don’t have a fancy-pants double boiler, get out a large sauce pan and fill it with and inch or two of water.

Bring the water to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, place a metal bowl over the sauce pan.

Add your some chocolate chips to your bowl.

I used a mixture of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips.

Start stirring.

Until it looks like this.

The double boiler method is fantastic because it perfectly melts your chocolate without running the risk of burning it and ruining it.

Pull out your hot mess of a Take 7.

Peel back the parchment paper.

And slather those pretzels with your melted chocolate.

Hello Lover!

Pop that into the fridge for 20 minutes or so to allow the chocolate to harden.

Then, use all of your power and might to cut this into small squares.

Pop one into your mouth to taste their heavenly deliciousness.

OK, pop another one in.

It’s the holiday season after all.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that these little morsels of yumminess could probably change the world.

I feel that if only world leaders could have a Take 7 before meeting, we could achieve peace on earth.

How could you not feel goodwill toward men while noshing on 7 layers of sweet treat delight?

Happy Holiday Season, and Happy Monday!