Posting date is February 2!
Yield: 24 bars
1 1⁄2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1⁄3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1⁄3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fleur de sel, divided
8 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
3⁄4 cup crunchy peanut butter (see page 26)
3⁄4 cup (about 4 ounces) salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
3 cups (about 81⁄2 ounces) salted thin pretzel sticks, crushed into small pieces
Lightly spray a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment paper, allowing the parchment to overhang on two sides.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar, cream, and 1⁄2 teaspoon fleur de sel. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a low boil for about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the white chocolate and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla. Stir until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is melted. Add the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon fleur de sel, remaining 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla, and the peanut butter and stir until the mixture is completely smooth and uniform.
Place the peanuts and pretzels in a large bowl and use your hands to toss together until mixed well. Pour the white chocolate mixture over the peanut mixture and stir to coat all of the pieces. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, then, using lightly oiled hands, press the mixture into an even layer. Refrigerate until hard, about 90 minutes.
Lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang and cut them into squares. Bars can be served at room temperature, though we like them best directly from the refrigerator (or even the freezer). The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.
Excerpted from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.