I'll admit it–I have a food obsessed family. If we had one wish in the world, ours would be to be able to eat as much food as we want without getting fat. None of us were blessed with a good metabolism, so we definitely spend more time dreaming about peanut butter pies and cookie milkshakes than actually eating them.

No matter what, food is always a topic of conversation in my family. In my eyes, food is the main thing that keeps my family together. No family get-together for me is complete without sweet-and-sour meatballs and pecan-topped sweet potatoes.

So, of course, when my mom had apparently way too much of her strong Cosmopolitan at a family dinner, the thing she started talking about was none other than food. My mom went on to discuss a recipe she had concocted right there on the spot; a bar layered with a graham cracker crust, caramel, peanuts, chocolate ganache, and pretzels. To her, it was the perfect balance of sweet and salty, and creamy and crunchy.

This drunken recipe could not be disregarded. For all I knew, she had just made the holy grail of all dessert bars that would soon become the hugest hit on Spoon University. So I did it. I made the recipe.

Chewy Caramel Peanut Fluff Bars

  • Prep Time:1 hr 30 mins
  • Cook Time:0
  • Total Time:1 hr 30 mins
  • Servings:16
  • Medium


  • 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1.5 sticks butter + 6 tbs
  • 1/3 cup sugar + 1/2 cup
  • 8 ounces marshmallow spread
  • 3 tbs light corn syrup
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tbs peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup coursely chopped pretzels
  • 1 cup coursely chopped peanuts
  • 8 ounces heavy cream
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate
tea, dairy product, milk, coffee
Photo by Gianna Bravaco
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 375ºF. Combine together graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup of sugar, and 6 tablespoons of melted butter and put in a 8x8" baking dish. Pack the crumbs down, being sure to get the corners. Bake until golden brown, or 10 minutes.

    #SpoonTip: Line the pan with parchment paper for easy removal. I didn't, but if I make it again, it would be the one thing I'd change.

    sweet, bread
    Photo By Gianna Bravaco
  • Step 2

    Once the graham cracker crust has slightly cooled from the oven, spread a thick layer of marshmallow spread.

    coffee, tea
    Photo by Gianna Bravaco
  • Step 3

    For the caramel, combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat until melted. Add in the corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk, and bring to a boil. From then, lower to a simmer for 7-10 until a deep golden brown color is created.

    #SpoonTip: Make sure not to burn the caramel, although be sure to cook it enough to ensure it will set.

    coffee, cream, espresso
    Photo by Gianna Bravaco
  • Step 4

    Sprinkle a generous amount of roughly chopped peanuts on top of the caramel in order to allow them to set into the caramel.

    cereal, legume, vegetable, nut
    Photo by Gianna Bravaco
  • Step 5

    Make dark chocolate ganache with a 1:1 ratio of chocolate to heavy cream. Pour over top the peanut layer. Add chopped pretzels and top with melted peanut butter.

    chocolate, hazelnut
    Photo by Gianna Bravaco

When one drunk recipe wasn't enough, my sister discussed how coconut needed to be involved. My mom claimed there was absolutely no reason for coconut in that dessert, so she made a whole new one. 

This one was inspired by her love of toasted coconut munchkins from Dunkin' Donuts, chocolate (although who doesn't like chocolate), and almonds. Although in hindsight, these are all the flavors found in an Almond Joy.

Almond Joy Crescents

  • Prep Time:20 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:30 mins
  • Servings:12
  • Easy


  • 1 package crescent rolls
  • 3/4 cup toasted sweetened coconut
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped almonds
  • 1 egg
  • Flour
chocolate, peanut, butter, peanut butter
Marisa Palace
  • Step 1

    Roll out the crescent dough on the counter, keeping it in a rectangle. Make sure to flour the surface. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

    bread, sweet, pastry, cake, pie
  • Step 2

    Carefully roll into a log. Make sure to keep all of the coconut in place.

  • Step 3

    Slice the dough into three-inch pieces, and place onto a greased piece of tin foil.

    tea, chocolate
  • Step 4

    Brush each piece with egg wash—one egg with a slash of water to thin it out. Bake according to the package's instructions.

    pastry, strudel, sweet, dough, bread
  • Step 5

    Once out of the oven, melt chocolate in 25 second intervals until it is just melted. Dip the baked crescent rolls into melted chocolate, and top with chopped, toasted almonds.

    chocolate, peanut, butter, peanut butter

Personally, I'd definitely make the bars again. It was a rich, decadent dessert for any sweet-tooth. The crescents on the other hand were not so great. By no means we they bad, but they lacked a strong coconut flavor. But it was not up to the me to determine if the recipes were up to snuff. The "inventor" of the recipes had to give her stamp of approval.

The Verdict of the Caramel Fluff Bars: Overall, the bars turned out quite tasty, although, there were definitely a few things that could use some tweaking. My original intent was for the chocolate part of the bar to harden*. In these bars, it remained soft. My daughter also made an addition of melted peanut butter drizzled on the top. Personally, I found this to be unnecessary and made the bars too rich**. However, with a few minor changes, these bars have the possibility of becoming one of the best desserts you’ll ever eat.

*My mother said chocolate ganache, not hardened chocolate. **Peanut butter is always necessary, and nothing can be too rich.

The Verdict of the Almond Joy Crescents: The Almond Joy Crescant rolls turned out to be a failure. This is due partly to the fact that I just don’t think the recipe is a winner, and partly because my daughter did not make them as I intended them to be made. I do believe that even if they were made correctly, these pastries would not be a huge success

So maybe it is best to be sober when making recipes. Whether drunk recipe or not, it's always fun to experiment in the kitchen see what new flavor combinations you can come up with.