When she retired from the bench, former Summit County Common Pleas Judge Jane Bond of Akron began working on recipes that would satisfy her love of baking and accommodate her gluten-free diet. These Very Nutty Bars are so rich, they’re more like candy than a cookie, and are sure to please any gluten-free dieter looking for a sweet treat.
VERY NUTTY BARS (GLUTEN FREE)
3 cups crushed gluten-free pretzels
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
⅓ cup sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup whipping cream
¼ cup brown sugar
14 oz. vanilla caramels (unwrapped)
1 cup salted, skinless roasted peanuts
1 cup roasted cashews, broken into pieces
1 cup semisweet chocolate bits
1 cup toffee candy pieces
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with foil or parchment. Grease foil or parchment and grease sides of pan.
Mix crushed pretzels, melted butter and sugar. Turn into prepared pan and press evenly to form crust.
In medium sauce pan mix ½ cup butter, whipping cream and brown sugar. Cook stirring constantly over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved. Stir in caramel squares. Stirring constantly, cook until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Add nuts and stir until coated. Spread evenly over crust.
Sprinkle chocolate bits and toffee pieces on top.
Bake 25 minutes until bubbling and starting to brown. Watch carefully. Cool completely in pan. When cool, turn out onto waxed paper, remove foil or parchment and cut into squares.
Makes 3 dozen.