- Who needs candy bars when you’ve got cake? I’d pick cake just about any day, but with this one, you don’t have to choose! It combines the sweet and salty flavors of caramel, peanuts, and pretzels to make a Hershey’s Gold-esque layer cake!
- It all started when earlier this year, a coworker brought mini Hershey’s Gold Bars to work and stuffed them into our mailboxes. I discovered mine when I went to check my newly relocated mailbox, now on the top row, and one fell out and almost hit me in the head. (Side note: I am 5′ 2″ on a good day.) My new mailbox is on the top row and touches the ceiling. When I first saw it, I said outloud to no one in particular, I’m going to need a stool,” to which our building manager replied: “I got you.” Lo and behold, there was a stool there. I didn’t know whether to be miffed or grateful.
- Anyway, I threw the candy bar back into my mailbox and decided to save it for when I really needed it*.
- “For when I really needed it” ended up meaning:
*When I forgot to pack a square of dark chocolate to enjoy with my coffee as my afternoon ritual. Ask anyone on my team, it’s a thing. Every day.
*When it was the week before spring break, and I was READY TO GO.
*When there was nowhere to sit and work in the building except the counter underneath the mailboxes. In the middle of the teacher workroom. With conversations, classes, and jamming copiers all around me.
- Yes, all of these things happened simultaneously, so I ate the candy bar and enjoyed every single bite. I was tempted to lick the wrapper. It was one of those experiences I didn’t want to end. The same thing happens to me with Jeni’s ice cream or fried chicken from Gus’s. There ought to be a way to make these things last forever. Regardless of sentiment, that candy bar is gone. Thankfully, I now have three regular size bars in my kitchen cabinet and a king size version at school, so I’m ready! Bring on the emergenecies (Just kidding! Not asking for one at all.)
- To get back to the cake situation, what I’m trying to say is that these candy bars are amazing and deserve to be incorporated into the “permanent shelf status” Hershey’s collection. In case that doesn’t happen, we’ve got this cake on backup. It’s a brown sugar-based layer cake that comes out tasting nice and caramel-y. Then we smother it with a dulce de leche cream cheese frosting (if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you’ve seen this stuff before.). And to decorate, handfuls of honey roasted peanuts and pretzels. It’s a salty/sweet lover’s dream.
- The one thing I could have improved upon is adding a little more salt to the frosting. If you don’t mind a ratio of 40% salty: 60% sweet, the frosting recipe is fine just the way it is, but if you’re looking for the candy bar ratio, which is more like 60% salty: 40% sweet, throw in an extra 1/2 teaspoon or so of salt. And as a note, the pretzels do get a little stale, so plan to enjoy this cake as soon after decorating as possible!
- I took a hint from Joy when it came to decorating the cake. And, to keep the pretzels and peanuts inside the cake in place, I piped a thin border of frosting around the edge of the bottom layer of cake. Nothing fancy or intimidating, just some frosting spooned into a ziploc bag with the top cut off like this.
- For a while, I was turned off to the salty/sweet combo. I remember seeing some kind of honey Chex mix at the store or a party and thinking, “That’s gross. Give me my garlicky bagel chips.” But something (probably salted caramel sauce) led me to see the light, and now I’m all about that life. (Exhibit a, b , and c.) …all about that life to the point that this cake made an appearance at my birthday party! The lighting isn’t the best, but a cake covered in candles (ahem, sparkler candles that continually relight even though they weren’t labeled as the trick kind!) is too fun to resist!