The first concert I ever saw was Britney Spears. I know you’re all judging, but I loved Britney and I still kind of do. I knew every word of every song on her first CD. I’m not sure I can say that about any other CDs. I also knew most of the dance moves from watching MTV every possible moment while my peers watched the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Most of the dance moves have left my brain along with Geometry but I still know most of the songs. I love when a Britney song, new, old, or in between comes on the radio. And to be honest, I’d probably go see her in concert if she tours again.
It was a great first concert. Dad got tickets from work which were quite good. My baby-sitter came with us. It was at Pine Knob, which if you’re a Detroiter was what the main outdoor amphitheater was called before it became DTE Energy Music Theatre. This concert was clearly many moons ago, as I was nine.
Walking past the gates, the experience was similar to being at an amusement park: lines and people everywhere, concession stands, merchandise booths. My eyes darted around, trying to take it all in.
At the time, I’m sure it felt like forever before the concert started, as we waited for it to get dark outside and for the opening act to finish (I have absolutely no recollection of whom the opening act was) and far too soon for it to end. I enjoyed every moment, singing and dancing from my perch standing on my seat, binoculars firmly in hand most of the concert. It was awesome. I loved it and couldn’t wait to go to my next concert.
I sang along to the radio as we waded through parking lot gridlock and on the long ride home. I think my baby-sitter fell asleep after marveling at the fact that I even knew every word to every song played on the radio.
Concerts make me think of summer (Yay! Summer!) and when I think of summer, I also think of no bake treats. Don’t get me wrong, my oven will be in full operation all summer long, but there’s something about a no bake treat on a ninety degree day that just seems right. Upon exploring my Baked bakery cookbooks, these Bale Bars immediately caught my eye. Pretzels, peanut butter, white chocolate. What’s not to like?
These bars are super simple to make, though they do have to set up in the refrigerator for awhile. Sweet and salty, they get great crunch from the pretzels and peanuts, along with a fudgy quality from the peanut butter-white chocolate ganache. Best of all these need to be stored in the refrigerator, so they are a refreshing summer treat, perhaps while you listen to some music.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup white baking chips
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- ¾ cup peanuts (I used dry roasted unsalted)
- 3 cups salted thin pretzel sticks (I used Rold Gold)
- Line a 9 by 13 inch pan with parchment, leaving enough overhang to be able to pull the bars out later.
- In a large bowl, combine peanuts and pretzels with your fingers.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add the sugar and cream and bring to a low boil for 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the white chips and 1 tablespoon vanilla and stir until the chips are completely melted into the mixture. Add the additional 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla and peanut butter and stir until combined.
- Pour the white chip-peanut butter mixture over the pretzel-peanut mixture and stir until all the pretzels and peanuts are fully coated. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.
- Refrigerate for at least 90 minutes until the bars are firm. Cut into pieces and serve. May be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing this recipe.