words :: Feet Banks
Anyone true North American snack connoisseur knows the breakdown: Canada has all the best potato chip flavours (Ketchup, Dill Pickle) and America is the king of candy bars. (Japanese gummies are in a league of their own, and who knows what the fuck the Brits are onto, but that is a different conversation.)
So when my buddy Chili invited us all down to Montana/Utah/Arizona to fulfill his dying wish of filming a cowboy movie starring him as a renegade brothel inspector protecting a bunch of whores from the insidiously evil “Cancer Gang,” snacking on excitingly new (to us) candy bars was one of the ways us Canadians dealt with the discomfort of it all.
About 30 of us showed up, five motorhomes worth of friends and costumes and grief. Chili had a “no crying” rule though, so every once in a while one of the cast and crew would sneak off to deal with their grief. Chili worked us hard, didn’t share much of his vision, and wasn’t always the kindest to his cast and crew (he was pretty fucked on pain meds, and also he was dying) but we put on our bravest faces and improvised together a pretty kick-ass movie for our boy (working title “Git them Whores!”) Watching your longest co-conspirator and best friend literally ride off into the sunset (in Monument Valley no less) is awesome after it’s all said and done, but at the time it was a bit of an emotional bootfucking for all of us. Thankfully, someone had discovered Take 5s.
Released by the Hershey Company in December of 2004, the name “Take 5” refers to the five ingredients contained in this delicious bar: chocolate, peanuts, caramel, peanut butter, and pretzels. Because Chili’s cowboy movie road trip took place in early October, bags of single serving “Halloween size” Take 5s were readily available for the almost entirely Canadian cast and crew whenever one or more of us needed a quick hit of deliciousness and an excuse to step away from the action for a quick breather/moment of sadness or disbelief.
By the time we finished that film (after a truly epic gunfight in “Dry Twat Gulch”), Take 5s were an integral part of the team. This was back in 2016 and most of us bought bags to smuggle back to the great white north. Chili died just over a month later and, for me at least, there’s an emotional aftertaste lingering in each Take 5—that flavourful little bar helped get us through some shit, and each pretzel-y chocolate peanuty caramel bite hints at those last days hanging with one of the most creative and exciting souls I’ve ever met.
So why not turn that into a pie?
Take 5 Pie
(There already a few Take 5 pie recipes out there but I wanted to make a pie using essentially only the ingredients of a Take 5 bar. Thanks to Delish.com for the recipe I based this off)
- 2 1/2 cups crushed pretzels (plus a half handful more for garnish)
- 10 tbsp butter, melted (that’s about 150ml)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- 2/3 cup peanut butter, microwaved/double boiled until pourable
- 1/2 cup caramel, liquid enough to be pour-able, plus a bit more for garnish
- 1 cup chopped roasted peanuts, (not salted or BBQ) plus more for garnish
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream (unwhipped)
- 3 cups milk chocolate chips (or less, see “Bakers Note” below in Method)
- Chop, crush or food process the pretzels until they are small chunks.
- In a large bowl, combine chopped pretzels, butter and sugar. Stir with spatula until evenly gooey. Place in refrigerator (or -15ºC Canadian winter air) to harden.
- Pack/press pretzel goop into a 9-inch pie plate.
- Double boil your 1 cup of Semi Sweet choc chips until pourable. Pour over pretzel goop and smooth evenly with spatula. Refrigerate to harden.
- In a large bowl (if you clean the first one and re-use that makes life easier down the road) combine warm peanut butter, caramel, and chopped peanuts. Stir/fold that into an evenly mixed log/ball and spread over the firmed-up chocolate layer. Place back in fridge.
- Time to get the ganache top layer going. Pour your 3 cups of milk choc chips into a mixing bowl. Heat whipped cream in a saucepan over medium heat.
- When cream begins simmering, pour it over the choc chips. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Whisk cream and chocolate chips together until smooth. Pour over peanut layer. Smooth with spatula if needed, mine was pretty self-levelling).
(Baker’s Note: this ganache is sweet! If you aren’t super into diabetic comas, you may want to only pour 1/2 of or 3/4 of the chocolate ganache onto your pie. It’s good but it is sweet!!! (You could put the extra in tiny cups and chill it and call it pot de creme.) Alternatively, consider using one or more bags of semi-sweet or dark choc chips rather than 3 bags of milk chocolate. Tinker to your tastes, this full version is sweeeeeeet.)
- Sprinkle remaining crushed pretzels and peanuts on top.
- Allow to cool in fridge (our outside in the freezing actic air but watch out, birds might want to eat it.) Cool for 20-30 mins
- Drizzle caramel over top of pie in an artistic manner
- Allow to cool in fridge another 30-40 mins before serving.
- Eat the whole thing within 3 days. Keep Refrigerated.
Is it healthy? No. But Shit Martha if that isn’t a tasty treat. We miss you Chili!
In June 2019, Hershey’s sold Take 5 to Reese’s and it’s now known as Reese’s Take 5 but tastes the exact same. Even better news, in the fall of 2020 Take 5 became available in Canada under the name Oh Henry Level Up, and marketed as some kind of video game adjacent bar.
You can watch Chili’s Cowboy movie below.