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Chocolate Chip & Pretzel Cookie Bars

chocolate-chip-pretzel-bars

Pretzels and chocolate are like peanut butter and jelly – you’d think they were each made knowing they would some day be paired up with the other. As natural a combination as cheese and crackers, chocolate and peanut butter, or chips and dip. History has it that chocolate-covered pretzels were invented by Herr Joseph Franz von Liebniz in his pretzel bakery in Hamburg, Germany in 1544.  Apparently his bakery was next door to a chocolatier and, well, one thing led to another, and one of the most popular chocolate snacks was born. Thank you, Mr. von Liebniz, you were indeed a genius.

chocolate-chip-pretzel-bars-side

These cookie bars are a sensational combination of sweet cookie dough, bittersweet chocolate, and salty pretzels. And because I couldn’t help myself and believe that peanut butter makes just about everything better, I went ahead and drizzled some on top of these cookie bars, along with more chocolate and more crushed pretzels. Have you ever had the Ben & Jerry flavor “Chubby Hubby”? It’s always been a favorite of mine. Chocolate-covered peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets. Again, more genius. So I threw some of that flavor onto these cookie bars.

chocolate-chip-pretzel-bars-stack

More scrumptious bars you may like:
Strawberry Pretzel Squares
Coconut Chocolate Chunk Blondies
Seven-Layer Bars
Chunky Pecan Pie Bars

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Chocolate Chip & Pretzel Cookie Bars

Makes 32 squares

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12-ounce bag bittersweet (or semisweet, if you prefer) chocolate chips
1½ cups mini pretzel twists, coarsely chopped
¼ cup chocolate chips, for drizzling (optional)
¼ cup peanut butter, for drizzling (optional)
¼ cup pretzels, crumbled, for topping (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Using a mixer, beat the butter and both sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and pretzel pieces.

3. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and press it down evenly with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool completely.

4. In separate sandwich size baggies, melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter. Cut off a small corner on each bag and drizzle the chocolate and peanut butter over the top of the bars. Sprinkle the extra crushed pretzels on top. Let set and then cut into squares.

(Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)

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81 Responses to “Chocolate Chip & Pretzel Cookie Bars”

  1. ABowlOfMush on August 13, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    mmmm I could eat those right now!!

    Reply

  2. Maria on August 13, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Love the peanut butter addition! They look delicious! Glad you liked them!

    Reply

  3. Andrea@WellnessNotes on August 13, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    These look good! I wish I could take a piece right out of my laptop… :)

    Reply

  4. Sarah on August 13, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh. Looks like heaven on earth.

    Reply

  5. Adrianne LaFrance on August 13, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    YES. Chubby Hubby.

    Reply

  6. Heidi on August 13, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Oh, just when I thought I’d seen it all, this is amazing. My family already loves Strawberry Pretzel Salad, I know they’ll love this too!

    Reply

  7. Katie on August 13, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    These will be perfect for the fall!

    Reply

  8. TavQueenB on August 13, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    I’ll definitely have to try those!

    Reply

  9. Michelle on August 13, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Heidi – I am a huge fan of the strawberry pretzel salad as well! I’m sure your clan will love this!

    Reply

  10. Erin on August 14, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Wow, these look amazing! I’m a chocoholic so these will definitely be on my list of things to try.

    Reply

  11. The Klutzy Cook on August 14, 2009 at 2:05 am

    What a fantastic combination – something that I would never have thought of and they look great. Will definitely be trying these.

    Reply

  12. Shelly (cookies and cups) on August 14, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Those sound GOOOOD! Very clever!

    Reply

  13. Sunshine Mom on August 14, 2009 at 9:06 am

    chocolate and pretzels is my favorite combination!! salt and chocolate…mmmmmm!

    Reply

  14. Alta on August 14, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Great photos, so crisp! And they make that chocolatey goodness look so delicious!

    Reply

  15. Dana Zia on August 14, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Dang! These look good!!! I am drooling here. I think I might have to make these sometime when I am feeling evil. Nice pictures too.

    Reply

  16. Jen @ MaplenCornbread on August 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Bring on the chubby hubby in bar form! these look just amazing!!!!!!!!! I am adding to the list to make!! yum!!!!!

    Reply

  17. Helen on August 14, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I think I’m hyperventilating with delight. I really love the sound of this and shall surely try it. Thank you! x

    Reply

  18. Julia on August 14, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Those look really good. It’s funny they were apparently invented in Germany, because I’m a born and raised German and I never saw chocolate covered pretzels here until about 5 years ago. I always thought they were an American invention, especially since hard pretzels aren’t as prevalent here as they are in the States.

    Reply

  19. stephchows on August 14, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    *drool*

    Reply

  20. Riley Adams on August 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Looks fantastic! Interesting history behind pretzels and chocolate, too…thanks!

    Riley

    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

    Reply

  21. Cookin' Canuck on August 14, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    That salty-sweet combination is nothing short of addictive. I’m imagining myself curling up on the couch, watching a chick-flick, and eating half a pan of these.

    Reply

  22. Pam on August 14, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Coon Doggies…is all I can say!

    http://www.alovefornewrecipes.blogspot.com

    Reply

  23. Erin Brooks on August 14, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Gosh this looks really good and I am not a big fan of pretzels!

    Reply

  24. Jacob on August 14, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Mmmm want to eat them now.

    Reply

  25. Danielle on August 14, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    of course peanut butter makes everything better! those looks fab!!

    Reply

  26. Danielle on August 15, 2009 at 8:26 am

    OMG! I am going to have to make these stat!

    Reply

  27. TammyJo Eckhart, PhD on August 15, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Those look very nice. Do you prefer salted, lower salt, or salt free pretzels for it?

    Reply

  28. Bridget {Bake at 350} on August 15, 2009 at 9:57 am

    I so agree about pretzels and chocolate!!! Take 5 bars were my favorite, but I never see them anymore. These look delicious!

    Reply

  29. Danielle Rose on August 15, 2009 at 10:59 am

    These have got to be the ULTIMATE brownies!!!!!!! AMAZING! Chocolate, pretzels, AND peanut butter!!!!!!! I can’t take it! I’ve gotta have one!

    Reply

  30. Kendra on August 15, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Okay, how did you get them to tower like that? Cool picture! These look scrumptious!

    Reply

  31. Dinnervibe on August 15, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    OK. I am DEFINATELY going to have to make these when I get home from Chicago. They look absolutely GORGEOUS!

    Reply

  32. pity on August 15, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Oh my Blog!

    This is irresistible, wonderful recipe, full of colour, body and taste. I just discovered your blog, and I love it! I will be coming back for more, please visit mine if you have the time,

    cheers!

    pity
    http://www.pityinthekitchen.blogpot.com

    Reply

  33. Kerstin on August 15, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    I agree – I love chocolate covered pretzels! These bars look fabulous – yum!

    Reply

  34. Tracey on August 15, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Yum, those look terrific! Sweet and salty go perfect together so I bet these are delicious.

    Reply

  35. Megan on August 15, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Wow! These look and sound absolutely amazing. They remind me of a cookie bar version of a Take 5, which I love!

    Reply

  36. MY LIFE IS YUMMY on August 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    LOVE the combination of pretzel and chocolate. these look wonderful!

    Reply

  37. Sharon on August 16, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    OMG!! YUMMY!!! These look so good, I am a big fan of the chocolate covered pretzel so this is heaven!! I am hosting a brunch for my whole family in two weeks and this would be a great treat for the end of the meal!! Can’t wait to try them , thanks for sharing!!

    Reply

  38. Amber on August 16, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    These sound really good. I love pretzels and chocolate together.

    Reply

  39. deeba on August 17, 2009 at 11:48 am

    These are gorgeous & your blog is stunning. I love it!!

    Reply

  40. Jen on August 18, 2009 at 10:49 am

    OMG, I must try these!

    Reply

  41. Michelle on August 18, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    TammyJo – I prefer salted pretzels because it contributes to that salty/sweet combination.

    Reply

  42. Michelle on August 18, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Hi Kendra – No secret to the towering, I just stacked them on top of each other and snapped away!

    Reply

  43. Liesl on August 19, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Oh my! Looks like heaven on a plate! YUM!

    Reply

  44. Ashley on August 19, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Oh wow do these ever look amazing!! I live in Canada so have only dreamed of Chubby Hubby ice cream… it sounds so good.

    Reply

  45. Gina on August 25, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Wow these look DELICIOUS! I definitely need to try this recipe soon! My husband will LOVE them!!!

    Reply

  46. Amanda on August 27, 2009 at 6:45 am

    I made these two nights ago, OMG deliciousness! My mom can’t stop sneaking bites in. I’m trying to have a little more will power, but it’s hard. And by the way, Chubby Hubby is my favorite Ben and Jerry’s flavor!

    Reply

  47. Karin on September 9, 2009 at 10:37 am

    I totally tried these. Check them out… My photos don’t do them any justice though. Yours look the bomb. But seriously..these taste dang good! Thanks for the recipe! Looking forward to trying more!

    Reply

  48. Natalie on October 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    These weren’t as good as I’d hoped, the pretzels baked into the cookie didn’t maintain their crunchiness and just tasted kind of weird. I liked them on top though.

    Reply

  49. nicole on January 26, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    wow chocolate and pretzels are one of my favorite combos – i would love one of these over ice cream!

    Reply

  50. Sarah @ Mum In Bloom on February 18, 2010 at 8:43 am

    These look great! I was searching for a choc. chip pretzle cookie & your site appeared. You have a great blog here. Thanks for the inspiration :)

    Reply

  51. Sarah @ Mum In Bloom on March 8, 2010 at 7:59 am

    I made these and they were really good. A perfect mix of sweet and salty. See my pictures and post here
    http://muminbloom.blogspot.com/2010/03/recipe-chocolate-chip-pretzle-cookie.html

    Thanks again for sharing your great recipe :)

    Reply

  52. J. Vint on June 27, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Made these yesterday for a picnic and they were delicious! A nice change from the ordinary cookie and bar. The peanut butter and chocolate drizzle really hooked me on them!

    Reply

  53. Stacy Baker on July 29, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Not bad, but they were lacking that “WOW” factor that I look for when trying new recipes. I love to bake and try new recipes, but I have enough other recipes that are alot better, so I don’t see myself making these again. With that said, however, we did polish off the entire pan pretty quickly! I adore anything with chocolate and pretzels, but this just wasn’t what I was looking for. I little too cakey, I guess, maybe I need something with more crunch. My 6-year-old said they tasted like “stale pretzels.” Sorry!

    Reply

    • kelly on August 19th, 2010 at 9:52 pm

      I know this was posted a year ago but I wanted to comment that I made these tonight and opted for the drizzling on top because the cookie needed a little extra something. I followed the recipe and melted the pb in a ziplock bag and when I took it out some dripped on the floor and I realized it burned a hole through the bag. To save my floors I instintively cupped the open part under my hand and now I have half my left hand severely burnt. ugh. Be careful everyone when you melt it!

      Reply

  54. rei on September 25, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    just made these today for a co-workers birthday. did anyone else have problems with the pretzels getting too soggy? i just tried my cooled batch and noticed the pretzels had turned into an unpleasant piece of mush. i am afraid if i serve them at work without an explanation that people will think they are an un-identified object that mistakenly made it’s way into my batter!

    in all the pictures i’ve seen it appears the pretzels have held up better. thoughts?

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 28th, 2010 at 6:59 pm

      Hi Rei, I’m sorry to hear you had broken down, mushy pretzels! The one thing that I thought of was what type of pretzels did you use? I think maybe something like Rold Gold, that are inherently buttery, might break down than some other varieties.

      Reply

      • Melissa H on March 8th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

        Hi Michelle, Would you mind letting me know what pretzel you recommend? I made some sweet/salty cookies with pretzels and noticed the pretzels seemed a little “stale” in texture after a day. Thanks!

        Reply

        • Michelle on March 8th, 2011 at 7:19 pm

          Hi Melissa, I honestly can’t remember the exact brand of pretzels that I’ve used, but probably something like Snyder’s. Another thing you may want to try is using hard (thick) or sourdough pretzels, as they are inherently crunchier.

          Reply

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  56. Lisa on October 25, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    I made these over the summer and a colleague reminded me of them today. I had to blog about them to share the recipe and will be making them again soon – thank you for the recipe!

    Reply

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  59. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table on April 18, 2011 at 12:10 am

    I’m late to the party… but I’ve had these bookmarked forever and FINALLY made them last night. They were Deeeelicious!!!

    Reply

  60. joanne on April 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    oh my goodness these are delicious!!!!!! cant wait to make them again

    Reply

  61. patti on June 14, 2011 at 12:54 am

    These look amazing!! Can you use natural peanut butter for the drizzle or do you use the regular skippy/jif kind?

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 14th, 2011 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Patti, I use regular peanut butter for all of my baking (although I eat natural!). I think if you used a natural like Jif that doesn’t really separate you would okay but the ones you need to refrigerate that tend to be oily might not work as well as it could end up oily.

      Reply

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  63. julieA on August 12, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I made a double batch of these this morning…one for home and to share with neighbors, and another to leave with son/dil when I visit them tomorrow. I used a combo of semi sweet and peanut butter chips, and for the top I did melt peanut butter and chocolate chips together in the microwave (for the drizzle). We have enjoyed a few so far, but it was “just okay” for me….nothing too special. I like the taste of the added pretzels on top…the ones in the batter seem to have lost any distinct flavor for me, although the crunch is still there. I love this site, and have made many really good recipes from here so far. But, I think I’ll try a different cookie bar next time. Or a brownie….mmmmmm.

    Reply

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  65. Charles on September 17, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    OMG. I made these last week, and they were so good that I am making them again tonight. A definite MUST-MAKE. I’m going to try adding more chocolate this time. Either way, favorite cookies yet. :)

    Reply

  66. Gracie on October 13, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    this is the first Brown Eyed Baker recipe that has got me hooked! the only problem is that I like the dough just as much as the actual cookie (:

    Reply

  67. mrsblocko on October 15, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I made these and wrote about them here. For some reason they didn’t set up very well. Luckily, they were still every bit as delicious as I had imagined. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    Reply

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  72. Nina on June 23, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Took them to a party today and everybody loved them.

    Reply

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  74. Angela @ AnotherBitePlease on August 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Just made these the other night and they are so good. love the sweet & salty taste! Love your blog – so many fun recipes!

    Reply

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