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.
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.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 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.