Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chocolate Chip & Pretzel Cookie Bars

I stumbled across this recipe as I was browsing the Brown Eyed Baker's recipe blog. She has some amazing photographs and even better recipes and I never doubted that anything I tried by her recommendation would not fail to impress. When I showed Kevin the picture of these cookie bars he immediately declared, "You have to make those!" Well, I did. We were having a family over for dinner and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out this sweet treat. It turned out beautifully and absolutely delicious. Everyone raved. The recipe is quick and easy to throw together. If you love chocolate chip cookies and you love chocolate with your salty pretzels and a little peanut butter (opt) to top it off, then you will love these bars!

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.

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