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Chocolaty Pretzel-and-Peanut Cookie Bars

These cookie bars can be made up to three days ahead and stored in a cool place.

  • prep: 15 mins
    total time: 2 hours 15 mins
  • yield: Makes 20 squares




  • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 5 1/2 cups salted mini pretzel twists
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/3 cups lightly salted cocktail peanuts
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably 61 percent cacao, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and line with parchment, leaving a 1-inch overhang on long sides. Butter parchment.

  2. Step 2

    Place 4 1/2 cups pretzels in a food processor and pulse until texture resembles coarse cornmeal. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sugar and butter until well combined. Transfer to pan, spreading evenly, and pack down flat with the bottom of a measuring cup. Drizzle condensed milk evenly over crust. Sprinkle evenly with peanuts, chocolate, and remaining 1 cup pretzels, gently pressing them into milk.

  3. Step 3

    Bake until chocolate melts and condensed milk bubbles and becomes golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack, then refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Run a paring knife between bars and short sides of pan. Using parchment overhangs, transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 20 squares.



Reviews (5)

  • 26 Mar, 2014

    This recipe really hits the salty-sweetspot. It is very easy to make and cut into bars or squares. Everyone came back for seconds and thirds at the office pot luck.

    I used semi-sweet chips, which held their shape. Next time I might melt the chocolate and drizzle it over the bars to get more even coverage of the chocolate. Or just use more chips!

  • 29 Jan, 2014

    I made these to use up things I had in the pantry. For the crust I used a roughly equal mix of animal crackers, graham crackers, and pretzels, plus a tiny handful of gingersnaps. I didn't add sugar and cut the butter to one stick. Since it's covered in sticky condensed milk, the crust holds together without the extra fat and sugar. I thought they were very good that way, and they disappeared in a flash at the potluck I made them for- not even crumbs were left!

  • 23 Jan, 2014

    My husband and kids loved them. I like them but pretzel taste is prominent. Used semi sweet chocolate instead and used cashews. May try them with a graham cracker crust next time.

  • 23 Jan, 2014

    These were easy to make. However, I feel like something's missing and I taste more pretzel than anything. I think next time, I'll use half salted pretzels and half unsalted for the crust, add some coconut or marshmallows or use honey roasted peanuts and add dark M&Ms.

  • 17 Jan, 2014

    The pretzels on the top tend to fall off. If I made them again I would use pretzel sticks and break them up to make cutting easier. It was an easy recipe but maybe just not as wonderful as some of my other favorite cookies.