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Chocolaty Pretzel-and-Peanut Cookie Bars

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

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 20 squares

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January/February 2014

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions

  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. 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. 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 Add a comment

  • MS10385205
    2 FEB, 2015
    Brought this to a super bowl party and it was a hit. I followed the recipe to the letter and based on some of the other comments, made sure to press the whole pretzels into the warm melted chocolate so they would set and not crumble off. Would make this again for a party as its a nice combination of sweet and salty. Great recipe.
    Reply
  • JDubJay
    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!
    Reply
  • Anarie
    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!
    Reply
  • Mom2 littles
    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.
    Reply
  • dckalorama
    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.
    Reply
  • MS11785299
    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.
    Reply