feast on this: chocolate chip cookie bars with caramel and pretzel crust

It’s really embarrassing how lazy I’ve been with my blogging. (I didn’t even post a Friday Five!) School etc. just keeps me really busy! I know that’s no excuse really, but balancing everything is so hard! I admire people who blog, raise kids, run a business, and more at the same time! However, I did find time to do a little baking this weekend. In addition to making my mom’s banana bread, I tried a new recipe a.k.a. the title of this post. I improvised a little bit by adding the caramel. There were 2 recipes that caught my fancy and, not being one to compromise, I combined the recipes so as to have the best of both worlds. Thus the long name. One recipe called for caramel with no pretzel crust while the other recipe called for pretzel crust without caramel. Seriously, why did no one ever think to combine the 2?! I’ve done the hard part for you – testing out the combined recipe. I didn’t add anything (read: heavy cream or milk) to the melted caramel so it hardened pretty fast giving the cookie dough a tougher texture. The bars turned out okay actually. They’re a little crispier than I like cookie-esque desserts to taste. I blame that on the consistency of the melted caramel. Adding a liquid would’ve helped make the bars softer I think. Honestly, you can’t really mess this up. I mean it’s chocolate, pretzel, & caramel. You could eat just those 3 things together (or alone) and it would be amazing.

I followed the following recipe with the addition of melted caramel candies to the dough:

Ingredients:

  • FOR THE COOKIE DOUGH:
  • ¾ cups Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
  • ¾ cups Granulated Sugar
  • ¾ cups Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • 1-½ teaspoon Real Vanilla Extract
  • 2-¼ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¾ teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 bag (11 Oz. Size) Milk Chocolate Chips (I Like Ghirardelli)
  • FOR THE CRUST:
  • 3-½ cups Pretzel Sticks, Crushed Into Tiny Pieces
  • ¾ cups Unsalted Butter, melted

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a 9x13x2 baking pan with parchment paper (for easy removal). I did not have parchment paper but PAM works just fine. My only problem was the crushed pretzels not sticking to the dough very well when I served them. 

Beat butter and sugars at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs and the vanilla, beating until just blended.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk until airy and gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar/egg mixture, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and add in the chocolate chips. Mix one last time for a second then set aside.

For the crust, combine the crushed pretzel pieces with the melted butter, stir to combine. Spread pretzel mixture over the bottom of your prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes. I could not for the life of my get pretzel pieces as small as crumbs. My friend even tried to help me crush them (and she is super athletic and strong.) 

Drop large spoonfuls of the cookie dough and scatter it over the pretzel crust. Carefully and evenly spread the batter over the warm pretzels. With your (clean) fingers, press the dough into the pretzels. Place the pan in your preheated oven and bake for 20-24 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time. Remove when the bars are golden and a tester comes out clean. I baked it for like 30 minutes and my knife never came out clean. That could be because of the caramel’s consistency. 

When bars have cooled, remove (using the parchment paper) and cut into 15 bars. Enjoy!

There are great step by step pictures on the original site!

Oh and here’s the banana bread :)

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feast on this: chocolate chip cookie bars with caramel and pretzel crust

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