Do you ever think to yourself “Nope, I don’t need to pour more chocolate on this”?
I didn’t think so. Well I’m sure there are the few who would say this level of chocolate
drizzle pouring would be excessive, but we don’t need to concern ourselves with these blasphemers.
Long ago, I realized that I’m not very good at coming up with cutesy names for desserts. Whenever someone asks what a dessert, or meal, that I serve is called, I usually panic and rattle off a long list of ingredients and descriptors, and they say, “Oh…okay…it’s good…”
When I served these yesterday, no one even asked what I called them! It was amazing and I didn’t have to panic, even though I totally had the name prepared. People just ate it without asking questions. It was awesome.
I like to think of myself as a creative person, but I just feel so cheesy and contrived whenever I try to come up with a fun name for food. Maybe that’s supposed to be the fun of it… But anyway, it didn’t require stretching the imagination too much to come up with “Sweet and Salty Cookie Bars”. We’ve got chocolate and caramel and brown sugary flavors with pretzels and peanut butter. Sweet and salty. “Okay, that’ll do”, I thought.
I am super excited to show you this handy-dandy gif above, that I made with this online gif maker if you are interested. When you are making these bars, at some points in your topping process, you may think, “there, that’s enough”, but you would be wrong. This gif serves to show you the minimal amount you need for optimal taste experience. We go from cookie bars (which I’m sure really are delicious on their own) to pretzel-topped, to peanut butter chocolate drizzle, to more chocolate drizzle with broken pretzel pieces, to dollops of melted caramel. You may choose to add some coarse sea salt after that as well.
Sweet & Salty Cookie Bars
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (I used natural)
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups + 2 Tbsp. flour (I used half white whole wheat, half AP)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 to 2 cups chocolate chips
- 1/2 to 1 cup broken pretzel pieces
- 24 whole pretzels plus more crushed
- chocolate chips (1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup caramel pieces
- 1 Tbsp. milk
- Beat butter, peanut butter, with both sugars in large mixing bowl until creamy. Then mix in vanilla and eggs.
- Add in baking soda and salt, then slowly add flour and mix until combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips and pretzel pieces.
- Press dough into greased 9×13 inch pan and chill, covered, for around 30 minutes.
- Bake the bars at 350 F for 20- 25 minutes (mine took 21).
- Lay 24 whole pretzels over the bars in a 4×6 pattern.
- Melt together chocolate chips and peanut butter, then drizzle over the bars with a spoon or a plastic squeeze bottle. Sprinkle with broken pretzel pieces and add more chocolate if desired.
- Melt together caramel pieces and milk, then drizzle over bars. Top with coarse sea salt if desired.
May your bars be as delicious as mine were, and may you come up with a better name for them than I did! 😛