Ever have a craving for something sweet AND something salty? Like the chocolate-covered pretzel slims they sell at Trader Joes? Those delicious things are more addicting than potato chips…and dangerous for me to keep in the house!
But sometimes you just want a chocolate-covered pretzel, and you don’t have time to go to Trader Joes. But maybe you look in your pantry and find chocolate chips and pretzel goldfish (which are actually so good if you’ve never had them) and realize you could make a delicious chocolate pretzel bar cookie. Which is exactly what I did last week. I even went a little crazy and added caramel bits to the mix so I’d get that salted caramel vibe from the pretzels. These bars were perfect; the dough itself was chewy and slightly gooey, they were loaded with mix-ins, and they were just fantastic.
I made these a couple weeks ago, so I apologize for my brief posting hiatus. But, I was on Spring Break last week and spent nearly all of my time outside! Since I’ve been cleared by my doctor to walk again, I knew I couldn’t be cooped up inside anymore. I did enough of that when I was on crutches!
So, Junior and I spent our beautiful break walking and hiking and just loving the sunshine! Monday was a bit of a reality check when I had to actually go to school, but Junior and I are still trying to get in a hefty dose of sunshine whenever we can, provided the Seattle weather cooperates.
Anyways, these blondies are delicious and if you’re not feeling the pretzel thing, feel free to add in whatever other mix-ins you have in your pantry! Anything from chocolate to dried fruit to some chopped-up Girl Scout cookies could be great options. Mix and match until you find something you like.
Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bars
makes about 20 bars
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1 cup Pretzel Goldfish (or any other kind of pretzel, chopped into bite-sized pieces)
heaping 1/2 cup chocolate chips
heaping 1/2 cup caramel bits (found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 x 8 or 9 inch round pan with foil. Grease the foil and set aside. In a large microwavable bowl or in a double boiler, heat the butter until just melted and let it cool to lukewarm. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt and stir to combine. Add in the flour and mix until just incorporated. Stir in the pretzels, chocolate chips, and caramel bits. (There may appear to be more mix-ins than dough, which is a good thing!) Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan, topping with a few more chocolate chips, if desired. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top is set and a toothpick inserted in any bare patch of dough comes out with a few crumbs. Let the bars cool completely before slicing.