I’ve sort of become the birthday-treat-maker of my office… which I actually don’t mind because it gives me an opportunity to try some of the million sweet recipes I’ve saved up. This one was for co-worker Erica’s birthday. These bars were the perfect combination of sweet and salt. I highly recommend the optional peanut butter drizzle because it really tied all the flavors together. Mmmm, these were so good. Really, I could eat the whole pan. Good thing they’re sitting in the office and not in my house!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12-ounce bag bittersweet (or semisweet, if you prefer) chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet, and only about half of the bag, and it was plenty chocolatey in my opinion!)
1½ cups mini pretzel twists, coarsely chopped (I used pretzel sticks instead)
¼ cup chocolate chips, for drizzling (optional)
¼ cup peanut butter, for drizzling (optional)
¼ cup pretzels, crumbled, for topping (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Using a mixer, beat the butter and both sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and pretzel pieces.
3. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and press it down evenly with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown (I baked these for 26 minutes and they turned out perfectly, just keep an eye on ’em!). Transfer the pan to a rack and cool completely.
4. In separate sandwich size baggies, melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter. Cut off a small corner on each bag and drizzle the chocolate and peanut butter over the top of the bars. Sprinkle the extra crushed pretzels on top. Let set and then cut into squares.