Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pretzel and Chocolate Chip Bars

As hinted to in my previous post, I had a marathon baking evening a few days ago. I made a really delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake for an early morning meeting at work. Not to brag, but I walked in with a plate piled high with homemade deliciousness, and people were opening bags of pretzels and sliding store-bought breakfast pastries out of boxes. If there were an award for overachieving at 7:45 in the morning, I would have won it. Seeing as I had missed almost as many of these meetings over the past school year as I had been to, I kind of felt like I owed it to the other attendees to bring something that required a bit of work on my part. And that cake is seriously better than any ordinary coffee cake!

I have run into an issue that I think many home bakers run into at some point in their lives. I love collecting recipes and trying out new techniques and the act of making something delicious. When it comes to the finished product, I also really enjoy eating it. This is my problem. I need to be able to create food without having to actually eat it. If I know that it is for a specific purpose, like the coffee cake, I'll leave it alone. If I just made it for the fun of it, without any intended recipient, all bets are off. Often we will have a family get together that I can bring the food to, but when we don't, I run into problems. This has been part of the reason I haven't been posting as much. I want to cook and bake fun things, but whatever I want to make is often too much for just the two of us.

I'm really curious how other food bloggers deal with this. I hate to think of throwing food out, when I watched The Kings of Pastry, they just trashed a less than perfect looking cake. I was aghast. But I realize that you can't necessarily eat everything you make. So, what is your solution, fellow bloggers?

Another of my creations from earlier in the week was this Pretzel and Chocolate Chip Bars recipe. I had seen something similar on Pinterest from the blog Simply Scratch and thought it would be a great thing to bring along this weekend when we celebrate the Memorial Day long weekend with family. I was pleased with the way they turned out, although the pretzel "crust" is an interesting texture. I was expecting a crunchy crust, but instead they seemed to take on the bar like chewy texture. Still, you get salty and sweet in one bite, and in my book that is a recipe for satisfaction!

Pretzel and Chocolate Chip Bars

pretzel crust ingredients
3 ½ cups pretzel sticks
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted

chocolate chip cookie bar dough ingredients
¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1½ teaspoon vanilla
2¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 bag of milk chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to  350℉. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper.

2. Beat butter and sugars in a mixing bowl at medium speed, until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and vanilla, beating until just blended after each addition.

3. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Whisk until airy and gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar/egg mixture, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl and add in the chocolate chips. Mix again to incorporate chips, then set aside.

4. Place pretzels in a large bag or in food processor. Crush into smallish pieces (not into pretzel dust). Combine in a bowl with the melted butter and stir. Spread pretzel mixture over the bottom of pan and bake for 8 minutes.

5. Drop large spoonfuls of cookie dough onto pretzel crust. Carefully and evenly spread the batter over the warm pretzels. Press cookie dough into pretzels. Bake for 20-24 minutes, rotating halfway through. Bars are done when golden and a tester inserted near the middle comes out clean.

6. When bars have cooled, remove from pan using the parchment paper and cut.


  1. You've seen my husband? That's how I take care of making and not eating. When he's training for a marathon I'm screwed. I cannot make enough calories to keep him well fed.

  2. They look really good! The way I get around the baking-but-not-eating-it-all thing is to bake on a Sunday, eat one piece and then bring it to work on the Monday. I work in a mostly-male office and they rarely give a second thought to their waistline!