Summer. ‘Tis the season for casual al fresco dinners with family and friends.
I needed a couple of desserts for this weekend and, because ours and other kids were going to be present, I figured I would make them a little something in addition to the “adult” desserts. Well, that’s one of the reasons I made these bars. Another reason is that the other desserts I had planned did not have any chocolate in them, and it is very hard for me to serve dessert without chocolate somewhere in sight. Another reason is that I have a 6 pound bag of pretzels in my basement – the product of a Costco impluse buy. We are pretzel lovers in this family, but I fear we may never actually get through this bag.
Enter the Chocolate Chip-Pretzel Bar. This recipe comes from this month’s Food and Wine. It is rare that I get to a magazine recipe in the actual month it was written for. I am perpetually 6-8 months behind. But in reading through the August issue, this recipe jumped out at me as a perfect kid dessert. Yes, it helped me in the pretzel department, but it’s also easy and has chocolate sprinkles on top. What adult…er, I mean kid…doesn’t like sprinkles?
Chocolate Chip-Pretzel Bars
Adapted from Food and Wine
Makes 2 dozen 2-inch squares
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips (DT: I used semi-sweet.)
1 1/2 cups mini pretzels, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. chocolate sprinkles
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing overhang on the 2 long ends.
2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with both sugars at medium speed until light, 1 minute. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients. Stir in the chips and pretzels.
3. Spread the batter in the pan and top with the sprinkles. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden; the center will still be a little gooey. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool completely.
4. Run the tip of a knife around the side of the pan and lift the bar out using the parchment paper. Cut into 24 squares and serve.
(The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.)