My name is Crystal and my blog is Eat*Drink*Cleveland. I'm here on Sarah's blog today as part of the Ohio Blogging Association's 2012 Blog Swap. I write about food and fun in NE Ohio. Restaurants, local festivals, recipes, food events and favorite cocktails are just some of the topics you'll find on my blog.
I was so happy to find out that Sarah was my blog swap partner! Not only do I love her in real life, but we also have a lot in common including our love of cooking. But I can never follow a recipe exactly ~ I always like to tweak recipes and come up with new ones.
Except for this past Friday - for once I actually followed the recipe! I took the day off and was cooking for my Stella & Dot trunk show later that night. I wanted to try something new so I sent out a Tweet asking for people's favorite things to make for parties. @SarahCLeimbach sent me several recipes but one jumped out at me: Chocolate Chip Bars with a Salty Pretzel Crust from Simply Scratch. I'm a pretzel fiend and absolutely love chocolate chip cookies so I knew I had to try these!
I liked this recipe because they are BAR cookies which means that you don't have to be a slave to the oven every 8-10 minutes.
I didn't like this recipe because you end up losing most of the pretzels ~ they don't stick to the bottom of the bars! The picture on the right below shows all the pretzels that were left behind. I needed to find a way to fix that.
They recommended using more butter but I didn't want to add even MORE calories so I decided to turn the crust into a topping - problem solved! Here's my version of the recipe, Pretzel Crusted Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares:
FOR THE TOPPING
- 2-1/2 cups Pretzels, crushed
- 1 cup Toasted Salted Pecans
- 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, melted
- 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 large Eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
- 2-1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13x2 baking pan with parchment paper. This makes it a lot easier to remove the cookies from the pan, trust me!
- Beat butter and sugars at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs and the vanilla, beating just until blended.
- Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk until combined and gradually add to the sugar/egg mixture, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and add the chocolate chips. Gently mix until chips are incorporated. Pour into prepared pan.
- Place pretzels in a food processor. Pulse until almost crushed. Add pecans and pulse until nuts are chopped. You don't want fine crumbs so keep it a little chunky. Once the pretzels and nuts are crushed, combine them with the melted butter and stir. Spread pretzel evenly mixture over the top of your batter. Press gently into the cookie dough.
- Place the pan in your preheated oven and bake for 20-24 minutes, rotating the pan half-way through the cookie time. Remove when the bars are golden and a tester comes out clean.
- When bars have cooled, remove by using the parchment paper and cut into bars.
These were a huge hit and are definitely one of my new favorites. I'll be making them again for sure and hope you like them as much as I do!
Wowzers Crystal, these look great! I prefer bar cookies and blondies for the same reason, and I'm with you on under baking. Somehow I totally missed these at your party, thanks for sharing the recipe!
UPDATE: I made these bars last night and they are goo-ood! Make sure you really press the pretzel and pecan mixture down into the dough so it's sticks really well. It'll seem like too much topping, but the dough will puff up a bit and will be the perfect ratio once it's done baking. My bars took closer to 30 minutes to cook (without being too rare or too overdone, but my oven seems to take a bit longer when I use parchment paper to line the pans.