Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookie Bars

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Yield: one 9 x 13" pan, about 40 servings

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Perfect for lovers of sweet and salty, these cookie bars feature a pretzel shortbread crust topped with a thick layer of chocolate-peanut butter filling. A final layer of crushed pretzels adds even more crunch. Try as you might, it's nearly impossible to eat just one.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookie Bars

star rating (15) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: one 9 x 13" pan, about 40 servings
Published: 02/13/2013




  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter, smooth preferred
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pretzels, for topping

Tips from our bakers

  • Baking gluten free? Try swapping out the shortbread base for your favorite GF sugar cookie recipe or GF shortbread recipe and a package of gluten free pretzels.


see this recipe's blog »

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9" x 13" baking pan with parchment, leaving the ends long to create a sling. This will make removing the bars easier.

2) To make the crust: Combine the flour, ground pretzels, and sugar, mixing with your fingers to sift and combine. Add the melted butter and mix again until you have a soft but not wet dough.

3) Press the dough into the pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The crust won't brown much, but will firm up nicely. Remove it from the oven and cool completely.

4) To make the filling: In a double boiler or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips. Add the peanut butter, stirring until well combined and smooth. Pour the filling over the crust.

5) Spread the filling evenly over the crust, and tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles. Sprinkle more crushed pretzels on top for added crunch.

6) Chill in the freezer for 45 to 60 minutes. Use the parchment to lift the bars out of the pan. Slice into squares or bars. You can serve frozen; just chilled, or at room temperature — these bars are great no matter what!

Yield: one 9 x 13" pan, about 40 servings.


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  • star rating 10/16/2014
  • Youmma from Burlington, Vermont
  • On the plus side this recipe is quick, easy and I liked the peanut butter/chocolate mixture. Unfortunately, the shortbread as written didn't work out (it needs more liquid or fat to hold it together?). I tried freezing the bars but I still wasn't able to cut them without most of the crust disintegrating. The crust itself tasted fine (I used salted butter in the shortbread) it just didn't hold together.
    I am sorry the shortbread did not hold together for you. In the blog, MJ states if the dough/base ?mix is a little dry, add a few teaspoons of water or milk until it comes together?. We hope you give this recipe another try! Use the extra liquid as necessary to get a shortbread texture. Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 05/11/2014
  • Carolyn from Wichita
  • Good and easy. Here are some thoughts to offset the negative outcomes: 1) Use SALTED butter in the crust. 2) Use a "better" peanut butter, not a blander "store brand." 3) Don't overcook the crust (I think 11 minutes is very good) 4) Freeze, but then allow to soften about 10 minutes before cutting. 5) Cut with a large and sharp chef's knife, not a little one. This does have a tendency to split between filling and toping, so take precautions. You must take this out of the pan to cut! Cut down the middle the "short" way so you have two "almost squares", and then cut in strips and then make portions out of each strip rather than treating the whole thing as a block. With these easy precautions and attention to the quality of ingredients, these are very good and the recipe is easy.
  • star rating 09/17/2013
  • kathrynquaintance18222 from KAF Community
  • Total waste of time and ingredients. Looked great until I tried to cut the bars. Tops separated, bottom crumbled to a complete unpresentable mess. Worse, I had doubled the recipe so had 3 bags of chocolate chips and 2 jars of peanut butter to toss. Great idea but the recipe does not work!! I am usually good at rescuing disasters but this was unsalvagable.
    I am so sorry this recipe was a real disappointment on so many levels. We would like to offer some compensation for the wasted ingredients! And also speak with you about the recipe! Please call our Bakers' Hotline toll free 1-855-371-2253. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Elisabeth
  • star rating 07/18/2013
  • Peg from TX
  • Worst tasting recipe I ever made. Bottom of bars crumble off. Choc peanut butter mixture is bitter and should have had vanilla added to it. Actually a one is too high a rating for this recipe. It is really a waste of time and ingredients.
    We're sorry to hear that the recipe did not work out for you. Please phone our hotline if you'd like to troubleshoot.
  • star rating 05/08/2013
  • Carrie from Michigan
  • This was very simple to make and tasted great. Made sure the crust was completely cooled and added Himalayan sea salt and toffee to the top. Great bars!!
  • star rating 03/28/2013
  • jm1154 from KAF Community
  • Followed recipe. Bars were bland, lacking any flavor. Needed salt and a little more sweetness in the bottom layer and more sweetness in the chocolate/peanut butter layer. Had to add more melted butter to get the bottom layer to form into a dough but finished product was still dry and crumbly. Tried to remedy finished product with sea salt crumbled on top as well as confectioners sugar, but fix was needed in all the layers, not just the top. Must press pretzels into top layer when warm so they don't fall off when slicing and eating.
  • star rating 03/11/2013
  • bambi356 from KAF Community
  • Sweet and salty, for sure and a hit with my co-workers. These were easy to make with simple ingredients. The recipe name says it all. What's not to love about this tasty combination? These cookies will serve as refreshments at an adult meeting this week and next week will be featured in a bake sale. Thanks for a great new recipe!
  • star rating 03/10/2013
  • Katie from South Carolina
  • I made these to take on a weekend trip with our family. So easy and so delicious! I used chunky natural peanut butter because that's what I had in hand. Very addictive.
  • star rating 03/08/2013
  • Jenny from Waltham, MA
  • It's easy to make and tasted wonderful. I used dark chocolate and natural peanut butter. I arranged mini pretzel on top of the chocolate so it looks neat. Thank you MaryJane for such a wonderful and easy recipe!
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