21 August 2013

Double Chocolate Pretzel Bars

I'm pretty sure the entire world is obsessed with pretzels this summer.  Or maybe just fast food restaurants -- pretzel hot dog buns at Sonic, pretzel bacon cheeseburgers at Wendy's (which, to be perfectly frank, kinda scare me).  I haven't had either of these, but I'm finding myself to be a little pretzel obsessed, too.  I love pretty much anything salty and am absolutely over the moon when there's also something sweet in the equation, but I have gone out of my way to avoid putting pretzels in the mix.  There's a really good reason for it, too.

When I was in college I went on tour for a couple of weeks with my boyfriend's band.  We went from Little Rock to Philadelphia and then I took the Greyhound bus back home.  I don't think I can properly convey exactly how poor we were on this tour, but I believe I had $200 with me to cover my share of the gas for the van and food for two weeks.  Sensing that the money was going to run out really fast with a van that got approximately three miles per gallon, I went to a grocery store one day into the trip and bought three bags of honey mustard pretzels.  That was all I ate for the rest of the trip except for some delicious Jamaican food in Philly and a really disgusting sandwich at the bus station in Washington D.C..  I still can't eat honey mustard pretzels and even regular pretzels give me a little pause.  Don't get me wrong, though, I love pretzels.  I think they're delicious, but that trip was traumatic.

Well, if you love pretzels, chocolate, brown sugar, cookies, brownies, blondies, or any combination of these things, then these bars should be right in your wheelhouse.  The batter for these bars is partly made up of pretzels that are ground up into flour.  Yep, pretzel flour.  They also have tons of white chocolate and semisweet chocolate.  Oh, and there's smoked almonds, too.  That's my other new addiction.  You should go get some.  They're my new favorite snack.

Double Chocolate Pretzel Bars
makes one 8x8" pan

Print me, Please!!!

1 1/4 cups salted pretzels
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup salted smoked almonds, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line an 8" square baking pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick spray; set aside.

Process the pretzels in a food processor or blender until they are fine crumbs; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.  Stir in the pretzel crumbs, flour, salt, and baking powder.  Stir until just combined.  Gently stir in the chocolate chips and chopped almonds.

Spread the dough into the prepared pan.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and just set in the middle.  Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars and serving.

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