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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars with a Salty Pretzel Crust

Written by: ERICA KASTNER of Buttered Side Up

Just reading the name of this recipe, I knew it was going to be something good; I didn’t expect it to be this good, though. Soft and melty, a little bit crunchy and salty. These are the best chocolate chip cookie bars I’ve ever eaten.

I kind of flubbed up a little when I was mixing the dry ingredients together. Baking soda was listed in the original recipe as the raising agent, but I somehow read baking powder. Thankfully I realized my mistake and was able to add a bit of baking soda as well.

I think it was a fortunate mistake! The texture of these bars could not have been better: so soft, even after I refrigerated them. And the salty pretzel crust helps to balance out the richness of the dough and sweetness of the chocolate chips.

One thing I must say about these bars is that they’re quite messy. The crust doesn’t stick to the bars very well at all. I took to smooshing my bar into the crust to pick up the pieces – annoying but effective. But the taste – oh, the taste! It definitely makes up for the chaos.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars with a Salty Pretzel Crust

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars with a Salty Pretzel Crust

Yield: about 15 bars
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Soft and melty cookie bars with a salty pretzel crust - so yummy!


For the Crust:

  • 3 1/2 cups pretzels, crushed into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted

For the Cookie Dough:

  • 3/4 cups butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup pure cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 bag (about 11 ounces) dark chocolate chips (or semisweet/milk chocolate if you prefer)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. For the crust: In a medium bowl, mix together the pretzels and butter. Spread in the bottom of the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes.
  3. For the cookie dough: Meanwhile, while the crust is baking, cream the butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat just until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the chocolate chips and mix just until combined.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough evenly over the crust. Spread out with your fingers or and offset spatula and press into the crust. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the bars are golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Rotate the bars halfway through baking, if you can remember.
  6. Allow to cool in the pan a bit, then remove along with parchment paper, cut and enjoy! These are especially good with a tall glass of cold milk.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 15 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 292Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 49mgSodium 390mgCarbohydrates 45gFiber 1gSugar 21gProtein 4g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

Liz K.

Saturday 16th of November 2013

Made these again last night and they are amazing! Added an egg and about 1/4 C demerara sugar to the crust at my husband's request and they held together much better. I don't know if the extra sugar was necessary as they were already very sweet and rich but it did add a slight caramel flavor. Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes!


Wednesday 6th of November 2013

Oh, Erika, even your mistakes are delicious! Love this one! :)

Mary-Clay @ Cooking with the King

Wednesday 30th of October 2013

Pretzel crust?! Yum. These look so delicious!


Wednesday 30th of October 2013

Wow! What a perfect cookie! :)

Alley @ Alley's Recipe Book

Wednesday 30th of October 2013

Pretzels and cookies? Sounds delicious! I just used pretzels as sprinkles on cupcakes. :)

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