I tend to think of Boston, food-wise, as the period of my life where I discovered Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. I think nearly every meal we ate that year included something from her blog.
These chocolate chip oatmeal bars were one of the very best things I made. I’ve made them several times and without fail, I have a bite of them and think, “these are just ridiculously ridiculously good.”
And then when I saw this similar recipe that included a pretzel crust and I just happened to have a half-full bag of pretzels in my pantry and an assignment to bring a dessert to a church event, well, I couldn’t resist giving it a try.
I am sad to say, I just ate the last one out of the fridge thirty minutes ago (er, I wrote this in the afternoon – I’m not eating chocolate chip bars at 6:15 a.m.).
They are amazing without the pretzel crust, but it’s a very nice addition – I love the extra little buttery crunch it gives it, plus it makes them just a little more unique.
4 cups pretzels
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup oatmeal (quick oats or rolled oats are both fine)
2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with tin foil, leaving some excess on the sides so that you can remove the bars after baking.
Crush pretzels (you could do them in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or pulse them in a food processor) until they are mostly in about 1/2 inch pieces. Stir in melted butter until they are completely coated.
Evenly distribute them on the 9×13 pan and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.
In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add the eggs and mix until well-combined. Add vanilla and mix again.
Add the flour, soda, and salt and stir until somewhat combined. Add oats and mix until completely combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop the cookie dough in large clumps on top of the pretzel crust and press it evenly across the pan, making sure to press it down firmly so it adheres to the pretzel base.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until slightly golden in the corners. Be really careful not to overbake them – it’s better to ere on the side of underbaking.
Remove and let cool, before removing from pan and slicing.
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