No-Bake Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bars

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I’m definitely not the only person who’s figured this out, but no-bake recipes are truly the bomb.  If something is no-bake it’s almost guaranteed to be less work, definitely less risky (you can’t burn anything or forget about something for too long!), and no-bake treats require an equal, if not decreased, required patience time before you can eat your goodie! Sounds like a win-win-win to me.

I found a scrumptious looking no-bake recipe on the interwebs yesterday that called for lots of chocolate chips, coconut, and dried fruit- none of which did I have. Thus, I took some inspiration from that original recipe, omitted the fruit and coconut, replaced almost all of the chocolate chips with butterscotch chips and cocoa powder, and added salt and crushed pretzel pieces for a little crunch and flavor!

I was worried the pretzels would get soft while chilling, but they maintained their crunch, making this dish one I am very proud of! Whip this together and store it in your fridge for all those moments when you need something a little sweet, or just something to hold you over until the next meal. I promise you, no-bakes are the bomb.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • ½ cup coconut oil (no substitute, it’s what gives it a creamy texture and flavor!)
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 rounded teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/8 – ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3-5 large pretzel rods

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized saucepan, melt together the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil, stirring until completely blended.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chocolate and butterscotch chips until melted.
  3. Stir in the oats, salt, and cocoa powder.
  4. Break the pretzel rods into small pieces- you can either use your hands or pulse the pretzel rods in a slap chop or food processor for just a few seconds.  They should not be so finely ground that you cannot feel their crunch! It’s ok to let them be larger!
  5. Spread into a 13 x 9 inch or 8 x 8 inch pan (depending on how thick you want your bars! I used an 8 x 8) and refrigerate until hardened, about an hour.

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Notes and Tis!

  • Store in the refrigerator
  • Gluten free? Use gluten-free oats!
  • Inspired by: New Nostalgia
  • If you like this recipe, check out these other delicious treats from ‘a rented kitchen!’:

World’s Best Cookie Bar

So, I admit, I have not tried all of the cookie/dessert bars in the world. That’s still on my to-do list. I can assure you however, that this recipe- although simple- is dangerously delicious.

This recipe is the first recipe I ever memorized. I baked these cookie bars for the first time in middle school, both because I have a crazy sweet tooth and because I’ve always been part grandmother. Within 48 hours the entire pan was gone (with great help from my family), and just a week later I found myself back in the kitchen, making another batch! This dessert is not elaborate or particularly fancy, and it is very easy to make- only taking about 35 minutes total.  However, every time I have made these bars, without fail, I have been asked for the recipe.

I have not tried all the cookie-bars in the world, but I would bet you are going to love these.  Happy baking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs*
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips
  • 1 bag of butterscotch chips*

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. While the oven preheats, unwrap the stick of butter and place in a 11 x 7 inch pan.  Place the pan in the oven and allow the butter to melt while the oven preheats. It should only take a few minutes, so don’t let it burn!
  3. Once the butter is melted, remove the pan from the oven and pour the graham cracker crumbs on top of the butter.
  4. Stir the graham cracker crumbs in the pan so that the butter coats the crumbs. (It may seem like too many crumbs for that much butter, but I promise it works!)
  5. Once the butter and crumbs are well mixed, press the crumbs into an even crust on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over top of the crumbs.
  7. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips over the sweetened condensed milk, evenly distributing them.
  8. Once the chips are scattered on top, use the back of a spatula to gently press them into the sweetened condense milk.  The chips do not need to be totally submerged, but try and surround them with milk.
  9.  Bake for 25 minutes, and allow to cool. Once totally cooled (this takes several hours), cut, serve, and enjoy!

Notes and Tips!:

  • You have two options for the graham crackers.  You can buy pre-crushed graham cracker crumbs in the baking isle, or you can buy a box of whole graham crackers and chop them up in a blender. If you buy a box of graham crackers you will probably use about 3/4 of them.
  • You can substitute the butterscotch chips for peanut butter chips if you are someone who loves the peanut butter and chocolate combination. It’s up to you!
  • I suggest letting them cool for as long as possible before cutting them, ideally refrigerating them for around 5 hours.  Otherwise, when cut they will turn into a big gooey crumble.
  • If you don’t have an 11 x 7 inch pan, do not worry! An 8 x 8 inch square pan will work as well.
  • If you like this recipe, you may also like my Rolo Crinkle Cookies!