Ultimate Pretzel Crusted Peanut Butter Cookie Candy Brownie Bars

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We had family stay at our house this weekend and it’s the unspoken word on both sides of the family that I will have something yummy baked for them while they visit. Yes, my cookies, brownies and bars have a reputation and have since I was young. I even owned my own gourmet cookie company before I was the baby gear expert that you know today. Yep, you learn new things about me all the time! So, to keep up my reputation, I had to make something and it had to be good. Okay, not just good but fabulous! Chocolate chip cookies weren’t going to cut it this time.

After posting the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Oreo Brownie Bars last week, I knew I could make the bars even better by mixing it up a bit. I wanted to add peanut butter!  Nothing is better with chocolate than peanut butter so I started playing around with different combinations. If I could also work in my BFF, Pretzel Crust, I knew I would have a winner! This is how I came up with my own “Ultimate Pretzel Crusted Peanut Butter Cookie Candy Brownie Bars“. Let’s just call ‘em “My Ultimate BFF Bars“, shall we? These are to die for.

Let me just say there is absolutely nothing healthy about these bars. I felt very guilty even putting them together because I basically combined every indulgence that I love into one single bar. I don’t know the calorie count or Weight Watcher point count and I don’t want to know either. These are the ultimate indulgence and if you are dieting – well, just say no. (Or just take a tiny piece!) :)

*You can also make these in cupcake form! Here’s the recipe: Ultimate Pretzel Crusted Peanut Butter Cookie Candy Brownie Cupcakes

Ultimate Pretzel Crusted Peanut Butter Cookie Candy Brownie Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups crushed butter pretzels
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix and all the ingredients the mix calls for
  • Brownie Mix (13×9 family size box + all the ingredients the mix calls for)
  • Snack Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (2 – 10.5oz bags)

1.  Crush the pretzels in a food processor or however you like to crush pretzels. Any kind of pretzels will do but I recommend using crushed butter pretzels (you find them next to the regular pretzels and they are literally called “Synder Butter Pretzels”) for the recipe. I also recommend not crushing the pretzels to dust but keep some small pieces to keep the crust crunchy. Mix the melted butter (melt in microwave), sugar and pretzel crumbs. Press into lightly greased 13×9 pan. Set aside pretzel crust and make the cookie dough. (*Note: I have a 8×8 pan in the photos because I split the recipe into two different pans. I recommend putting it all in one 13×9 pan!)

2. Make the cookie dough according to the package. Lightly press the cookie dough evenly on top of the pretzel crust.

3. Unwrap 24 snack-size Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and cover the cookie dough with the candy.

4. Whip up your brownie mix and pour evenly over the Peanut Butter Cups.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

6. Cool for 10 minutes and then enjoy!

*If you can’t do peanut butter (allergic, don’t like it or whatever!), here is a sugar cookie Heath Bar version of the recipe: Ultimate Pretzel Crusted Sugar Cookie Heath Brownie Bars

4.5 from 11 reviews
Ultimate Pretzel Crusted Peanut Butter Cookie Candy Brownie Bars
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 2 ½ cups crushed butter pretzels
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix and all the ingredients the mix calls for
  • Brownie Mix (13x9 family size box + all the ingredients the mix calls for)
  • Snack Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (2 – 10.5oz bags)
Instructions
  1. Crush the pretzels in a food processor or however you like to crush pretzels. Any kind of pretzels will do but I recommend using crushed butter pretzels (you find them next to the regular pretzels and they are literally called “Synder Butter Pretzels”) for the recipe. I also recommend not crushing the pretzels to dust but keep some small pieces to keep the crust crunchy. Mix the melted butter (melt in microwave), sugar and pretzel crumbs. Press into lightly greased 13x9 pan. Set aside pretzel crust and make the cookie dough. (*Note: I have a 8x8 pan in the photos because I split the recipe into two different pans. I recommend putting it all in one 13x9 pan!)
  2. Make the cookie dough according to the package. Lightly press the cookie dough evenly on top of the pretzel crust.
  3. Unwrap 24 snack-size Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and cover the cookie dough with the candy.
  4. Whip up your brownie mix and pour evenly over the Peanut Butter Cups.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes and then enjoy!

Comments

  1. gerri joseph says

    Is there a way to print this out so I don’t have to keep running to my computer. Looks amazing!

  2. Kattie says

    They’re not as awful as you might think! I put the recipe into My Fitness Pal, and if you get 32 servings out of a pan (one for every peanut butter cup), here are the results (per bar):

    364 Calories
    20g Fat
    41g Carbs
    5g Protein
    2g Fiber
    217mg sodium

  3. hollieschultz says

    Really?!? That’s it? I don’t feel so bad now about having two! ;) Thanks, Kattie for the breakdown! – Hollie

  4. hollieschultz says

    Angela, it’s seriously so good and so worth it!! Plus, super easy to make but looks like heaven on earth! ;) – Hollie

  5. melissa says

    Wonder if these could be translated into individual servings, a la cupcake liners? I have a cupcake business and this would really shake things up! Love it! Thanks for sharing

  6. Ed says

    Looks way 2 good :) and has my favorite things peanut butter and reese ! can go wrong there, cant wait to whip these up for my kids.

  7. Debbie says

    Oh I am totally gonna make these! I do make cupcakes. And I am always looking for something new experiment with.=)

  8. Cory says

    I want to make these and send them 2 a friend does anyone know how they keep? They will have 2 to through the mail – she really wants them for her birthday!

  9. KellyT says

    Could you make the crust with graham crackers crushed up instead? Looks wonderful :)

  10. hollieschultz says

    You could probably used graham crackers. It would give it more a pie crust taste and not the salty/buttery taste of the pretzels.

  11. Brittney says

    CORY….If you want to send them to her for her birthday, why dont you just send her the recipe? or send all the dry ingredients and the recipe and then she can put it all together and make it herself :)

  12. Sarah says

    I am so making these today. Question–if I don’t have the pb cookie mix can I just make homemade batch and substitute for the cookie mix? Sounds silly now asking it, but I haven’t ever used the betty crocker mixes.

  13. Anne says

    This looks so yummy. i am going to the store now to get everything I need to make it. Thanks!

  14. Nicole says

    Does the pretzel layer crumble apart when you cut a piece? I was thinking of maybe making these with the peanut butter cookie layer under the pretzel layer….

  15. hollieschultz says

    The pretzel layer crumbles a bit but the butter really holds it together. I don’t think it would be as good with the peanut butter cookie layer on the bottom because it will either burn or the cookies will dry out. I’ve never tried it though. The bottom pretzel layer totally works. A little messy but still stays together. – Hollie

  16. hollieschultz says

    Yep, Dana, we just added a great print button for easy printing! :) – Hollie

  17. Lindsey says

    That is actually pretty bad – especially since you absolutely will not stop at eating just one of these! lol… definitely making these this weekend, regardless :D

    RE: They’re not as awful as you might think! I put the recipe into My Fitness Pal, and if you get 32 servings out of a pan (one for every peanut butter cup), here are the results (per bar):

    364 Calories
    20g Fat
    41g Carbs
    5g Protein
    2g Fiber
    217mg sodium

  18. amee says

    I made these last night and they are AMAZING!!!!! thank you so much for the recipe!

  19. Ann says

    Wish we could just print the recipe without all the pictures. I am making this today! Looks wonderful!

  20. says

    I just made these! They came out wonderfully! I can’t wait to give them to my friends and co-workers to enjoy them. Thank you for the recipe, Hollie! (And thank you whoever pinned it on Pinterest…;))

  21. hollieschultz says

    You are totally welcome, Dana! They really are the best dessert ever. Your friends and co-workers are going to LOVE them!

  22. hollieschultz says

    You can, you can, Ann! If you click the “Print Friendly” button, a screen will come up with the post. If you hover over the photos or whatever text you want, you can delete it from what you want to print. So, you can delete all the photos from your print page!! We just put this option up a couple days ago!!! – Hollie

  23. Richard says

    A friend at work was talking about these on Thursday and it sounded so amazing I had to check it out.

    I just made these this afternoon.
    Wow! I thank you, my daughters thank you, and my wife thanks you.
    I believe these are well worth the effort we must now put into burning a few extra calories.
    – Richard
    (oh, and my son will likely also be thankful if he stops by tomorrow)

  24. hollieschultz says

    You are so welcome, Richard. They are super yummy! Since you like them so much, do us a favor and share the recipe with a friend! :)

  25. hollieschultz says

    You won’t be disappointed! They are really the best thing ever! If you like ‘em – make sure you share the recipe with friends! :)

  26. Emaline says

    these look delish! how do u think it would taste of u substituted regular cookie dough instead of the peanut butter? (what I have on hand) cant wait o try these…I have to admit when I saw this at first I thought it was some kind of tomato sauce being poured on top! lol! probably just the colors onu screen lol.

  27. Lacie says

    Heard about these on 92.5 WBEE. It was Newmans birthday and he wanted T Bird to make these for him. So for two days thats all I heard them talk about so I ran out and got all the stuff. They are in the oven now and cant wait to try them!

  28. Danielle says

    I made these today for my PB & Chocolate addicted brother’s birthday. The problem….The brownie layer did not cook! It oozed out when I cut into it after it cooled. I ended up putting it back in the oven but it still came out raw. The only thing I can think of that may have been different was that I use a 13×9 glass dish? HELP, I want to make them again and don’t know what to do…HELP

  29. hollieschultz says

    How long did you cook it? I always found that once you take brownies (or desserts) out of the oven and try to put them back in to bake more, it never works for whatever reason. Next time, cook the brownies longer and keep checking them towards the end. Open the over, pull out the brownies and check the brownie layer with a knife. If it’s still ooey-gooey, put ‘em back in. If that still doesn’t work, make the cupcake version. They take quicker to cook and they are just as yummy!! :)

  30. Danielle says

    I cooked it for the 45 mins. in a glass dish. I will try and cook it longer next time. My brother and husband ate it any way, they didn’t mind the brownie batter top! They looked awful, but ate good. I won’t give up, the more people I told about them the more requests I have to make more. Maybe I will try an hour next time.

  31. R Dominic says

    I saw this recipe yesterday on Pinterest, and just HAD to try it. I rushed right out and bought everything I needed (exactly as shown in the photo) and wanted to share a few insights:

    1. This is a bit expensive to make up. Did not think about the cost until I was out shopping. It all adds up! I had 4 peanut butter cups left from the two bags. One for each of us to eat while waiting for it to cook.

    2. This is a party or potluck size recipe!! It made way too much for our family of four, so I am taking some into work today to share. Especially since it is so rich!

    3. The photos make it look incredible – great photography! I have to say it is prettier as you are making it than after it is completed.

    4. The pretzel crust just did not do anything for me. It fell apart, and just was not that tasty. It makes the presentation very messy.

    5. You can not do the standard “toothpick test” to see if the brownies are done. Because of the melted candy layer, it will never come out clean, so you just have to guess on the brownie part, but don’t over cook it because the pretzels don’t taste as good if overcooked.

    6. We ate some as soon as it was cool enough to cut, and it was way rich. The next day, it still tasted good, but not as gooey. This recipe is almost overkill! No way to eat it without a big glass of milk or cup of coffee, or scoop of ice cream to cut the intensity. BEWARE!

  32. hollieschultz says

    Yes, these are definitely not Weight Watcher friendly. Definitely a treat but I’d hate to see the number of points. :)

  33. Michelle says

    Just FYI if you want to change the number in the recipe…it takes 24 PB cups in a 13 x 9 pan, not 32. Sorry to those counting calories cause that will prob make it more :)

  34. Jeanne says

    I didn’t have the right peanut butter cups – so I used the eggs that were out at Easter! It was just wonderful. I did leave it in a little longer to bake. The sides got overdone – but I cut those out and I ate those! Just yummy! Thank you!!!!! :-)

  35. says

    Just wondering – the recipe seems to call for a 13×9 pan, and 24 pb cups … but the pics seem to be of a square pan, and only 16 cups … am I missing something?

  36. says

    Meant to also say – these look like a great homemade version of the Take-5 chocolate bars we love around here! :)

  37. hollieschultz says

    Yes, the pictures show an 8×8 pan because I split the recipe into two different pans. I suggest putting it all in one 13×9 and that will take 24 peanut butter cups. :)

  38. tessa says

    trying these today! only i didn’t have peanut butter cookie mix so i went with pre-made choc. chip (the kind that comes on the cardboard that you just put on the cookie sheet and bake) and i smooshed them flat and pressed them into the pretzels, they are baking now!!! cant wait to try them!

  39. Carrie says

    I made these for a potluck at work today and was told I should be drawn & quartered for bringing such a low calorie treat! It was a HUGE success. Yummy, salty sweet and utterly decadent. Thanks for sharing!

  40. Emily says

    I was wondering what your thoughts were on freezing these…I have a ton of desserts to make for Monday, but will be out of town until Sunday night (ya, great planning on my part). I really want to make them, but would prefer to make them this week and freeze them over the weekend. However, they’re not as simply as cookies and I’ve never frozen and defrosted brownies or pretzel crusts….

    Thanks and regardless, these WILL be made in the very near future!
    Emily

  41. says

    I make a batch of these all the time and freeze them. They defrost perfectly. When I’m in a hurry, I throw one in the microwave to defrost but you can just let them sit out and they will still be yummy!

  42. Jamie E. says

    I made a batch of these today using a glass pan and had the same problem as Danielle. I actually baked them for 50 minutes and they still came out super ooey gooey. One thing I did differently…the pretzel bottom kept coming up as I was trying to spread the peanut butter cookie dough, so I gave up and mixed them together. That layer seems to have baked well and it doesn’t look too dry. We’ll see how they taste!

  43. Marie K says

    I made these today and had a problem. When I cut into them away from the edges it seemed the brownie wasn’t done. It was still batter. I cooked them For another 10 min. And still the same. Any one else have this problem?

  44. says

    How long did you leave them in the oven total, Marie? Also, what size pan did you use? Depending on your oven and your type of pan, you may need to leave them in the oven and just keep checking the top with the tip of a knife to see if they are done or not.

  45. Debbie says

    What do you think about substituting chocolate chip cookie dough for the peanut butter cookie dough? How do you think those flavors would be together?

  46. Samantha says

    I made these last night and they turned out awesome! The only thing I did different was to break up the Reese’s into quarters, and then scatter them around the cookie dough. Same thing, different format. Either way, they were amazingly rich and delicious and I WILL be making more of your recipes!

  47. Amanda says

    Are these the small bite-sized Reese’s? Or the standard size like you’d see two to a pack? They look like the standard size. Thanks! These look delish!

  48. Erin says

    I am having the same problem as a few of the others. I keep checking them and they are completely raw in the middle. I am trying 60 minutes total and keeping my fingers crossed they turn out ok because they look so delicious in the pictures!

  49. says

    I’m a site manager at instructables.com, an online community for people who like to share what they make (and how to make things). Your pretzel bars caught the eye of our food editor, and I thought, since you already have photos and a writeup, that you might be interested in sharing your work on our site as well! We’re currently in the middle of a Desserts Contest, so you could win prizes for your great recipes! (http://www.instructables.com/contest/dessert/) You can post as many entries as you want.

    I would be happy to feature it on our site if you decide to post the instructions there and help get it noticed among our 13.8 million viewers. Let me know if you have any questions!

    Kelsey

  50. Mindy says

    I have to say these are fantastic! My son made them for 4-H Creating With A Mix last night and submitted them this morning. So far, they have received Honors (we won’t know until Sunday if they go any higher). We made a couple of slight modifications. The first time we made them, the crust fell apart as we pressed the cookie dough, so on our next attempt, we baked the crust for 5 minutes and allowed to cool while he mixed the cookie dough.

  51. Mindy says

    Had to update you after going to the fair today to see all of the kids projects…these bars took GRAND CHAMPION in the Creating with a Mix project! Thank you so much for posting this recipe! My son, who LOVES all things peanut butter and chocolate was ecstatic about these bars. We’ve already been asked for the recipe more than 10 times!

  52. says

    I would substitute brown sugar for white and cook crust for 5 minutes before adding cookie mix and Brownie mix. I followed the directions and my pretzels were suagy.

  53. michelle says

    i think next time i make it i will use 2 things of the cookie dough because i had a hard time spreading it out over the pretzels

  54. Lauren says

    I was very excited when I came across this recipe but was disappointed to find it uses a box of pre made brownie mix. I live in the UK & we dont really use pre prepared mixes in baking so I was wondering if you had a recipe that I could bake from scratch without using a box mix ? I would love to make these as they look delicious & the flavours are right up my street ! Thanks.

  55. Kristi says

    I tired these and followed it to a T. I even bough the WAY more expensive butter pretzels. The crust was awful. No one in my house wanted to eat it. The rest of it was wonderful, but trying to scrape the soggy crust off was impossible as it was now into the cookie part of it. Mine cooked perfectly through with a glass pan. I threw away 3/4 of this. I love a pretzel crust in other treats I make, but this was a huge disappointment for the price I paid for everything.

  56. Angela says

    I just made this today n put it in my fridge for a Thanksgiving treat…..Looks and smells great! Cant wait to try it…. I’ll let you know…. ty for shareing!

  57. Brittney says

    I made these for our tailgate for this weekend and before it even starts, my boyfriend has eaten two (he would have eaten more if I didn’t stop him). I cooked them for a little longer to make sure that the crust stayed together but they came out fantastic! I’ve already been asked twice for the recipe.

  58. Amy says

    I made these last night and had the same problem others listed above: I used a glass pan which seems to have been the problem based on what others are saying. Next time I will use a dark pan. They were still tasty, just didn’t cook well.

    Thanks for sharing this! You have skill!!!

  59. Jason says

    For those with the glass pan issues, yes – a glass pan tends to make the center of brownies stay “fudgier”, and if the pan is very thick, or has very high sides it will be even moreso. Also be careful how much you grease the pan and what you grease it with. For those with soggy crust issues or crust sticking to the pb cookie layer – again be sure the pan isn’t over-greased, and preferably do not use vegetable shortening or margerine (vegetable oil or butter is best). Make sure you are letting the crust rest before putting the other layers on (in the fridge is even better), and make sure the pb cookie dough isn’t too cold when you try to spread it over, or it will spread poorly. Also while you don’t want the pretzels to be ground to dust, you also don’t want them TOO course.

  60. Melissa says

    I just made these and I’m not a fan of the butter flavored pretzels. There is an overwheming fake butter smell/taste. If I make them again, I would like to try with regular pretzels, or maybe skip the pretzels all together?

  61. Debbie Jors says

    Just made tonight it is to die for .every guilty calorie worth it. But I did 45 minutes and I think 40 minutes would of been fine

  62. Wils says

    I made these and they’re every bit as delicious as I thought they’d be. Thank you so much for a fantastic recipe! I recommend making them when you have guests coming or a party to take them to– if you try to just eat them in a household of 2 they’ll probably kill you. ;)

  63. Tara says

    If I were to make this tonight for a party tomorrow would it hold up ok? Do I leave it sit out and cover it? Refrigerate until party tomorrow? Please let me know. Thank you!

  64. says

    Sorry for the slow response because of the weekend. Yes, these bars would hold up fine overnight. All you have to do is cover them and leave them sit out. No need to refrigerate them.

  65. Holly says

    So I tried making them today. Very rich n peanut buttery. The only thing in the pretzel crust isn’t crispy. I am going to try making it with reg pretzels n less butter next time.

  66. atress says

    I was super excited to make these, but was disappointed with the ptetzel crust. I did not like the taste the butter pretzels gave it and the crust was soggy. The butter pretzels were just too much with everything else the recipe calls for. I would suggest using regular pretzels, less butter, and bake the ptetzel crust for a few minutes first.

  67. Tizz says

    I was not able to find the butter snyder pretzels anywhere, any idea where I might find them? Wonder if Ritz crackers would work like in several other recipes Ive seen?

  68. Barbara says

    Have been making these bars for the last year … and they are so yummy and have become my go-to bar recipe. I have always made the recipe using one 13×9 pan with one Brownie Mix box. Last year, Betty Crocker retired the 13×9 Family Box, and replaced with 8×8 Brownie Mix box. I made these again in a 13×9 pan with two 8×8 boxes, and got a gooey, undercooked mess….boo hoo! So, is my best bet to make this recipe now in two separate pans, as you did; or do you have a suggestion for readjusting the recipe for a 13×9 pan. Thanks much for any suggestions.

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