One reason I was interested in this recipe is that it calls for "hard pretzels," which I assumed meant hard sourdough pretzels. Since these pretzels are much crunchier than the thin pretzels I normally use in baking, I was curious to see how this would affect the end product. The pretzel bars are have a layer of something analogous to chocolate chip cookie dough on the bottom (butter, dark brown sugar, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips), followed by a creamy chocolate layer (condensed milk and melted chocolate chips), and are topped with crushed hard pretzels that have been tossed with melted butter and a little sugar. You spread the first two layers in a pan, sprinkle on the pretzels, and then bake.
These bars were not what I was expecting at all. I thought they would be a chocolate chip cookie topped with a brownie and pretzels. But the bottom layer was the consistency of cake, not a cookie. And the middle layer was not like a brownie at all, but creamy. That said, these bars were really delicious! The flavor of the bottom layer is fairly indistinct, but the chocolate flavor in the bars comes through clearly. The best part was the salty, crunchy, buttered pretzels. Using hard sourdough pretzels makes these bar supercrunchy and outrageously tasty.
Recipe: "Outrageous Pretzel Bars" from foodandwine.com.