These no-bake peanut butter & pretzel bars are exactly the fix you need when it’s SUMMER and too hot to turn the oven on. They come together really quickly and are quite rich so will last you a while as they’re essentially a peanut butter cup in bar form, with pretzels thrown in.
These are actually even easier to make than peanut butter cups because there’s none of that annoying chocolate coating of multiple paper liners going on; you just put it all into the pan and BAM! Crunchy, salty-sweet candy bars.
The base is a delicious combo of crushed pretzels (for crunchy saltiness), creamy peanut butter and some icing sugar to sweeten it up. You can swap the powdered sugar for runny honey or agave syrup if you like but you’ll have to store the bars in the fridge as they’ll be more gooey (so need to stay cold in order to be hold-able).
A nice layer of chocolate is spread on top – I like dark chocolate here as it cuts the sweetness of the peanut mixture. However, for more of a candy-bar experience, go for milk chocolate and you won’t be disappointed.
You can add a layer of pretzels on top which makes these little squares look extra pretty but, if you don’t really care about that you can just leave them off.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars
- 75 g (2 cups) salted mini pretzels plus 25 more pretzels for decoration
- 270 g (1 cup) creamy peanut butter (I like Whole Earth brand)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter or vegan butter softened
- 50 g (1/4 cup packed) light brown sugar
- 75 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 250 g (1 1/2 cups) milk chocolate or dark chocolate chopped
- Line an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking tin with baking paper.
- Roughly crush 75g (2 cups) of the mini pretzels, either by pulsing in a food processor, or by putting them into a sandwich bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.75 g (2 cups) salted mini pretzels
- Combine the peanut butter, butter and sugars in a bowl until smooth, then stir in the crushed pretzels. Press this mixture evenly into the lined pan, and chill for 20 minutes.270 g (1 cup) creamy peanut butter, 2 tbsp unsalted butter or vegan butter, 50 g (1/4 cup packed) light brown sugar, 75 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate (see notes) and pour over the chilled peanut butter mixture, using a rubber spatula to spread it evenly and smooth it out. Tap the pan against a hard surface to even out the chocolate a bit more.250 g (1 1/2 cups) milk chocolate or dark chocolate
- Place 25 mini pretzels evenly in a grid pattern on top of the chocolate (they'll be your guide for cutting the bars). Leave at room temperature until the chocolate has set. If you're pressed for time, pop the tin into the freezer for 10-15 minutes so the chocolate can set quicker.75 g (2 cups) salted mini pretzels
- Run a hot butter knife around the inside edge of the pan to release the bars. Use the baking paper to lift the bars out of the tin. Use a hot, sharp knife, to cut into 25 squares.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. You can keep them at room temp if your home is cool or in the fridge if they're getting a bit melty.