Y’all know those little Pretzel Hugs, right? The tasty treats with a melted Hershey Hug and M&M on top of a little pretzel? Well, imagine those, but as cookie bars! That’s what this recipe is, and I have to admit, it’s one of my favorite holiday baking recipes I’ve created.
Pretzel Hugs Cookie Bars
If you’re a fan of my Funfetti Blondies recipe, you’ll really love these Pretzel Hugs Cookie Bars. They’re sweet, salty, and chocolatey, all in one bite. And of course super festive for the holiday season!
These cookie bars will make great additions to your holiday treat boxes, and will look great on any holiday party dessert spread.
Pretzel Hugs are usually part of my Christmas treat boxes for my friends and family. (I posted a quick tutorial for them last year on my Instagram.) They’re just so easy and delicious and addicting. While I’ll still definitely make some this year, I wanted to try something different and put a new spin on these classic treats.
Naturally, some form of a cookie seemed like the right idea.
The best part of these cookie bars – aside from the festival of flavors and chocolate pieces throughout, of course – is that you only need one bowl to make them. No extra or unnecessary dishes to clean later! One-bowl dessert recipes really are the heroes of the kitchen, especially during the holiday baking season.
I made mine with white chocolate chips, holiday M&Ms, and some chopped-up pretzels. You could add some holiday sprinkles, semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, or other holiday candies. As long as the sweet-and-salty combination is there, you can really use whatever candies you want.
Here’s how to make Pretzel Hugs Cookie Bars
To make them, you will need these ingredients:
- Butter (melted)
- Brown sugar
- White sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- White chocolate chips
- Holiday M&Ms
- Pretzels (crushed into varying sizes of crumbs and pieces)
These are the tools you’ll need:
- 8×8-inch baking pan
- Mixing bowl
- Rubber spatula
First, prepare the baking pan. Grease and/or line your baking pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Combine the butter and sugar. You can brown the butter if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. Regular melted butter works just fine. Just make sure it’s cooled down a bit before mixing in the sugars.
Add the egg, vanilla extract, and milk. Give it a good whisk and make sure everything is well combined before moving on.
Add the dry ingredients. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and use your rubber spatula to fold until almost combined. Then fold in the white chocolate chips, M&Ms, and pretzel pieces.
Transfer the dough and bake. Spray the rubber spatula with cooking spray and use it to transfer the dough to your prepared pan. Spread the dough evenly and top with more chocolate chips, M&Ms, and pretzel pieces if desired. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and start to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Cool, slice, and enjoy! Let the bars cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then remove and place them on a wire rack to continue cooling. Slice into 12-16 pieces and enjoy!
These cookie bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for one week. Wrap and freeze them for longer storage (up to 3 months).
Did you enjoy this recipe? You might also like:
- Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cheesecake Brownies
- Christmas Chip Cookies
- Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Thanks so much for reading and eating along, y’all! If you’re craving more, follow me on Instagram and Pinterest, and sign up for my email list so you never miss a recipe. If you make one of my recipes, tag me on Instagram or share a photo on my Facebook page so I can see your work!
Pretzel Hugs Cookie Bars
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (1 stick)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups AP flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup holiday M&Ms
- 1/2 cup pretzel pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and/or line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Mix together the melted butter and sugars. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and milk, and mix again until everything is combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and fold until almost combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, M&Ms, and pretzel pieces.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan. Spread the dough so it fills the pan evenly.
- Bake for 25-28 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and starting to pull away from the sides.
- Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then carefully remove the bars and continue cooling on a wire rack.
- Slice into 12-16 pieces and enjoy!