Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 9 large bars or 16 smaller bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 4 hours

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars have a salty pretzel crust with chocolate peanut butter ganache drizzled over the peanut butter cheesecake!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Like a peanut butter chocolate covered pretzel, but with tangy cream cheese!
Texture: The crust is ultra crunchy yet buttery, the filling is creamy and rich, and the ganache is ultra luscious and thick. There’s a hidden layer of chocolate on top of the crust and before the cheesecake as well.
Ease: Much easier than making a full on cheesecake, though you will dirty a few dishes.
Appearance: Adorable!
Pros: Fun salty-sweet dessert with all my favorite flavors.
Cons: None! Maybe the delayed gratification in having to wait for the cheesecake to cool then chill.
Would I make this again? Oh yeah.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars

I have an addiction. You guys, I’m hopelessly addicted to those chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels from Trader Joe’s. Luckily I don’t live super close to a TJ’s but when a bag of that chocolate crack does make its way into my house it doesn’t last long at all. I recently finished a bag that had miraculously lived a week in my house, that required a lot of discipline and self-sacrifice. When it was all gone and I stared at the crumbs at the bottom of the foil bag, I realized I had to transform those pretzels into a full-fledged dessert. Something with all the elements that make them so dang good.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars Recipe

That’s how these Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars came to be! I *love* the chocolate-peanut butter combination but when you add in the salty-sweet element with pretzels AND turn it all into cheesecake, it’s pure bliss for me. I think these cheesecake bars will be pure bliss for you too! By the way – that ganache drizzled over the bars is chocolate PEANUT BUTTER ganache. You can thank me (or maybe curse me) after you’ve inhaled a giant spoonful of the stuff.

What treats or snacks are you addicted to at the moment?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars

How to make
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars

Recipe By Tessa Arias, Handle the Heat
Yield: 9 large bars or 16 smaller bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook: 4 hours

Ingredients

For the pretzel crust:

4 cups pretzels, crushed into fine crumbs (about 1 1/2 cups crumbs)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the cheesecake:

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the chocolate peanut butter ganache:

1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

Directions

For the crust:

Preheat the oven to 350Β°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the pretzel crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, using the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to pack very firmly into the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Bake for another 2 minutes. Remove from oven and smooth the melted chocolate chips with an offset spatula. Let cool completely.

For the filling:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt and beat until just combined. Pour over the cooled crust.

Bake at 350Β°F for 30 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set at the edges but ever so slightly jiggly in the middle. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill the cheesecake in the fridge until very cold, at least 3 hours. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

For the topping:

Place the cream in a glass measuring cup. Microwave for 25 seconds, or until steaming hot but not bubbling. Add in the chocolate chips and peanut butter. Let sit for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Remove to a zip-top bag, snip a very small hole in one corner, and drizzle over the cheesecake. Serve or refrigerate.

About Tessa...

Tessa is a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. She loves to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. She's on a mission to make the world a more unapologetically DELICIOUS place. Tessa lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Find Tessa on  

14 Responses to “Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars”

  1. #
    Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron — July 16, 2014 at 4:26 am

    These look absolutely amazing! Your photos are just incredible! And what a perfect combination – all of my favorite things in one delicious bar! Pinned πŸ™‚

  2. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — July 16, 2014 at 11:06 am

    chocolate, peanut butter, pretzels, cheesecake???! I NEED this in my life!!

  3. #
    Beth @ bethcakes — July 16, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    These bars look wonderful! I love that thick chocolate peanut butter ganache drizzle. And the pretzel crust sounds perfect with chocolate and peanut butter! Yum. πŸ™‚

  4. #
    ashley - baker by nature — July 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Omg, Tessa – these look EPIC! I want some now.

  5. #
    Gaby — July 16, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    This is my kind of dessert – so irresistible!

  6. #
    Maybelline — July 16, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I have found Satan’s blog.

    • #
      Tessa — July 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Ha!

  7. #
    Thalia @ butter and brioche — July 17, 2014 at 12:09 am

    so glad i stumbled across your blog.. your killing me with all your delicious recipes. this look AMAZING… definitely craving one now. thanks, ill be back!

    • #
      Tessa — July 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks so much!

  8. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — July 17, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Tessa! I’m head over heels for these. They’re over the top in the best way possible my friend.

  9. #
    Jen — November 18, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    These were honestly disappointing. I was sooo excited to make them, but the crust was crazy hard – maybe my pretzels were crushed too finely? – and the cheesecake layer didn’t stay on the chocolate layer. Everything tasted fine, but it was just difficult to serve and eat.

  10. #
    Jane — March 3, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Your site is a SURE go to for EXCELLENT recipes, always turning out GREAT! But unfortunately this one didn’t work for me. The pretzel crust was just pretzel crumbs, the melted chocolate chips wouldn’t spread leaving cheesecake portion to seprare. I followed the recipe exactly. If I had to do over, I would probably use graham cracker crust instead.

  11. #
    Lauren — November 28, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I made these for thanksgiving. They tasted okay. Not worth all the work in my opinion. The chocolate and cream cheese layer separates easily the ganache was amazing though!

  12. #
    Emilee — February 26, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    These were amazing. Mine turned out fabulous!! I am sad I have to share these and I can’t eat all of them. Delicious recipe!!! And as Lauren said…the ganache is awesome!!!

Leave a Comment

Join the Handle the Heat Community

Join the Handle the Heat Community
Do you want a more delicious life?
Instead of digging through cookbooks and magazines and searching the internet for amazing recipes, subscribe to Handle the Heat to receive new recipe posts delivered straight to your email inbox. You’ll get all the latest recipes, videos, kitchen tips and tricks AND my *free* Cookie Customization Guide (because I am the Cookie Queen)!

Instagram

As Seen On....
NPR People Time Glamour Readers Digest The Huffington Post BuzzFeed