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Pretzel Cashew Seven Layer Bars

by on June 11, 2013 · 11 comments

Imperial sugar introduced this as a Father’s Day recipe, but I couldn’t wait until June 16th to serve them! Seven Layer Bars are one of my favorite cookies of all time, and this version is made with a salty pretzel crust, cashews, coconut, chocolate & butterscotch chips and mixture of cream and two kinds of sugar which stands in for the condensed milk.

pretzel cashew seven layer bars

Imperial Sugar’s full 9×13 inch version of Pretzel Cashew Seven Layer Bars is located on their site, and below is my 8 inch square pan version. I was surprised at how well they held together even though the cream binding lacked any egg or butter. I think chilling them before cutting also helped with that. These are definitely worth trying, especially if you like the sweet & salty combo.

pretzel cashew seven layer bars

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pretzel Cashew Seven Layer Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A version of Seven Layer Bars made without condensed milk.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup finely crushed salted pretzels (measure after crushing)**
  • 2 tablespoons Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (I used unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tablespoons Imperial Sugar Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with nonstick foil or parchment paper.
  2. Combine crushed pretzels, 2 tablespoons of sugar and the butter; mixing until well blended. Press onto bottom of pan.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes (this is important).
  4. Sprinkle cooled baked crust with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and nuts.
  5. Combine heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon brown sugar (also add vanilla, if using); mixing until well blended. Spoon evenly over bars so that it kind of sinks into the coconut.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until coconut is lightly browned and chips start to melt. Cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then chill until very firm.
  7. Lift from pan by grasping foil or parchment, set on a cutting board, cut into bars.
I ground the pretzels in a mini chopper. If you don't have a chopper you can put the pretzels in a heavy duty freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin. I also put the coconut on before pouring the cream mixture over to give the cream something to soak into. Not sure if that matters, but putting the coconut on first worked well.

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Published on June 11, 2013

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue June 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm

That sounds like a great variation on seven layer bars!!

Jen June 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Great timing. I just made the Hello Dolly bars from your book so I have a lot of these ingredients waiting to be used. I also have heavy cream that MUST be used in the next day or two so these are perfect!

Anna June 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I hope you make them because they are really good, and a nice change from the usual Hello Dolly/Seven Layer bars.

Jennie June 11, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Hi Anna! For the past 3 years at least, I have been making your Best Ever Lemon bars for my Dad for Father’s Day. This year I think he is getting these instead. This recipe is SCREAMING to be made! Thanks for the idea!

Carmen Rossi June 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Buon Giorno Anna,

This sounds like a terrific recipe. I will see if my daughter will like it. I’m sure she will. I don’t have time to bake as much as I would like, but I will have to make time for this. Also, I had not heard of Imperial Dark Brown Sugar, will have to try it out. Grazie for the great recipe. :)

Anna June 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Jennie, I’m so happy to hear you love that lemon square recipe.
Carmen, Imperial is a brand of sugar sold here in Texas and in other states. I think C&H might be easier to find in California. Feel free to use whatever brand of dark brown sugar you want. I kept the brand name in the recipe because I got the recipe from their web page.

CindyD June 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm

So would this work with sweetened condensed milk?

Anna June 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Cindy, I don’t see why not. Give it a try!

Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie June 12, 2013 at 9:10 am

Wow a 7 layer bar without condensed milk? Fantastic.

Gloria June 14, 2013 at 2:06 am

These look so good! Why do Fritos candy come to mind?

Rosalie Breslin June 19, 2013 at 8:12 am

I have to try this recipe since it doesn’t have condensed milk. The problem, for me, with condensed milk is that it has a fairly strong taste.

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