This salty-sweet bar gets its crisp crunch and extraordinary flavor from a brickle-like topping and a salty pretzel crust. It's ideal for a Christmas cookie exchange.
Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set pan aside.
Combine pretzels, brown sugar, and melted butter in a food processor container. Cover and process until mixture resembles fine crumbs, scraping sides of container occasionally. Press crumb mixture onto bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle cranberries, nuts, and baking pieces evenly over crust.
Combine granulated sugar, 1/3 cup butter, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly (this will take about 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour syrup mixture evenly over cranberry-nut layer.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until syrup mixture is bubbly over entire surface. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 24 cookies.
Place bars in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw bars, if frozen, before serving.