Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark

Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark

Oh my!! This was one of my yummiest indulgences for the holiday season. It’s a good thing that I got them out of the house quickly because there would have been a problem with any calorie counting had they remained much longer than they did.

I actually ended up making two batches just a few weeks apart. For the first batch I followed the directions (mostly) and found that it had a step in it that I didn’t need. You see, I had already gotten the caramel to the gooey caramel stage while on the stove. When I then poured it over the pretzels and put it in the oven, I thought, “Hmmm, is this really necessary? Well, it’s what the directions say.” Ever the follower of the rules (and directions) I went forward with it against my better judgement. When I pulled the pan out after the allotted time I realized that the time in the oven had undone what I had done to get the caramel to the gooey caramel texture. Don’t get me wrong, it was still tasty and very addictive but it had a different consistency than I was looking for. I wanted the caramel that pulled apart and left gooey strings. This version snapped apart, almost like an Almond Roca, and it had a very similar taste to Almond Roca. I considered it a failure and brought it in to work to share with others who hopefully wouldn’t know the difference of what it was and what it was supposed to be. Many raved over it so I told them that I would try to make it how it was “supposed to be” and bring it in sometime soon.

Just a few weeks later I had my opportunity. This time I got the caramel to the gooey stage on the stove, poured it over the pretzels, put on the chocolate chips, barely stuck it in the oven (like a only a minute or so) and then spread the chocolate over the top. I declared it a success because it had the consistency I was looking for, gooey caramel strings with a hard chocolate layer on top and a crisp pretzel layer below. I took it into work so it could be sampled as it was “supposed to be”. It was funny because some liked it the first way and some liked it the second. I guess you never can win everyone over at once, huh.

I personally would recommend doing it either way. How can you go wrong with chocolate, caramel, and pretzels? Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark
Source: Adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up

8 ounces of pretzel sticks (that’s about 1/2 of a normal 16 oz. bag – sticks, not rods – could also use mini twists)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
12 ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. (You may not need the oven if you use method 2 – see below.)

Line an 11 x 17 inch baking sheet with foil.

Spread the pan with the pretzel sticks (or twists). Try to cover most of the foil with the pretzels.

Method 1: In a saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar. Bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until blended together. Keep the heat at medium while it is at a rolling boil and stop stirring. Let it boil for 3 minutes.

Immediately pour the hot caramel over the pretzels. Bake it in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove the pan.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Wait 2-3 minutes for the chocolate chips to begin to melt. Spread the melted chocolate over the top with a flat spatula or a knife. Sprinkle crushed sea salt over the top of the chocolate.

Allow to set up for several hours. It will harden on the counter or in the fridge. Cut or break into chunks for serving.

Method 2: In a saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar. Bring it to a boil over medium/medium high heat, stirring occasionally until blended together. Keep the heat at that temperature and let it boil for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit. It will thicken to gooey caramel within about 5 to 10 minutes of sitting.

After it thickens, pour the mixture over the pretzels. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Wait 2-3 minutes for the chocolate chips to melt. (If they don’t melt well, you can put the pan in the warm oven for a minute. Don’t put it in longer than that or you will undo your gooey caramel process.)

Spread the melted chocolate over the top with a flat spatula or a knife. Sprinkle crushed sea salt over the top of the chocolate.
Allow to set up for several hours. It will harden on the counter or in the fridge. Cut or break into chunks for serving.

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