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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark...aka Heaven

This is so easy it's wrong.
I vow here and now to only make this when I'm bringing it to someone else's house. Dangerous.

First, the ingredients:
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of light brown sugar
1 bag of pretzels (you'll use about 3/4 of the bag)
12 ounce bag of chocolate chips
Sea salt
Two quick notes on ingredients, I would use the "snaps" pretzels because you'll get a more even covering of the bottom of the pan. Also, if there is a Trader Joes within 20 miles of you drive there and stock up on chocolate chips. $1.99. That's right, $1.99.

Preheat the oven to 400.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, cover with pretzels (you don't have to do the super neat grid I did, it just made me feel all aligned and happy).
In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat. When it begins to bubble add the brown sugar. Stirring occasionally let the butter/sugar mixture meld together and brown. This should take about 3 minutes. Do NOT let it boil, you will have sticky goo that is no good. And if you can afford to lose two sticks of butter to a failed experiment why are you even reading a DIY blog? (Call me, I'll make the bark, you can pay me and pass it off as your own, win, win.)
When you have a nice, brown caramel pour it over the pretzels, slowly and evenly. You can then use a spatula to spread it out, you have to work quickly and gently. It hardens fast so even pouring is the best method.
Bake the sheet for 5 minutes.
Remove the sheet from the oven and sprinkle the whole bag of chocolate chips evenly over the mixture.
Place back in the oven for about 45 seconds. If you let it sit there too long the chocolate will burn.
Remove from the oven and use a silicone spatula or the back of a spoon to evenly spread the chocolate over the top.
Sprinkle with sea salt and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.

Break in to pieces and put in a cute little box lined with parchment paper.
Perfect hostess gift.

15 comments:

Ckc said...

Hi, I tried making this and I couldn't seem to spread the melted chocolate chips over the pretzels. I had to keep it in longer than 45 seconds and it seemed too gooey and wouldn't spread over the pretzels easily and the pretzels wouldn't stay put they would just get picked up when I tried to spread the chocolate chips. Do you have any tips or techniques to get the pretzels to stay to the bottom and make it so the melted chocolate spreads easily? Thanks! Chelsea

Avocado Pardo said...

Hi Chelsea, Next time I would say after you remove the bark the first time let it rest for a few minutes, the caramel hardens relatively quickly. Then put the chips on and back in to the oven to melt, that should help out a little. The pretzels definitely do move around a bit when you spread the chocolate, but if they were all over the place this might help hold them together!
Let me know if you try again!
Nicole

Charlene said...

Should I refrigerate these after packaging them? They are very gooey and I'm afraid that if I don't refrigerated then they'll be a mess... And these are DELICIOUS! Thanks! :)

Avocado Pardo said...

Glad you like them! Yes, I would refrigerate, but remove to room temperature about an hour before eating or the caramel is SUPER hard and can do some tooth damage. (Found that out the hard way)

Vanessa said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe. I made it yesterday and LOVE it.

Jenah said...

I made these yesterday. Good, but maybe I didn't cook the butter/sugar long enough. Mine didn't completely meld together. It was 3-4 mins, nice and bubbly, but not boiling. What did I do wrong? LOL! They still taste good, but a little...? Not quite the way it should be!

the WINTERS family! said...

I made this, and the sugar was still "grainy" are you sure it is 3 minutes?

Terry Kress said...

What size pan did you use? I think mine could have been smaller. Just got a thin layer of caramel. Probably not a summer dish but we'll see. Hope I didn't over salt. Looks yummy!

AZme said...

I wonder if you could make these gluten free...as in with rice krispies or something like that. Any thoughts?

JDC said...

I made these tonight and they were amazing. Tips: The caramel cooking time is pretty vague. 3 minutes was not enough for me. It DOES have to boil in order to melt the sugar so the texture doesn't end up grainy. I cooked it till "soft ball" stage with constant stirring. When it comes to temp in the oven, it reaches "hard ball" which is what turns this into a "brittle". Mine are not super gooey and hold together really well. I didn't have parchment, but used a disposable foil baking sheet. It peeled right off. One last tip: I didn't have sea salt, so I saved the salt in the bottom of the pretzel bag and used it on top.

Suze said...

That is an excellent idea about using the salt from the pretzel bag!

Purposeful Shelly said...

Hi, I am wondering if others are starting their 3 minute count way to early!! I totally make sure my sugar was melted in and the butter and sugar were ONE whole goop that I was stirring in with a spoon. But if you start the 3 minute count AFTER the sugar AND the butter melt together, and start bubbling, then start the 3 minute count...then it should work much better. I just made it, and it turned out AWESOME!!! I TOO used the Salt at the BOTTOM of the Pretzel bag to be used as the Salt for topping. It already tasted like Pretzels so it made sense to use that salt. To me this is AWESOME and I intend to keep making this. SMILES

Candise Karr said...

I followed the recipe off of facebook, I wish I had come to the site first because I see that the little square lattice pretzels were used..not the "regular" ones in the recipe. I think that is what messed me up some. Also, the cook time for the caramel was not accurate, and I had to increase the amount of brown sugar to get it to thicken. 1 bag of chocolate chips was not enough to spread evenly over the pretzels. I had to improvise on the first batch as I had only bought one pack..I decided to make it again and used double the chips. I took it from the fridge to cut up and bag individual squares but after just a couple of minutes it was extremely melty and messy. I just put them in the freezer to get harder. I am planning to sell them at a bake sale but if they stay messy, I may not be able too. It tastes wonderful but looks pitiful.

Jennifer Adelmann said...

In regards to Gluten Free....just find some gluten free pretzels. they don't come in squares though...so might have to improvise!

GraceGirl said...

My Carmel was gooey even after fridge :( will cook to hard crack stage nxt time like you do for brittle/ toffee. But so delicious!