07 December 2011

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Bark

This is probably the most addictive snack in the entire world. I made it yesterday night for my friend Alice, whose birthday is today, and it took every ounce of self-control I possess to not eat the entire batch myself. Sweet brown-sugar caramel, crunchy pretzels, rich semisweet chocolate and sprinkled sea salt...I mean, really, what could be bad? It's incredibly easy to make and offers a fun, whimsical alternative to the more traditional peppermint bark. It's a fantastic thing to make ahead for a party (keep it in the fridge until an hour or so before serving, then distribute it in a few small bowls around the house so people can nibble on it as they wander around), or to wrap it up in plastic bags or cute holiday tins and give it to friends.

2 sticks (16 tbsp) of butter
1 cup light brown sugar (the more finely ground the better)
1 bag of mini pretzels
12 oz bag of semisweet chocolate morsels
sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat
Once it's melted, add sugar and stir until dissolved
Bring mixture to a low simmer, then continue to cook until darkened and caramelized,
stirring occasionally (about 3 to 4 minutes) - do NOT allow it to boil
While caramelizing, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange pretzels side-by-side
in a single layer
When caramel is done, pour over pretzels and spread with a spatula
(caramel will harden quickly, so move fast! it won't be perfect, but it makes no difference)
Place sheet in the oven for 5 minutes
While baking, melt chocolate chips in the microwave (stirring every 30 seconds or so)
Remove sheet from oven and immediately spread chocolate over pretzels
Sprinkle with sea salt before the chocolate hardens
Place entire sheet in the refrigerator for at least an hour
Once cooled, bark will easily lift off from foil. Break into pieces and serve!

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