It’s Friday, and I have to eat dessert, even though I might have eaten way more than my weekly limit. Last night, I returned from Phoenix. One of my favorite spots in Scottsdale was Citizen Public House. We were given a platter with almost every dessert available on the menu. One of those was a semifreddo PUSH POP stuffed with chocolate brownie. Um, yes. Did you see it on my Snapchat or Instagram story? Can’t remember which app that freaked me out! It was even better than it sounded.
Here’s something new to try since I know that you will be baking this weekend (we are kindred spirits). These may have made me as nervous as the peanut butter push-pop ordeal. Imagine
Imagine these salted caramel pretzel crunch bars like a homemade Twix bar but with crunchy pretzels inside. The caramel is salted. The chocolate is semi-sweet. There’s also sea salt sprinkled on top. This homemade candy bar is on the way to the top of the delicious food chain, where only apple pie or carrot cake can be found.
These are the layers that we will be working with:
- Shortbread-like crust made at home
- Salted caramel with four ingredients, homemade.
- Melted chocolate + Sea Salt
The egg yolk is added to the shortbread crust, which makes it look like shortbread. The egg yolk prevents any sandiness and helps create a soft (and solid) base for the layers above. The mixture will be crumbly while you mix it. When you start mixing it, the mixture will come together as if you were making pie dough or crust. Above, left (crumbly), and right (togetherness).
Bake for 20 minutes. These bars can only be baked for this time. Next? Next? The salted caramel is the best part. Have you ever tried my salty caramel sauce before? I rarely talk about it. You can sense the sarcasm. I love this stuff!
Salted caramel is made with sugar, butter, and cream. It only takes a few minutes to cook. It’s easy; don’t leave the pan when you are supposed to stir. Sugar will smoke, burn, look like tar, and set off your fire alarm. The same scene did not occur in my kitchen at all last weekend.
Feel these pour shots!
The chocolate is easy to melt. Melt the chocolate with coconut oil in the microwave or on the stovetop. Coconut oil makes the chocolate softer, making it easier to cut. Chocolate chips or pure chocolate baking bars work just as well. See my recipe note. You can melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together to make the most delicious dessert ever.
What is the one thing you should know about this recipe? Each layer must cool down before you add the next. The caramel melts the crust. Melted chocolate on top of hot caramel is a disaster. It will be impossible to spread, and the layers will merge. It’s still tasty, but that’s not what we want! As I work, I place the layers of the cake in the refrigerator for 45 minutes. Come back later, or do something else. Make sure to start the day before.
Use a very sharp knife, and clean it with a piece of paper towel in between cuts. You can cut the bars into any size you like. When I tested this recipe, I preferred a smaller version. You can put the whole thing into your mouth and then grab four more as you leave the kitchen. This scene didn’t even happen last weekend.
Are pretzels not your thing? Nuts are a great alternative. Pecans would make a great dessert to resemble a turtle. Enjoy!
This addictive salted caramel pretzel crunchy bars combine shortbread, caramel, chocolate, and pretzels.
- 10 Tablespoons ( 142g ) Unsalted Butter Note: This is important! )*
- 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons 141g ) all-purpose flour ( Spoon & Level )
- 1/4 cup ( 50g ) Granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 Larger egg yolk at room temperature
- One teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- One cup (240ml) salted caramel sauce. The full recipe
- 1 cup (50-6 0g ( ) chopped pretzels
- 6 ounces Semi-sweet chocolate (or 1 cup ( 180g ) semi-sweet chocolate chips)*
- Two teaspoons of Coconut oil
- optional: Sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8″ or a 9″ square baking pan with parchment paper. Leave enough overhang at the sides for easy removal of the bars. Set aside.
- Beat the butter at high speed with a stand or handheld mixer equipped with a paddle attachment for about 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract, flour, sugar, and salt to the stand mixer or handheld mixer and mix on high speed until it crumbles. Use your hands to bring the dough together. Press firmly into the prepared pan. Press evenly the pretzel pieces on top. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow the caramel to cool before adding it (I put mine in the fridge to help speed up this process).
- Wait for the Salted Caramel to thicken. Pour/spoon caramel over the crust. Let the crust cool completely and harden before adding chocolate. Once again, I put it in the fridge to speed up the process.
- In 15-second increments, melt the coconut oil and chocolate in the microwave. Stir and stop the process until the chocolate is completely melted. Pour the chocolate over the cooled caramel. Add sea salt to the top. Stick it in the fridge to cool down completely.
- Cut the squares using the overhang of the sides. Keep in an airtight box at room temperature for up to one week.