Well I gave in. Despite my strict diet of zero added sugars. (which I have to admit wasn't so strict during that long period between Thanksgiving and New Years day) I decided to give in and try one of the latest trends in desert making. The salted caramel. I must admit I was skeptical about the concept that adding salt completely changes the caramel. Well to my surprise it actually does. The salty accent really compliments the caramel's sweetness and enhances the taste. If you want to try this yourself I came up with this super easy recipe.
Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark
For this recipe I simplified the ingredients. Originally I was going to make my own caramel, which isn't particularly difficult, but to keep this simple we'll use store bought caramels.
- Caramels from your favorite Specialty Store or for a much less expensive version try meltable caramel wafers which you can purchase in the bakery section at Michaels, AC Moore or JoAnn's
- Salt-Free or Low-Salt Pretzels
- Maldon Sea Salt Flakes or Coarse Kosher Salt
- half sheet baking pan lined with a SilPat mat or Parchment paper
- double boiler
Line a half sheet pan or baking pan with a SilPat or parchment paper. Crush the pretzels by hand and spread evenly on the sheet in a flat layer. Carefully remove the bowl of liquid caramel from the pot. THE POT AND STEAM UNDERNEATH WILL BE HOT. Pour the liquid caramel over the crushed pretzels and smooth with a spatula. Let the bark cool for about fifteen minutes then sprinkle lightly with Sea Salt.
After about a hour at room temperature the caramel bark will be solid. You should be able to easily peel it off the SilPat or parchment paper once it's solidified. Take the huge piece of caramel and pretzel bark and chop it into large pieces with a chefs or santoku knife.
That's all there is to it.
Stack it up and store in an airtight container at room temperature. It should stay fresh for several weeks but I doubt if it will last that long. You might also want to give it away in some great little decorative boxes which you can find at Michaels in the bakery section. I made mine before the holidays so I wrapped them up in festive boxes. Since it's nearing Valentines Day this would also make a great informal gift to give to co-workers, neighbors or maybe your child's favorite teacher. Although if you do go that route you might want to make enough for the whole class; it's sure to be a hit.