OMG! Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark!
For the fifth year in a row The Kitchen Island hosted a Christmas Bake-a-Thon, a day-long sugar and caloric bacchanalia of epic proportions to which Wanda invites a slew of her many nieces – ages 5 to 16 – to The Kitchen Island for a day of baking, mentoring, crafting, present wrapping, life guidance and general frivolity. The best laid plans notwithstanding, the festivities, historically speaking, generally spin wildly out of control by about 2.30. Webster, having lived through all the previous iterations, moved quickly and decisively to contain the damage. Having fully stocked the liquor cabinet in anticipation of the event, he grabbed the gin and the remote, headed for the living room and camped out in front of the fireplace and the TV for the day’s football schedule.
But that’s another story. Today’s post is about what Webster considers the event’s piéce de résistance – salted caramel pretzel bark – and the primary reason he anticipates this annual invasion of The Kitchen Island by waves of girlie girls and the chaos it inevitably spawns. This one is among the most simple recipes in our book so, here we go…
• 1/2 bag of mini pretzel twists
• 1 Cup of butter
• 1 Cup of dark brown sugar
• 2 Cups of dark chocolate chips (Webster trembled as he typed this one)
• Sea salt
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil and lay the pretzels down in a single layer.
3) In a medium sauce pan melt the butter with the brown sugar. Once the brown sugar is dissolved, boil gently until the mixture is a thick caramel. Remove from heat.
4) Pour the caramel over the pretzels. (It’s okay if all the pretzels are not covered.) Bake for 5 minutes in your preheated oven.
5) Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Place back in over for 1 minute.
6) Remove from oven and spread the gooey chocolate chips around with a spatula until most of the pretzels are covered.
7) Sprinkle generously with sea salt.
8) Cool on the The Kitchen Island for a few minutes and then place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
9) Remove from freezer and break into uneven chunks with your hands. (Webster went for his 22 oz framing hammer for this last step but fortunately he was headed off at the pass by cooler heads.)