Sunday 9 October 2016
Salted Caramel Pretzel Crunch Bars
I have always had a sweet tooth. It may have been because my mother had a major sweet tooth.... chocolate, candy, ice cream, it was readily available at our house. In the last couple of years, I’ve discovered the world of salted caramel, and boy that has taken my sweet tooth to an entire new level!!
So when I saw a rendition of this recipe on Saveur, I thought, this could really be good with a layer of bittersweet chocolate on top to off set the layer of sweet and salty caramel.......HOME RUN!
The preparation time is about 30 minutes, however, the cooling time and baking time....I would allow 3 hours. You can rush it by putting it in the refrigerator, shorten the time. It is worth every minute and when finished you’ll have the most wonderfully soft yet crunchy bars, oozing with sticky, caramel goodness. It’s a blend of so many textures and flavors, leaving you wanting more and more, so don’t blame me if you happen to finish the entire pan yourself!
Salted Caramel Pretzel Crunch Bars
10 Tablespoon unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Salted Caramel Sauce or store bought sauce (I used my favorite, click on link to go to recipe)
1 cup chopped pretzels
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, or semi sweet, melted
Sea salt (optional)
Pre heat the oven to 350 F degrees. Butter a 8 or 9 inch square baking pan and then line with parchment paper, enough to overhang on the sides, for easy removal. (butter helps the parchment to stay in place)
Using your electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy- about one minute. Add flour, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and beat for about 2 minutes until crumbly. Get your hands in there to make the dough come together. Press into prepared pan. Press pretzel pieces evenly into the top. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.
Allow to cool completely, then spread the caramel layer. You can speed up this process by putting into refrigerator. (I make the caramel ahead and refrigerate)
Once the caramel layer is cool and firm(I refrigerate), Pour the melted chocolate over the top. Top with optional sea salt. Return to refrigerator to firm up once again.
To serve, lift the parchment paper liner out and cut into squares. If it doesn't disappear immediately (I'll be surprised) store in a air tight container for up to a week.
To do this in steps ahead-
You can prepare the crust one or two days in advance, store in refrigerator.
You can prepare the caramel a week or two in advance, just warm up so that it is spreadable.
Prepared bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before enjoying the deliciousness!
I love Fall in the Pacific Northwest! It is always full of every type of weather and every color! My son and daughter-in-law invited us to go with Cooper's pre-school group to the Two Brother's Pumpkin Patch in Carnation, Wa. We had so much fun, and it gave me a chance to see Cooper's classmates and talk to his teacher. So much fun! Cooper managed to find every mud puddle with glee and grandma running up ahead to capture his enthusiasm! Amy my daughter-in-law is due to have little Katie in one week, you would never know it by her energy level. We are all so proud of her and can hardly wait to see Katie's precious little face.
Enjoy the beautiful time of year!