Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pretzel Bark

Okay, so this is floating around Pinterest right now. And it totally deserves to be. I had first tried it over a month ago when my brother made it for us while we were visiting Mom. I came home and bought myself a bag of pretzels (I never buy pretzels). But I sat on them for a while (no, not literally) because there's this problem with pretzel bark--namely that I want to eat it all--all half a bag of pretzels, 2 sticks of butter, 1 C of sugar, a bag plus a little of chocolate chips. ALL. Eating it all is what I'd like to call a bad idea. So I needed to wait until we had an event to make this. Fortunately, last night we had a singing night with some of our friends. This was my chance, and a perfect chance it was because I was tired and really not interested in making anything that took much effort. Pretzel bark takes 10 minutes of effort (and also some chill time, which requires patience, but not effort). Of course the 10 minutes of effort is sort of a problem too because do you really need 5000 calories to be ready for you in 10 minutes. Well, maybe not. But this can come in very handy when you need to make a butt-kicking dessert for an event and you're short on time. If that's not wonderful enough, you can always dress it up for whatever holiday is upcoming by using some colored meltable chocolate drizzled on top or by adding seasonal sprinkles.

The only down side of this treat is that it needs to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer since it gets too soft at room temperature. But then, considering those 5000 calories sitting in your house, maybe it's a good thing after all to have to tuck it away in your freezer. Last night after our guests left, I put it away promptly. I knew that if I didn't, I would eat it all. ALL. I'm even nervous to get it out to take a picture right now for this blog because, well, you know--it will be there in my hands and all. And then I might lick a finger off. And then I might try just a nibble. And then, well, it's kind of like alcoholism. Only more caloric. We just don't need to go there.

Pretzel Bark
from Mama Say What
Makes 1 cookie sheet full
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chill time: at least an hour
Cost: $4.25
pretzels: .90, butter: 1.00, chocolate chips: 2.00, sugar: .35

Note: The original recipe said to sprinkle sea salt on top of the chocolate. I did this on part, wanting to see if it made a difference since this is already a play on sweet/saltiness. I did like it better, but I'm a real salt/chocolate/caramel kind of girl. Either way, it's delicious.

1/2 bag of pretzels (8 oz.)
1 C (2 sticks) butter
1 C brown sugar
1 bag chocolate chips
salt, colored sugar, or whatever for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil (do it; this stuff gets sticky). Arrange your pretzels thereon. My brother used those waffle pretzels, which lined up beautifully. However, they cost more than twice as much so I went traditional with mine.

In a saucepan, melt your butter, then add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Bring to a gentle boil and let it boil for just a minute (it should thicken just a bit and the bubbles should get a bit bigger).

Drizzle this over your pretzels and put it in the oven (be careful because your pan will already be a bit hot from the hot caramel). Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.

Take out and put the chocolate chips on top.

Let them melt (you can throw them back in the oven for a minute--only a minute--or you can just let them melt on the hot caramel). Gently spread the chocolate around.

Sprinkle on salt if using, or sprinkles or decorative colorful melting chocolate.

Let cool, then put in the freezer until hard--about an hour.


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