Salted caramel pretzel bark with chocolate and lime
So, I had never made bark – of any kind – before and I’m rather pleased with the results.
I got the idea to make bark from a picture and recipe I saw online. The original recipe was similar to what I ended up doing, but I decided to modify it slightly. I used:
-1 cup of margarine – I used Earth Balance, but any margarine should probably work
-1 1/4 cup brown sugar – the recipe called for light brown sugar: I used dark
-1 tablespoon vanilla – this was my addition. I figured the recipe could use some vanilla. I think it was a good call.
-about 4 cups, total, of pretzels – I’m somewhat estimating on the amount here. I bought a bunch of assorted pretzels at a bulk store and, for this recipe, used enough pretzels to cover the surface of a cookie tray.
-salt – I used coarse Celtic sea salt, but any coarse or interesting salt would also work. Regular table salt would probably work as well.
-lime zest – this was my addition, the original recipe didn’t call for it. I used about one tablespoon of lime zest, total. And I grated it fresh right before using it in the recipe. I used a regular lime that I washed with dish soap and thoroughly rinsed. And then I grated it with the small-grind part of a cheese grater.
-chocolate chips – about two cups, total, but you can use more or less if you’d like.
I set the oven to preheat to 400 degrees and then spread the pretzels out on a foil-lined cookie sheet:
Then, in a small pot, I started on the caramel. I melted the margarine over medium-high heat and then added the sugar, the vanilla, and the lime zest. The mixture looked like this:
Watch the caramel mixture carefully. Keep stirring – with a whisk or silicone spatula – until bubbles start to form in the mixture along the sides of the pot. Lower heat, stir for about a minute or so more, and, then, carefully pour the sugar mixture over the cookie sheet of pretzels.
Move the cookie sheet to the preheated oven. Here’s a view of the cookie sheet:
After five to seven minutes, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let it cool on an even, heat-safe, surface. I used a wire rack. Here’s the cookie sheet of caramel and pretzels, fresh out of the oven:
And another view:
While the pretzel and caramel mixture was still hot, I sprinkled an even layer of chocolate chips over the cookie sheet. I left the chocolate chips to melt – the heat from the caramel and pretzels should take care of this – for several minutes and then spread them around with a spatula. Then, I sprinkled the chocolate with Celtic sea salt:
Once the bark has cooled and the chocolate has solidified, carefully lift the bark from the foil on the cookie sheet, break into pieces, and enjoy.
I found that the lime zest worked well with the chocolate and caramel. But I also think that candy cane, marshmallows – added at the same time as the chocolate chips – various spices, dried fruit, or pretty much anything you’d like, would work as well.