Wednesday, December 19, 2012

M&M Pretzel Bark

Pinterest Strikes Again!

I actually found two recipes that sounded good to me and decided to combine them. The first was for Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark and the other was for M&M Bark. I liked that the salted caramel one made it's own caramel and I liked the use of the M&Ms to dress up the pretzel bark. I combined the two recipes and added a few things from my caramel puffcorn recipe and voila! M&M Pretzel Bark was born.

They are not the prettiest of treats, but they make up in taste what they lack in appearance.


I used Holiday Mini M&Ms to decorate mine. I think they are the right size, but supposed you could use regular if that is what you had on hand. I threw the bark into the freezer before cutting/breaking it into pieces.

M&M Pretzel Bark

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 (16-ounce) bag mini pretzel twists
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups M & Ms

Line a large jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Fill the pan with a single layer of pretzels.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and the brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Bring it to a boil, while stirring. Allow it to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda, stir.

Pour evenly over the top of the pretzels. Put in the oven at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes, then use a spatula to spread the chocolate chips over the surface. Sprinkle with M&Ms, pressing gently to secure them into the soft chocolate.

Allow to cool. Break into uneven pieces. Enjoy!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

I love chocolate. I love caramel. I am in love with all of the new sea salt caramels. So, it was only natural when I found this recipe for Salted Caramel Bars from Annie's Eats on Pinterest, I knew that I had to try them.

I was looking for a treat to bring to work to share for our holiday goodie day and I chose this opportunity to try out the new cookie.

I must say that these were quite the hit. There was something so intriguing about the slight bite that the shortbread lent to the cookie combined with the ooey-gooey yumminess of the homemade caramel and the flavor of the chocolate with the touch of salt giving it the final touch.

I left some home for the family and my son, after trying just one told me that I wouldn't have to worry about any of them being wasted.

Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars
Servings 48

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar

1 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or baking chocolate, cut into bits
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
Sea salt or Fleur de sel, for sprinkling

Yield: about 96 1" squares

Shortbread: Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Press the dough into the prepared baking pan. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool completely.
Caramel layer: Combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stirring constantly. Continue simmering and stirring until the mixture is just below soft ball stage, about 230F. Pour the mixture over the shortbread layer and allow to cool completely.
Chocolate: Combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 1 minutes and stir. Continue heating 30s at a time, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour evenly over the caramel layer and use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Allow to cool for a minute or two and then sprinkle with Fleur de sel. Chill, covered, until firm enough to slice. Cut into 1" squares.