There are few things–short of a plane ride–that get me up and out of bed before 8:45 am. I know, it’s late compared to most people, but I am not a morning person. I’d so much rather stay up until 2 am to get everything done than wake up early. What can I say, I’ve always been a night owl. My mom and dad will be the first to tell you tales of me in my crib shouting out, “Hey, is anyone awake. HELLO?!”
Anyway, I somehow found myself wide awake at 6:15 this morning. Instead of tossing and turning, I decided to get up and be productive. My first thought was to go for a run (I know, I’m shocked too), but by some twist of fate, my sneakers are at work. So, I headed off to the grocery store to get some chocolate to make some more bark. Then, I spent my morning downloading Christmas music and making said bark.
We have our departmental Christmas party this afternoon, and we are all supposed to bring a little treat. I settled on bark, because I’ve actually never made it before. Now, call me crazy, but I don’t really like the whole mint chocolate combination so the traditional peppermint bark idea was nixed pretty quickly. My roommate wanted me to make nut bark (her favorite), but do you know how expensive mixed nuts are? Geez.
In keeping with the salty and sweet combination, I decided to make a salted caramel pretzel bark. Who could say no that?
All I can say is this stuff is addicting. Part of the reason I made more this morning may or may not have to do with the fact that each “little” nibble I had of the original finished product meant a fairly small yield for the Christmas party. Now there’s plenty to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth!
- 1 8-ounce bag of mini pretzels
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 11.5-ounce bags semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- Sea salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Then line large cookie sided cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Place pretzels in a single layer.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens into a thick, bubbly caramel, approximately 7 minutes.Remove from heat and pour evenly over the top of the pretzels.Place the cookie sheet in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a double boiler (or an heat-safe bowl over simmering water--do not let water touch the bottom of the bowl), melt chocolate.
- Remove pretzel and caramel mixture from the oven and drizzle the chocolate over the top, spreading evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Refrigerate at least one hour. When cool and hardened, break bark into bite-sized pieces.