Caramel Pretzel Bars
Ingredients
Crust
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Filling
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup (I love Blis)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 cups small pretzel twists, broken into large pieces (I used Rold Gold)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with parchment, leaving overhang to pull the bars out later.
  2. Make the crust. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour and salt and mix until the ingredients are combined and the mixture is crumbly. Press into the pan firmly. Bake for 15-18 minutes until light golden brown around the edges.
  3. While the crust is baking and cooling, make the filling. In a large saucepan over medium or medium-high heat, combine butter, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the cream and insert a candy thermometer in the pan. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees F. Once this happens, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pretzels immediately.
  4. Pour the pretzel-caramel mixture over the prepared crust and spread evenly over the crust. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling. Allow to cool completely in the pan. When cool, use the parchment to remove the bars from the pan. Using a sharp knife, cut into bars. Bars may stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Saveur
Recipe by Pies and Plots at http://piesandplots.net/caramel-pretzel-bars/