Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Pretzel Shortbread Bars

Yes, the title is ridiculously long. But it is very important to me that you understand the extent of the glory that is the salted caramel and dark chocolate pretzel shortbread bar. They’re amAZing. And they’re a grown-up treat, for sure. Rich and decadent, but (surprisingly) not overly sweet.

IMG_5829.JPG

Because Mother’s Day is this Sunday, I created these in honor of my mama. I just mixed together a bunch of her favorites and came up with this gorgeous dessert that you really MUST try. Just look at it. You must.

IMG_5807.JPG

What you’ll need:

• 1 bag of dark chocolate

• Pretzels

• Salt

Shortbread:

• 1 cup of butter

• 1/2 cup of powdered sugar

• 2 cups of all-purpose flour

• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Caramel

• 1 cup of sugar

• 6 tablespoons of butter

• 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream

IMG_5703.JPG

Get the [super simple] shortbread crust going first. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until thoroughly mixed.

IMG_5704.JPG

Separately, combine the flour and baking powder. Then mix into the butter and sugar.

IMG_5710.JPG

Ta da! Press it into your dish, and bake at 350 degrees F, for 15-17 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.

IMG_5712.JPG
IMG_5717.JPG
IMG_5744.JPG

Layer on the pretzels next...

IMG_5749.JPG

Now time to make the caramel. This can be tricky business, so keep a close eye on each step.

First up! Heat your sugar on med-high in a large heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Bring it to a boil and resist stirring as it boils.

IMG_5729.JPG

As soon as it caramelizes and turns dark amber, stir in the butter.

IMG_5732.JPG

Once the butter has melted, take it off the heat and stir in your cream.

IMG_5733.JPG
IMG_5741.JPG

Set your caramel aside for a minute, once it’s all whisked up. And in a glass dish melt your chocolate (the whole bag) and pour it over the pretzels. I poured about half on first; swirling it, without covering the whole thing. I didn’t want a solid layer of chocolate and then a layer of caramel on top (although you might!). I wanted them to swirl together.

IMG_5753.JPG
IMG_5754.JPG

Pour all the lovely yumminess over top of your pretzels and shortbread, and then give it a good sprinkle of sea salt.

IMG_5775.JPG

Pop that baby in the fridge for about 30-45 minutes, or until it sets up.

IMG_5776.JPG

Let it warm to room temperature before you cut into it. Then go to town! 

IMG_5782.JPG

Beautiful! The perfect thing to bring to a Mother’s Day brunch, birthday party, game night... or really anywhere that people are.

IMG_5794 2.JPG

Or hoard them and be super happy.

IMG_5802.JPG

(sources 1 2)