This recipe for Salted Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bars is packed with homemade caramel goodness and a delicious cookie crust. If you’re looking for a treat to wow your family and friends with, this is it! At first glance it looks like there are a lot of different elements that go into it, and believe me, there are. But it requires minimal baking time and is a fun project for a Sunday afternoon when you know you have some downtime.
The secret to this recipe is making as much as you can from scratch. Could you use store bought caramel sauce? Absolutely. But I honestly think the homemade salted caramel sauce is part of what makes these bars amazing.
This will be your base layer. It’s important to not overcook the dough for this otherwise you will be left with a crumbly base. The shortbread cookie base is super quick to pull together and I use a stand mixer. If you don’t have one, I advise using at least a handheld mixer to get the proper consistency.
Don’t be intimidated by this process. It’s super quick and easy and I promise it yields an amazing caramel sauce. All you need is sugar, butter, heavy cream and some sea salt. For this particular recipe you will use a full batch of the sauce, but if you wanted to make the sauce on it’s own for later you can do that too! It goes great on ice cream, pancakes, waffles, and of course apples!
There are lots of chocolate brands out there, but when it comes to the brand I use I always choose Ghirardelli. No, this isn’t a sponsored post. I genuinely love their chocolate and I feel it’s worth a few dollars more when using them in a recipe like this. I mix it with sweetened condensed milk to make an amazing chocolate sauce for the top of these bars. It’s so smooth and creamy you will have a hard time not eating too many “samples” of it.
For your layers you are going to have shortbread cookie on the bottom, caramel sauce, chocolate, and then you top it all off with mini pretzels and more sea salt. It might seem like a lot but it’s really not that difficult to put together. All I can say is you are going to love these bars, and so will your family and friends. It’s almost like a candy bar when it’s all said and done, and who doesn’t love those? They go great with coffee too! Which is a win for me because I love to have something sweet with my coffee.
Now let’s get to baking!
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Servings: About 20 Bars
1st Layer – Shortbread Cookie:
½ Cup plus 2 Tbsp of unsalted butter (slightly soft)
1 Cup plus 2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour (I like King Arthur)
¼ Cup Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Large Egg (Yolk Only)
¼ tsp. Kosher Salt
2nd Layer – Caramel Sauce:
1 Cup Sugar
6 Tbsp. Salted Butter (slightly soft)
½ Cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp. Sea Salt (I like Maldon’s)
3rd Layer – Chocolate:
1 10 oz Bag Milk Chocolate Chips (Love Ghirardelli)
1 14oz Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
4th Layer – Toppings:
1 Cup Mini Pretzels
Sea Salt To Sprinkle On Top
Storage: I recommend keeping them in the fridge in a sealed container or Ziplock bag. If you leave them out on the counter too long they will start to melt.
Making this recipe? Please tag me on Instagram @natashasfoodadventures so I can see your creations!
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Recipe Notes: Cookie Layer Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction