It only takes 5 ingredients and just minutes of time to make this fantastically addictive Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Bark or Salted Chocolate Pretzel Toffee Bark; it’s a great and inexpensive gift to give to family and friends.
Better yet, there’s no candy thermometer needed for this divine easy to make dessert candy recipe.
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I’ve made this chocolate pretzel bark so many times, and it’s always a hit.
My biggest problem is what to call it.
You may recognize it as being similar to those saltine cracker toffee candy recipes. Or maybe you’ve seen it called Crack Bark, Saltine Toffee, pretzel brittle, or Christmas Crack. I’ve seen versions made with saltines, graham crackers, and pretzels. Heck, I even have a Mazto Toffee Candy Bark version.
Originally, when I posted it back in 2012 I called it Salted Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Bark, but I’ve decided it’s more of a toffee than a salted caramel. I’ve updated the recipe here with new photos and information for a better user experience!
But whatever you call it, it’s a delicious combination of dark chocolate, sea salt, butter and brown sugar to make the caramel or toffee, and pretzels. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, salty, and crunchy.
Tailgating snacks month
And it’s great for Tailgating snacks month.
I feel that every football day party or happy hour spread should have a dessert option. And those dessert bites should reflect the fun of the day.
This candy is so perfect for game day nibbles! And, it can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge or the freezer so it’s super easy on the host!
This pretzel toffee bark is a great homemade gift as well. You could make up a batch and pop some pieces in a nice mason jar, tie a pretty ribbon around the jar and voila! A perfect Christmas present!
If you want to make the presentation a little more fancy, drizzle some melted milk chocolate, white chocolate, or almond bark over the top.
Pro tips to make great crack bark
Be sure to scroll down to the printable recipe card below for ingredients amounts and detailed instructions.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or heavy-duty aluminum foil. You want the liner to come up all sides of the pan. This will stop the bark from sticking to the pan, and will help when you remove the bark from the pan.
If you’re using foil, you’ll want to lightly spray the surface of the foil with non-stick spray to keep the toffee from sticking when baking.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
While the butter is melting, place pretzels in a single even layer on the baking sheet. You don’t even need to crush them with a rolling pin or anything.
You won’t need all the pretzels from the bag, but I figure it’s better to have too many pretzels, you know, in case you need to make a second batch because you’ve eaten the whole thing by yourself. Or, for whatever reason you may encounter. Just sayin’.
Once the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and stir well to incorporate. Lower the heat, and simmer the mixture, do not let it boil, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes until it caramelizes.
If you want a softer crumbly texture cook it closer to 3-5 minutes.
If you want really crunchy caramel/toffee, you can let the mixture cook closer to 8 minutes.
I prefer the softer texture, but some people prefer a harder more brittle texture.
When the mixture has caramelized, carefully (remember, it’s hot!) pour it evenly over the pretzels, up and down the length of the sheet. The caramel hardens quickly so it’s important to pour it as evenly and quickly as possible.
Bake for 5-7 minutes. Putting it in the oven allows the mixture to spread itself evenly over the pretzel, filling in the gaps. Carefully remove it from the oven and turn the oven off.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the hot toffee and return it to oven for 1 minute with the heat turned off.
Remove the pan from the oven, and use an offset spatula to smooth out the chocolate. Sprinkle sea salt evenly over chocolate before it starts to harden. If you want to add some broken pretzel pieces, now’s the time, make sure to press them into the melted chocolate so they don’t fall out when breaking the bark apart.
Place the toffee in the baking sheet in the fridge for at least 1 hour to harden and set.
When the bark has cooled and hardened, remove from the fridge and carefully pull the parchment paper or aluminum foil off the back. Break the bark into pieces and serve. Store in the refrigerator.
How to store
The bark can be stored in the fridge or the freezer in a tightly covered container. And it’s delicious when eaten straight from the freezer too!
Yes, these chocolate caramel pretzel bars are great when made with gluten free pretzels as well!
Other variations might include topping the dark chocolate sea salt caramel pretzel bark with chocolate covered pretzels before letting the chocolate harden.
You could use those peanut butter filled pretzels in the bark as well. I mean, peanut butter is a great tailgating snack flavor!
You’ll love this easy to make salted caramel pretzel bark recipe way better than anything you can find on TikTok! lol
More great dessert treats
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via the pin.
Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Bark
- 8 ounces mini pretzels from a 1 pound bag, enough to cover the pan, and more for garnishing if desired
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar light or dark
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Cover an 11×17 baking sheet with parchment paper or with heavy duty aluminum foil that’s been lightly sprayed with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. While the butter is melting, place enough pretzels on the prepared baking sheet to form a single, even layer.
- Once the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and stir well to incorporate. Lower the heat, and simmer the butter-sugar mixture, do not let it boil, stirring occasionally for about 3-5 minutes until it caramelizes.
- When the mixture has caramelized, pour it evenly over the pretzels, moving it back and forth down the length of the sheet. The caramel hardens quickly so it’s important to pour it as evenly and quickly as possible. Bake for 5-7 minutes.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the hot toffee and return it to oven for 1 minute with the heat turned off.
- Remove the pan from the oven, and use an offset spatula tosmooth out the chocolate. Sprinkle sea salt evenly over chocolate. Sprinkle broken pretzel pieces over the top and press them into the melted chocolate.
- Place the toffee in the baking sheet in the fridge for at least 1 hour to harden and set.
- When the bark has cooled and hardened, remove from thefridge and carefully pull the parchment paper or aluminum foil off the back. Break the bark into pieces and serve. Store in the refrigerator.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.