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Salted Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Bars

Salty, sweet, chocolatey but completely gluten free, these salted caramel chocolate pretzel bars are the perfect sweet treat. With the perfect amount of pretzel crunch in every bite, this is definitely a recipe that will impress your friends.
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 16 bars
Author: Claire Cary

Ingredients
 

Shortbread Crust:

  • 1 stick butter at room temperature (8 ounces or 1/2 cup, dairy free or regular )
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated cane sugar
  • 1 cup slightly chopped ALDI liveGfree Mini Pretzel Twists

Caramel Layer:

  • 1/2 cup refined coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp granulated cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Simply Nature Almond Butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt (only if nut butter was unsalted)

Chocolate Layer:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate bar
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 tbsp milk as needed (to thin (only add if needed))
  • 1 cup chopped pretzels to top

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, add the room temperature butter and sugar.
  • Beat together until well incorporated, about 30 seconds.
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  • Beat in all remaining ingredients until a dough forms. It should look a bit like sugar cookie dough. 
  • Press into a 9x9 or 8x8 baking dish lined with parchment paper. You can use either size for this recipe, but an 8x8 will yield a thicker crust and bars. I used an 8x8 for reference, but it works in both!
  • Use your hands to spread evenly into the pan, then press down with a spatula to get rid of any fingerprints and even it out. 
  • Sprinkle on top the chopped pretzels and press gently into the crust.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown. 
  • While baking, add all ingredients for the caramel to a medium pot on the stove. Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool to thicken. 
  • When the crust is done, stick in the fridge to let it cool slightly for about 5-10 minutes. You don't want the caramel or crust to be too hot when you combine. Slightly warm is fine, but not hot. 
  • While you're waiting, melt the coconut oil in a pot on the stove. Add in the chocolate chips and melt together, stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn. If you have a double boiler, use it here. 
  • Whisk in the chocolate baking mix and milk if needed. 
  • Once the crust and caramel are cool, pour the caramel on top of the crust and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. 
  • Pour the chocolate on top and carefully spread, trying not to combine the caramel and chocolate. Top with crushed pretzels and a sprinkle of sea salt. 
  • Place in the fridge for about 2 hours to set, or in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes. 
  • Once the chocolate is completely set, remove from the pan (the parchment paper should lift right out, but you can take a knife and slice the edges to make sure nothing is stuck) and slice into 16 even bars. To make sure it's set, press down with your finger or wiggle the pan. If the chocolate jiggles or leaves an indent, let it set for longer or the slicing can get messy! 

Notes

Any GF all purpose flour should work for the crust, but make sure it has xanthan gum in the mix. 
I always recommend using refined coconut oil to prevent any coconut flavor from lingering in the recipe. This is for the caramel and the chocolate layer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 4.3g | Fat: 18g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 18.1g
did you try this recipe?Mention @eatwithclarity or tag #eatwithclarity!
Keyword: caramel pretzel bars, chocolate caramel bars, chocolate pretzel bars