Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Tradition Addition: Salted Caramel Bark

It's that time of year again.  Christmas baking.  The time when I make things I don't dare have around the house the rest of the year.  Peanut butter balls.  Munch-a Bunch-a Mix.  Cut-out cookies.  Raspberry thumbprint cookies.  Yummy stuff.  I always like to try a few new recipes because you just never know what you might be missing.  And did you know that Christmas cookie calories don't count?  Nope!  Not a one!

I was at Sam's Club a few weeks ago when some salted caramel bark caught my eye.  It was in the bakery, where all the stuff I would never consider buying (because I can make it!) is displayed.  It looked fantastic.  And I figured there HAD to be a recipe for salted caramel bark online.  And there was.  Happy me!

Salted Caramel Bark
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1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (which I forgot to include)
16 oz. Vanilla Almond Bark or white chocolate
3/4 cup milk chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cup pretzels, broken

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter.  Add brown sugar and milk.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract and powdered sugar.  Stir until smooth and set aside.

Melt Almond Bark (or white chocolate) in a double-boiler, being careful not to overheat.  Pour the melted candy on a parchment lined cookie sheet and spread evenly.

If necessary, reheat the caramel sauce to a drizzling consistency and pour over the melted Almond Bark.  Sprinkle with kosher salt (or, if you forget to, omit it).  Top with broken pretzels and press lightly into the bark.  Melt milk chocolate morsels in the microwave, stirring every 15-20 seconds to avoid overheating.  Drizzle over the bark.  Allow to cool completely before breaking into pieces and storing in a covered container.

Hubby said he could easily eat a whole container of this bark, which is about half the recipe.  Considering there are over 4000 calories in the entire thing, I would advise against it.  But then again, if I only make it once a year, so it is a possibility.  Needless to say, this salted caramel bark made it to the permanent Christmas rotation.  A new tradition!

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