Dairy, Egg, Nut & Gluten-Free Chocolate Pretzel Bark... With Peppermint & Caramel!
Back in the days before I lived in the land of food allergies, I loved making peppermint bark at Christmastime. Is there anything that marries the season's most special flavors better than white chocolate mixed with peppermint and milk chocolate pieces? Well... I'm here to tell you that there sure is! I spent the weekend playing around in the kitchen, and I've come up with something that not only wowed my family, but is giving my old school peppermint bark a run for it's money. This chocolate pretzel bark is not only dairy, egg and nut free... but with gluten-free pretzels added to the mix, it's a true allergy-safe gem.
And, here's the kicker: there are two variations to this decant treat! You can add crushed up candy canes to give it that special peppermint twist, or you can drizzle homemade (dairy-free!) caramel on top for the perfect touch of sweetness. All you need is a large cookie sheet, some parchment paper, a small saucepan and 3-4 ingredients. So, let's get started!
Chocolate Pretzel Bark
4 cups of gluten-free pretzels, crushed up (I used Synders gluten-free pretzels)
3 cups of dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life mini-chips)
Kosher or sea salt for sprinkling
For peppermint version: 4 full-sized, candy canes, crushed into pieces
For caramel version: 1/2 cup of dairy-free butter (I used Earth Balance, soy-free version) and 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
To make the base, put 4 cups of gluten-free pretzels into a large ziplock bag and crush into small pieces; set aside. Melt 3 cups of chocolate chips in small saucepan on low heat until very smooth. Take chocolate off of the heat and add crushed pretzel pieces; mix together until pretzels are well coated. Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread chocolate pretzel mixture into large, thin layer (you may use your hands to press mixture down so that it's spread evenly) on to the sheet.
*For peppermint version, put candy canes in a ziplock bag and crush like you did with the pretzels. Sprinkle candy pieces evenly on top of the chocolate pretzel mixture.
*For caramel version, melt 1/2 cup of butter in a small saucepan over low heat and add 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Whisk butter and sugar together until it becomes a thick, caramel colored liquid and sugar is completely dissolved. Take off heat and let cool for 5 minutes, then use a spoon to drizzle caramel over the top of the chocolate pretzel mixture.
When peppermint or caramel is added to the bark, sprinkle Kosher or sea salt on top, cover cookie sheet with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to harden. Once hardened and completely cooled, break bark into pieces and serve!