Made with just eight ingredients, these Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bars are made without refined sugars for a super easy , no-bake, vegan, gluten-free treat you’ll love! Make them ahead of time for sweet snacks all week long!
Caramel Chocolate Craze
Are you a fan of caramel? Honestly, I’m not sure I could live without it. With recipes like Salted Caramel Overnight Oats, Vegan Caramel Pecan Blondies, and Salted Caramel Rawnola, I try to incorporate it into all of my days. However, you know what makes caramel even better? Pairing it with chocolate, duh! Seriously, it’s the best combination since chocolate and peanut butter. It’s a bold statement, I know, but I stand by it.
Trust me, you’ll understand what I mean when you get a taste of these Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bars! Sweet, salty, and crunchy, they’re everything you could ever need – at least when it comes to snacking. Plus, they come together so quickly and only require a few dishes so you can get in and out of the kitchen in no time! Even better, they’re super easy to store and are perfect for packing in lunch boxes to take on-the-go. So, if you’re ready to treat yourself to the dessert you deserve, keep reading to find out everything you’ll need to know!
Ingredients You’ll Need
As promised, I kept these chocolate pretzel bars as simple as possible. Take a look below to find everything you’ll need, and find simple swaps for allergy-friendly options.
- Chocolate – You can use any chocolate you like best. However, I prefer unsweetened dark chocolate. Not only is it tasty, but it’s also filled with antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of heart disease, improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, and more. All those benefits are great, but if you’re like me, all you’re hearing is an excuse to eat more chocolate! You’re welcome.
- Pretzels – I used traditional pretzel shapes, but feel free to use whatever you like best. Sticks, rods, twists – they all work!
- Peanut Butter – If needed, feel free to use any other nut or seed butter you prefer. Just keep in mind that the flavor of your pretzel bars will be altered slightly.
- Maple Syrup – Maple syrup adds a hint of sweetness to these bars and helps hold the ingredients together. If not following a vegan diet, honey could also be used, but the taste will change slightly.
- Coconut Oil – I do not recommend replacing coconut oil with any other oil or fat source! Doing so will result in a totally different taste and texture, and I can’t promise the outcome of your pretzel bars.
- Vanilla Extract – Trust me. Don’t skip the vanilla. It elevates the flavor of this recipe with a subtle sweetness that brings out the rest of the natural flavors.
- Salt – Personally, I love a little salt with my chocolate for that sweet and savory element. However, salt also works to elevate the rest of the ingredients creating crazy-good flavor.
For added crunch, I sprinkled Lil Bucks Cacao Sprouted Buckwheat Crunch on top. However, feel free to add whatever you like best! A few of my favorite options include: shredded coconut flakes, chocolate chips, and chopped nuts! Then, if you’re feeling extra fancy, you could even drizzle extra white chocolate, caramel, or even peanut butter on top! You do you.
How to Make Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bars
When you’re ready to make these caramel pretzel bars, all you’ll need to do is gather a baking dish, a few bowls, and a spatula. Then, all it takes is a few minutes, and you’ll be on your way! The only hard part is waiting for the bars to set in the freezer, but trust me, it’s worth it.
- To begin, line a 9×5 baking dish with parchment paper, and set it aside.
- Then, in a small microwave-safe dish, heat the chocolate in intervals of 30 seconds, stirring in between until it is completely melted and smooth.
- Pour ½ of the melted chocolate into the bottom of the lined baking dish, and spread it evenly with a spatula.
- Arrange the pretzels on top of the melted chocolate layer. Don’t worry if they aren’t even. Add as much or as little as you like! They don’t all have to be touching the chocolate, because the layers on top will hold the bars together.
- Once you’ve layered pretzels to your liking, place the baking dish in the freezer, and make the caramel sauce.
- To do so, add the peanut butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil to a second microwave-safe dish, and heat it in the microwave until it begins to bubble.
- Then, quickly whisk the vanilla extract and salt into the peanut butter mixture, and continue to stir until it begins to thicken. This will take about 1 minute.
- Pour the caramel evenly on top of the chocolate and pretzels.
- Add the leftover chocolate sauce on top, and add any toppings you like best.
- To finish, place the baking dish back in the freezer for about 60 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened and the bars are set.
- Once frozen, remove the bars from the baking dish, and slice them into 8-12 squares.
How to Store
Once sliced, your pretzel bars can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. However, I recommend storing them in the back of your freezer! They’ll keep for up to 1 month and will be extra crunchy and delicious without the need to thaw them. No matter which storage option you choose, I recommend adding a piece of parchment paper between layers of bars to prevent them from sticking to each other.
More Chocolate Caramel Recipes You’ll Love
- Chocolate Chip Caramel Blondies
- Paleo Chocolate Caramel Apple Cups
- 5-Ingredient Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Blondies
- Chocolate PB Caramel Collagen Cookies
That’s it, you guys! I told you this recipe was easy. If you give these chocolate caramel pretzel bars a try, I would love it if you let me know in the comments below!
Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Bars
- 1 cup unsweetened dark chocolate
- 2 cups pretzels
- 6 tbsp peanut butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- optional something crunchy for topping
- Line a 9×5 baking dish with parchment paper and set it aside. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate in 30 second increments until the chocolate is fully melted, making sure to stir well after every 30 seconds.
- Pour 1/2 of the chocolate into the bottom of your lined dish. Evenly spread it out with a spatula before layering the pretzels on top. The pretzels don't have to lay perfectly and not all of them need to touch the chocolate.
- Once done with the pretzels, place the dish in your freezer while you make the caramel.
- In a medium microwave safe bowl, heat the peanut butter, maple syrup and coconut oil until the mixture starts to bubble. Quickly whisk in the vanilla and salt and keep stirring until the caramel thickens – about 1 minute.
- Pour the caramel over the now chilled chocolate + pretzels. Finally, top the caramel with the remaining chocolate and preferred crunchy topping.
- Place the dish back in your freezer until the bars have set – about 60 minutes.
- Once frozen, remove the bars from the baking dish and cut into 8-12 squares. Place them in an air tight container and put them back in the freezer until you're ready to eat them!