I can think of few friends who so consistently show kindness better than my friend Amanda. Her friends, myself included, are extremely excited when her kindness pours out in the form of yummy baked treats. Snickerdoodles. Chocolate cupcakes. Mini cheesecakes. Sigh. It’s the best.
And you guys are about to get a dose of her kindness right in the comfort of your own home! Amanda is joining me on the blog today to share a spin on her Mom’s old fashioned almond rocha bark. Not a fan of almonds, Amanda decided to substitute them with pretzels. Genius! A genius with a heart of gold. I mean, how lucky am I to call her friend.
Let’s get to it.
1 Tbsp water
2 cups sugar
2 cup chocolate chips (Amanda insists on Ghirardelli!)
1/2 bag of pretzel twists (Rold Gold brand is suggested here)
Preheat your oven to 375.
Break up your pretzels and layer them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Amanda showed me these amazing precut parchment sheets. She swears by them!
Okay, here is the trickiest part because you need to use a candy thermometer, but don’t be scared. It’s worth learning how to do it! Trust me.
Just remember what we learned from our previous post: She is Able. We are perfectly capable of the task set before us. Even when that task is learning to use a candy thermometer!
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
Add the butter, sugar, and water to a pot and heat over a just slightly below medium flame. Stir until the butter is melted.
Put in your candy thermometer and then be patient as it comes to a boil. Stir roughly every 2-3 minutes. You’re going to want the mixture to come up to 305, which is the hard crack stage. As it nears that temperature, you’ll notice the color begins to brown. The pictures above show the mixture at about 200°F, 240°F, and 260°F. It can go from almost-done to over-done in a split second so don’t walk away!
As soon as it reaches temperature, drizzle the sauce over your pretzels. It’s okay if you have some holes here and there, they’ll even out in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes.
When you pull that tray of deliciousness out of the oven pour your chocolate chips and wait for them to melt a bit. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate to cover your pretzels.
Add some sea salt to the top, but wait until it cools just a little bit otherwise the salt dissolves. Add as much or as little salt as your little taste buds desire.
Put your pan in the fridge to cool. It takes about 45 minutes or so. If you have the freezer space or are in a hurry, you can pop it in there as well.
When you take your bark out of the fridge, flip it over on the cookie sheet. Top with another piece of parchment and using a mallet (Amanda uses a nifty little hammer that her husband made when he was a kid!) gently break up the bark. Take a peek to make sure you’re breaking it into your desire sized pieces.
You’ll have to try a bite or two, or five, just to make sure it came out okay. You wouldn’t want to give a gift of kindness that tastes yucky, now would you!?
How amazing does that look! Now this bowl you may keep for your personal delight.
The rest gets packaged up to spread kindness to those around you. A quick trip to Michael’s for some bags and washi tape, a FREE printable, and a tad bit of cutting (Sorry for curvy lines. They’re worth the trouble!), and ta-da…