I’m interested to know: is it “KARR-uh-mel” or “KAR-muhl”? We could have the same discussion (debate) on the word “pecan”. You might have strong opinions on how to pronounce these. If you are undecided, I’m making things easy today. We’re blending these ingredients together and you only need two words: “Turtle Bars”. There’s never been a debate on those!
So, this is how I’m weekending. Classic turtle bars with rich dark chocolate and salty pretzels added in. Caramel is made naturally sweet with honey or maple syrup and if you’re feeling extra indulgent, a generous splash of vanilla. Side note: it’s Saturday, so you should feel indulgent. Dark chocolate coats every bite with an extra sprinkling of pecans. It’s the best way to weekend.
If travels are in your plans this weekend, these would make an excellent companion. The caramel is based off of these Healthy Honey Caramels BUT, increasing the butter a bit and cooking them almost to hardball stage allows the caramels to set firmer and stronger. It holds all the ingredients like a gem and still has that extra chewy, extra sweet bite. These bars know what’s up. This is where I leave you…
Healthy Pretzel Turtle Bars
1 cup Honey or Maple Syrup*
1 cup Organic Butter
3/4 cup Heavy Cream or Full-Fat Coconut Milk (white portion only)
1 1/2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup roughly chopped Salted Pretzels (I use gluten-free)
2/3 cups roughly chopped Pecans, plus more for sprinkling on chocolate
8 ounces Dark Chocolate, melted
Prepare a 9 x 9 baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. Lay pretzels on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle chopped pecans over pretzels, reserving about 2 tablespoons or so for coating the outside of the bars.
In a stainless steel pot (or other heavy bottom pan) heat the sweetener, butter and cream together on high heat. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches 250 degrees F (almost to hard ball stage). Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Pour the caramel over the pretzel and pecans. Place in the freezer to chill and set for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate.
Spread half the chocolate mixture over the bars. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Return to the freezer for 10 minutes. Flip the bars over and coat with the remaining chocolate and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Slice into 16 squares. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Turtle bars can also be frozen for up to 3 weeks.
- You can use either honey or maple syrup for this recipe. When cooked properly, either sweetener will yield a delicious caramel flavor. You can also use half honey and half maple syrup for a really fantastic flavor!