This pretzel Christmas crack is going to become your new favourite holiday treat. The combination of salty pretzels, sweet caramel, and dark chocolate blend perfectly to make this the most delicious dessert. It's so easy to make and only requires six ingredients. You'll love that it's no bake and can be made vegan, gluten free and paleo too!
One of my favourite things about Christmas time and the holiday season is all the delicious food we get to enjoy, and this Christmas crack recipe is no exception. It truly is one of the best holiday desserts. This caramel pretzel crack is a fun twist on the original recipe or more traditional recipe that is made with either Saltine crackers or Ritz crackers. This dessert is also sometimes referred to as pretzel toffee and it makes such a fun holiday treat. I can't wait for you to try it. Happy holidays everyone!
Why you will love this recipe:
- This dessert has the most incredible flavour! The combination of salty pretzels, sweet caramel and rich dark chocolate is the perfect blend of flavours to make this one of the most delicious sweet treats. It's perfect for the holidays, or anytime!
- It's so quick and easy to make with only six simple ingredients that you can find in any grocery store.
- It's a no bake dessert and only requires a few minutes of hands on time.
- This Christmas crack is refined sugar free and I've included options for making it dairy free, gluten free, vegan and paleo.
- It stores really well in the fridge or freezer.
- This pretzel crack recipe is a fun twist on a classic xmas crack recipe.
- You don't need a candy thermometer to make it.
If you love Christmas crack you will also love graham cracker Christmas crack.
Taste and texture:
These pretzel Christmas crack squares are the perfect balance of sweet, salty and chocolatey. The different flavors all go so well together. The dark chocolate contrasts perfectly with the sweet caramel and the pretzel layer adds a nice crunch and saltiness.
Key ingredients and substitutions:
- Pretzels - this classic salty snack is used to form the salty crunchy base of this Christmas crack - If you can find square shaped pretzels those work best to form the base, but you can use any type of pretzels that you like including pretzel crisps, mini pretzels, pretzel twists, or pretzel sticks. If you are gluten free be sure to use gluten free pretzels to make this easy recipe.
- Butter - to make the most delicious rich homemade caramel. I've also included options to make this without butter in the recipe card directions. You could also use a vegan butter if you are vegan or dairy free. You can use either salted butter or unsalted butter depending on your preference.
- Coconut Sugar - coconut sugar when combined with butter is the perfect combination of ingredients to make the most dreamy caramel layer. If you don't have coconut sugar you can use brown sugar instead.
- Vanilla extract - this is added to the butter sugar mixture to help make the most amazing tasting caramel.
- Dark Chocolate - the key final ingredient to this Christmas crack. You can either use dark chocolate bars or dark chocolate chips to make this crack. If you want to keep this recipe refined sugar free be sure to use dark chocolate sweetened with coconut sugar.
How to make this recipe:
First, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and place the pretzels on it in an even, single layer.
Next, add the caramel ingredients to a small saucepan or medium saucepan on the stovetop and turn the burner on to medium high heat. Allow the ingredients to come to a boil and then turn down the heat to keep the ingredients at a simmer, stirring the butter mixture regularly for 4-5 minutes until the caramel thickens. You need to stir it to keep the caramel mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Then pour the caramel sauce over the top of the pretzels and spread it out into an even layer. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Now, just before you take the pan out of the freezer melt the chocolate by placing the chocolate in a microwave safe dish and heat on high in 30 second intervals until melted.
Next, take the pan out of the freezer and pour the melted chocolate over the caramel layer to form an even layer of chocolate. Place the pan black in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Lastly, cut the dessert into pieces and then enjoy!
- Square shaped pretzels are the most ideal for making this recipe as they form a more stable base layer but any type of pretzel will do.
- Run the blade of the knife under hot water for a few seconds before cutting these bars into pieces as the heat will help cut through the frozen layers more easily (just be sure to dry the knife after running it under the hot water).
- I don't recommend trying to gift this Christmas crack as the caramel layer will melt at room temperature so the gift would get very messy.
Variations and add ins:
- To make it vegan: use vegan butter and vegan chocolate (this is my favourite vegan chocolate which I used to make this crack).
- To make it into gluten free pretzel Christmas crack: use gluten free pretzels.
- To make it paleo: use ghee instead of butter, use paleo friendly pretzels and chocolate that is dairy free and soy free.
- To make it dairy free: use the dairy free caramel option that I've included in the recipe card notes instead - this dairy free caramel doesn't use butter or ghee so is also great if you are following a vegan or paleo diet.
- Instead of coconut sugar you can use brown sugar.
- For the chocolate layer you can use either chocolate bars or chocolate chips. You could also use milk chocolate instead if you prefer.
- To add some extra crunch to this simple Christmas candy recipe top it with some chopped nuts.
- To take this holiday treat to the next level you could add other toppings such as dried fruit, white chocolate chips, sea salt, crushed candy canes, peanut butter or even sprinkles if you wish.
How to store:
Store this Christmas crack in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 7 days. You could also store it in the freezer for up to 3 months if you want to save this delicious holiday treat for another special occasion.
Frequently asked questions:
If left out of the fridge for too long the caramel in this Christmas crack will soften and become runny so I would only gift it if you can be sure it will be kept cold.
No worries! If you've got crackers in your pantry you can make this Christmas Crack recipe instead. You can also make them with graham wafers instead of pretzels.
Yes! To make this into a vegan Christmas crack use a vegan butter to make the caramel.
Most Christmas crack recipes do need to be refrigerated or else the caramel will melt.
Other desserts you will love:
- Apple Pie Bars
- Christmas Crack
- Chocolate covered Rice Krispie Treats
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- Nut Butter and Chocolate Crunch Bars
- Turtle Cookies Bars
- Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars
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Pretzel Christmas Crack
- 1 bag pretzels (enough to cover the bottom of the pan in an even layer - ~5.5 ounces)
- 12 ounces dark chocolate
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pretzels on it in an even layer.
- Add the caramel ingredients to a pot on the stove and turn on to medium high heat. Allow the ingredients to come to a boil and then turn down the heat to keep the ingredients at a simmer, stirring regularly for 4-5 minutes until the caramel thickens.
- Pour the caramel over the pretzels and spread until even. Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Just before you take the pan out of the freezer melt the chocolate by placing the chocolate in a microwave safe dish and heat on high in 30 second intervals until melted.
- Take the pan out of the freezer and pour the melted chocolate over the caramel layer. Place the pan black in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Cut the dessert into pieces and enjoy!
- This recipe yields 30 pieces of Christmas crack.
- Store this in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 7 days.
- To make dairy free caramel use these ingredients: 2 cups full fat coconut milk, 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar, 2 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon tapioca starch, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.