I think I have become obsessed with the combination of sweet and salty. Whether I’m making a salad, sandwich, or dessert, I often look to find a way to include both flavors in my dish. Let me offer a couple examples. Recently I made a side salad that had diced nectarines and apricots atop a bed of arugula that was sprinkled with sea salt. A favorite wrap of mine includes chicken, goat cheese, and peach preserves.
With this sweet-salty fixation on my mind, last weekend I decided to try a new dessert. Interestingly, this experiment ended up producing two different recipes. The first recipe is the one I’m sharing today for Sweet & Crunchy Pretzel Bites. Next week I will share the recipe for the ice cream pie that I created with these bites. Although I found these bites to be addictive, the pie was a double dose for my sweet & salty fixation.
A word of warning before making this recipe: When you look at the bites on the baking sheet you may wonder, Are they done? Looking at the tray, it seemed that the butter and sugar hadn’t melded. However, when you remove the tray from the oven and allow it to cool, you will see that the pretzels and other ingredients have combined into little clusters. If you keep baking, hoping to see some sign of done-ness, you will discover that the sugar will burn, and instead of sweet flavors, you’ll taste something more acrid.
Sweet & Crunchy Pretzel Clusters
3 cups pretzel sticks or mini pretzels
5 Tb. butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tb. sugar
Preheat oven to 375.
Pour pretzels into a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin until all pieces are 1-inch or smaller.
Put butter in a large bowl and microwave for 30-45 seconds or until melted. Add both sugars, stirring well to combine. Add crushed pretzel, and mix well. (Using your hands works best.) Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, then enjoy!