Caramel Popcorn Pretzel Bars

photo credit Everyday Food
During one of our many snowstorms in January I made these caramel popcorn and pretzel bars. I am a sucker for caramel anything (caramel apples, caramel popcorn, salted caramel candies....). If it has caramel in it, then I am SURE I like it. My dad also loves caramel. These bars were a definite must-try when I saw the recipe in Everyday Food. And they were just as good as I had hoped. The boys and I delivered a couple to my mom and dad, snow storm and all. We geared up and trudged through the snow and enjoyed sharing these special treats.
recipe from Everyday Food, October 2010

Nonstick cooking spray
12 cups plain popped popcorn (from 1/2 cup kernels)
4 cups coarsely chopped small salted pretzels (7.5 ounces)
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, toss together popcorn and pretzels.
In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water to a boil over medium-high. Boil, undisturbed, until mixture is amber in color, 8 to 12 minutes. At eight minutes, the caramel will have a toffee like flavor. For a richer caramel, cook it longer.Remove pan from heat and slowly pour in cream (mixture will sputter). Immediately add marshmallows; stir until melted. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pretzels and quickly stir with a rubber spatula to coat. Transfer mixture to dish and use a piece of plastic wrap coated with cooking spray to press evenly into dish. Let cool completely before cutting into bars. (Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, up to 2 days.)
Great combination. These were sweet, salty and crunchy. Perfect snack or party food.


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