Sweet, salty, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious, these no bake salted caramel pretzel bars are made without flour, butter, or refined sugar, but you’d never be able to tell! Easily customized to be gluten-free, vegan, and/or nut-free, they make the perfect healthy snack!
I’m honestly not sure whether to say “you’re welcome” or “I’m sorry.”
You’re welcome because today’s recipe is all sorts of amazing. I’m sorry because today’s recipe also happens to be all sorts of addicting. I literally “just a sliver”-d my way through half the pan, but if I have to struggle with my newly developed dependency, then I’m taking you down with me.
And…. you’re welcome.
So remember those sweet & salty trail mix granola bars that I posted a while back? I may or may not have accidentally, on purpose dipped some pretzels into [almond] butter while I was making those… and I may or may not have rekindled a long forgotten addiction in the process. Can we say pretzels and AB for lunch? And sometimes dinner?
The addiction is real, my friends. And it.is.GOOD.
But you know what’s even better? Adding a touch of sweetness… and a whoooole lot of chocolate…
It’s no secret that I have a huge sweet tooth, and while I’ll occasionally get hit with a craving for something salty/savoury to snack on between meals, I’m not really one to reach for things like chips, crackers, or pretzels on a regular basis. Unless we’re talking tortilla chips and salsa, in which case… don’t even get me started on how many of those I can put away in a single sitting.
But for the most part? My snacks of choice tend to be things like chocolate, bars, cookies, fruit, jelly beans, and pretty much anything else with some kind of sugar in it… which is why I do my best to try and choose more natural/unrefined forms of sugar.
These bars are sweetened with dates and a touch of brown rice syrup (or honey). This not only eliminates the need for processed sugar, but gives them a slightly caramel-ly taste that pairs perfectly with the saltiness of the pretzels.
The pretzels are what make up the majority of the base, along with a cup of oats for some extra fibre and textural perfection. Seriously. Perfection. The base of these bars actually reminds me of a [sweet and salty] shortbread cookie in the way it crumbles and melts in your mouth… except that it’s made without flour or butter and doesn’t need to be baked.
You just toss the ingredients into your food processor, transfer the dough into a pan, toss the pan in the fridge, [wait], and voila! You have yourself a batch of delicious salted caramel pretzel bars…
So if you’re in the mood for a sweet and salty snack bar that’s ridiculously easy to whip up and equally as easy to make vegan, gluten-free, and/or nut-free, do yourself a favour by making these bars. And then proceed to “just a sliver” your way through half the pan.
- 2 cups (80 g) pretzels, crushed*
- 1 cup (80 g) oats
- 3/4 cup (150g) Medjool dates
- 6 Tbsp (96 g) nut or seed butter**
- 2 Tbsp (40 g) brown rice syrup***
- 1 - 2 (15-30 ml) Tbsp. non-dairy milk
- 1 cup (175 g) dairy-free chocolate chips
- 1 tsp (5 ml) coconut oil
- Line an 8x8 (20x20 cm) baking pan with a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal. Set aside.
- Add pretzels and oats to the bowl of a food processor and process until the pretzels have broken down into small pieces and the oats resemble a flour. Add dates, nut/seed butter, and liquid sweetener, and continue processing until a dough begins to form and stick together. If it seems too crumbly or dry, add non-dairy milk, one tablespoon at a time until the dough sticks together when you pinch it between your fingers.
- Transfer dough to your prepared baking pan and use a spatula or your hands to spread it evenly in the pan, making sure to press down firmly. Set aside.
- Place chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high in 30 second increments until melted and smooth, making sure to stir between each. Pour chocolate over bars and use a spatula to spread it out evenly. Top with crushed pretzels, if desired, and transfer pan to fridge for at least an hour to allow the bars to set.
- When bars have set, remove from fridge and allow to thaw for a few minutes before using a sharp knife to cut into bars. Store in an airtight container, either in the fridge or at room temperature, depending on how warm it is and how the bars behave.
** I recommend using a no-stir nut/seed butter or the texture might be a little off. Feel free to use whichever kind is your favourite. I used both a soy nut and almond butter and both worked fine.
*** Can be subbed with honey if not strictly vegan.
Looking for more no bake bar recipes? Try one of these!
Do you gravitate more towards sweet or salty snacks?
What’s your favourite sweet snack?
What’s your favourite salty snack?
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