Pretzel Christmas Crack (Gluten Free)
This Pretzel Christmas Crack is a gluten free version of the classic sweet and salty holiday treat that is typically made with saltine crackers or Ritz crackers! Crunchy gluten free salty pretzels, a layer of homemade buttery toffee, a layer of chocolate and sprinkles are frozen into a completely irresistible dessert the entire family will love any time of year!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What Makes This Recipe Great
Nothing says Happy Holidays like Christmas Crack! It is my favorite thing to make every holiday season! This Pretzel Christmas Crack is a slightly different version than my original Gluten Free Christmas Crack using gluten free pretzels. It’s sweet, salty, and totally addicting. It has layers of crunchy gluten free pretzels, homemade caramel (refined sugar free with dairy free option below), dark chocolate and sprinkles. Each bite will have you wanting to come back for more! I love storing it in the fridge and grabbing a piece whenever I am craving a sweet treat. This recipe only takes 15 minutes to make from start to finish – the hardest part is waiting for it to freeze!
- Easy recipe
- Sweet and salty Christmas candy
- Made with simple ingredients
- Gluten free with dairy free option
- Perfect for holiday gifts for family and friends
- Fun holiday treat
- Healthier than the original saltine cracker toffee
Ingredients Needed for Caramel Pretzel Crack
Gluten Free Pretzels: I used the Snyder’s of Hanover gluten free mini pretzels. The smaller the better for this recipe so the gooey caramel is able to cover every piece! Gluten free pretzel twists, square pretzels, pretzel crisps, or pretzel sticks will work. If you do not need to be gluten free, any type of pretzels will work for this Pretzel Crack recipe.
Butter: I like to use Kerrygold grass-fed salted butter. Unsalted butter will work just fine, too. The pretzels will provide enough saltiness! Feel free to use vegan or plant-based butter for dairy free. I’ve found that Miyokos or Kite Hill brands work best for this homemade caramel sauce. Ghee does NOT work, so don’t use that!
Vanilla extract: This gives some warm vanilla flavor to the caramel mixture.
Coconut sugar: Brown sugar will also work if it’s all you have on hand.
Dark Chocolate Chips: My favorite brand is Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels. It is a rich dark chocolate that melts well and tastes delicious. They are also dairy free! You can also use semi-sweet chocolate chips for this recipe.
How To Make Pretzel Christmas Crack
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400. Combine the butter and coconut sugar in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.
Step 2: Whisk as it melts. Once boiling and bubbling, reduce the heat to medium low. Continue whisking vigorously as it bubbles for 3-4 minutes. It should be a rich amber caramel color and smooth by the end. Turn off the heat and add the vanilla. Whisk to combine. You shouldn’t need a candy thermometer for this recipe.
Step 3: Line a 12 x 18 inch inch baking sheet with parchment paper (I do not recommend using aluminum foil – it will stick!). Pour the pretzels out onto the cookie sheet and spread out into an even layer with your hands. They don’t need to be in a perfect single layer, and some will be overlapping!
Step 4: Pour the caramel mixture over the top of your pretzels to cover as many as you can. Use a spatula to spread it out. It’s ok if it doesn’t cover the entire pan. It will spread as it bubbles in the oven.
Step 5: Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until the caramel is bubbling.
Step 6: Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the bubbling caramel to cover as much of the surface as possible.
Step 7: Put the pan back into the oven for 2-3 minutes until the chocolate is melted.
Step 8: Use a spatula to spread it out as much as possible.
Step 9: Sprinkle the sprinkles all over the top of the melted chocolate, if desired. Place the pan into the freezer for 2-3 hours up to overnight. Once hardened, use knife or your hands to break up or “crack” the pretzel crack into 3-inch pieces. Enjoy right away! Store in the fridge or freezer so they don’t melt in between servings.
Mary’s Tips & Tricks
- Avoid burning! To avoid burning the homemade caramel sauce, make sure to turn the heat to medium low and whisk CONSTANTLY after it begins bubbling.
- Caramel sauce: It may look like there isn’t enough caramel sauce to coat all of the pretzels, but don’t worry. It will bubble up and spread out when you bake it for 5 minutes.
- Toppings: The options are endless when it comes to this Pretzel Christmas Crack! Swirl some peanut butter on top, add half white chocolate chips, or sprinkle walnuts, peanuts, crushed up candy cane, or sweetened coconut flakes on top! It’s also delicious without any toppings at all.
Definitely not – if you do not have Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, feel free to use regular pretzels for this recipe.
I would not recommend it. It will be too gooey and the crack will likely not hold together.
You can store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This Pretzel Christmas Crack makes an amazing gift. Just make sure not to leave it out of the fridge for too long, or it will get gooey and will melt!
More Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Pretzel Christmas Crack
- 8 oz. bag gluten free mini pretzels, I used Snyder's brand. If you don't need to be gluten free, any mini pretzels will work!
- 1 cup butter, Salted or unsalted – doesn't matter! Use vegan butter for dairy free. Some favorite brands are Miyokos or Kite Hill.
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips
- Christmas sprinkles, optional but a fun topping. See notes for other topping ideas!
- Preheat oven to 400. Line a 12 x 18 inch inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the pretzels out onto the baking sheet and spread out into an even layer with your hands. They don't need to be perfect and some will be overlapping!
- Combine the butter and coconut sugar in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Whisk as it melts. Once boiling and bubbling, reduce the heat to medium low. Continue whisking vigorously as it bubbles for 3-4 minutes. It should be a rich amber caramel color and smooth by the end. Turn off the heat and add the vanilla. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the caramel over the pretzels to cover as many as you can. Use a spatula to spread it out. It's ok if it doesn't cover all of them. It will spread as it bubbles in the oven.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until the caramel is bubbling. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the bubbling caramel to cover as much of the surface as possible. Put the pan back into the oven for 2-3 minutes until the chocolate is melted. Use a spatula to spread it out as much as possible. Sprinkle the sprinkles all over the top.
- Place the pan into the freezer for 2-3 hours up to overnight. Once hardened, Use a knife to cut up the pretzel crack into 3-inch pieces. Enjoy right away! Store in the fridge so they don't melt in between servings.