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Chocolate Pretzel Beer Toffee

The best part about visiting a brewery is the opportunity to sample those special release beers that never make it into bottles. Those brews that are only made in small batches, put into casks that sometimes make it to local pubs or events but will never make it into bottles in your local distributors shelves. Like those songs your favorite band will never record but will occasionally play live if you happen to catch a show on the right night, these are beers that make you feel special for having been granted the experience. In a world where it seems everything is accessible with the right google word search, these near mythical concoctions are only available to those who happen to be in the right place at the right time.

One of my favorites is the Habanero Sculpin from Ballast point. Because of the process they use, the heat is fresh and bright. An uncooked scorch that isn’t shy. Habaneros are an extremely unpredictable ingredient, with heat levels that vary widely from pepper to pepper, making every cask of Habanero Sculpin different from the last. If you ever make it down to San Diego, stop in for a pint and count yourself among the special few.

Since I wasn’t able to get my hands on any Habanero Sculpin, I found myself fixated on this Ballast Point Calico Amber Ale. And the result was a toffee that I couldn’t stop eating. So addictive, and it only takes about 20 minutes to make. I already have plans to make and hand this out as Christmas gifts, if I can wait that long to make it again.

Chocolate Pretzel Amber Ale Toffee

Chocolate Pretzel Beer Toffee



  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Butter 2 sticks
  • 1/2 Cup Amber Ale


  • 2 Cups Pretzels Smashed
  • 2 Cups Dark Chocolate Chips 60% caco content
  • 1/4 Cup Amber Ale or Chocolate Stout


  • In a large pot over high heat add the sugar, butter and 1/2 cup amber ale, it will triple in volume during the cooking process so make sure to use a large pot. Stir until the mixture starts to boil. Allow to boil untouched until the mixture starts to darken and thicken at about 230 degrees. Stir continuously until it turns a very dark amber and hits 290 degrees. This process will take between 15 and 20 minutes from start to finish. pour onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a Silpat. Allow to cool.
  • Add the chocolate to a large bowl. Heat the beer until hot but not boiling. You can heat it on a pot on the stove or microwave it in a microwave safe bowl. If you use the microwave, know that the beer will foam up once it reaches it's boiling point. Pour the hot beer over the chocolate chips and stir until well combined and melted.
  • Pour the chocolate over the toffee and smooth out in an even layer. Sprinkle the crushed pretzels over the chocolate and chill until the chocolate has set. Cut into pieces.


If you use a chocolate with less than 60% cocoa content, it will have higher levels of milk solids, because of this it will have a more difficult time hardening once the beer is added. Try to fine 60% and chill it to set.

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Cassie Laemmli (@BakeYourDay) May 1, 2012 um 8:19 pm

Amber ale toffee? Oh I am in heaven. This is so awesome, Jackie!


Megan {Country Cleaver} May 2, 2012 um 1:41 am

Can’t type. Drooling.

Seriously woman? This is a beer loving PMSy girl’s dream!


Amrita May 2, 2012 um 2:18 pm

Slobbering here. Hopelessly.


bakeaholicmama May 2, 2012 um 6:06 pm

Serioulsy… you have the best blog on the block. Chocolate and Beer everywhere. What more can a girl ask for?! This toffee looks freaking awesome!


Lori @ RecipeGirl May 2, 2012 um 9:46 pm

I live in San Diego- so I guess I’ll have to give it a go! Brilliant combo here!


The Beeroness May 4, 2012 um 5:55 pm

Thanks Lori! So glad that you came over to visit my page 🙂


cravingsofalunatic May 9, 2012 um 9:31 pm

You are a rock star. This is totally incredible.


fatpiginthemarket May 9, 2012 um 3:21 pm

I need to be on your christmas list. I love toffee of any sort and pretzels with chocolate absolutely rock. What more do you need? Beer, of course!


Julia {The Roasted Root} May 9, 2012 um 10:25 pm

I always learn so much from your posts. You put beer in places I didn’t know you could put it and I just love the creativity. your chocolate pretzel bars look awesome!


BigFatBaker May 15, 2012 um 5:15 am

Brilliant!! I love this blog. It is so creative and a total bf pleaser. I know anything I make from here will make him do a little happy dance.


kristenanneskitchen May 22, 2012 um 9:46 am

I made these last weekend…SO YUMMY! They were gobbled up instantly!


Emit Jameson September 9, 2012 um 4:58 pm

THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER MADE! I made it three times and gave it to a lot of people and everyone loves it. I had no idea it would be so easy to make! I will be giving this as christmas gifts!


Heather December 7, 2012 um 6:40 am

I am making three of your recipes to put into a beer gift basket for my sister in law. She lived in California for a while and now lives in Michigan just miles from tons of amazing craft breweries. I wanted to do something special for her that involved beer since she is such an enthusiast. Your site gave me great ideas and I don’t feel as intimidated now. I wanted to know about storing them for a few weeks. I think I can freeze the truffles and caramels with out a problem but do you know about the Chocolate Pretzel Amber Ale Toffee bars? I wasn’t sure about freezing the pretzels. I have a two year old and I don’t want to wait until last minute and this project fall through the cracks because I am really excited to try all three recipes. I am also making the beer cheesecake for New Years. My husband is so happy I found your blog!!! Thank you


Jackie December 7, 2012 um 9:05 am

Thank you Heather! My only advice for freezing chocolate is to wrap it really well, even double wrapped in plastic and then in a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible to try and avoid a "fat bloom." Also, refrigerate for at least 24 hours before freezing to avoid a "chocolate shock" prior to freezing. Have fun!


Alicia C January 4, 2013 um 5:09 pm

What size baking sheet do you use?


Jackie January 5, 2013 um 11:17 am

It’s pretty standard size. But it doesn’t make a difference. The toffee won’t reach the edge, it just spread out in the middle, forming an irregular blob.


Jason Harty May 9, 2013 um 1:15 pm

Would like to know the amount of servings each recipe makes.


jennifer December 15, 2015 um 8:39 am

Are you using salted or unsalted butter? Thank you!


Jackie December 15, 2015 um 9:28 am

I always use unsalted. But in this case, either will work


KukaBeerIntern October 24, 2016 um 3:16 pm

These were a HIT in the tasting room! I did use our Blonde in the toffee layer and our Coffee & Cream Stout in the chocolate layer and they were amazing and sooooooo easy to whip up! Thank you from all of us at Kuka Beer!


Jackie October 24, 2016 um 3:48 pm

Yay! I love hearing that.


Heidi November 29, 2016 um 2:38 pm

This looks great. I’m actually looking to make a beer infused toffee for Christmas Crack. Do you have any idea if this toffee would work in a recipe that has to go into the oven for 5 minutes or so??? THank you


Jackie November 29, 2016 um 3:44 pm

I have no idea. Possibly? If you try it, let me know!


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