There’s a reason people love the combination of sweet and salty flavors: Research suggests sweet taste receptors on our tongues are activated by the presence of salt, resulting in a flavorful explosion in our mouths.
But you probably didn’t need us to tell you that. If you’re among the many (many) people who love consuming sweet and salty flavors together, these six recipes are just what the doctor ordered.
Don’t let the fact that these bars are vegan and gluten free deter you—they’re absolutely packed full of flavor. The three-layered bars also boast a variety of textures: The bottom consists of a crunchy chocolate-oat crust, the middle is a creamy and salty tahini filling, and the whole thing gets topped off with sweet, full-bodied dark chocolate. The best part? It only takes 10 minutes to prep these bars before they hit the oven.
This tart allows you to enjoy all the flavors and textures of a chocolate-covered pretzel in an even more delectable form. The crunchy crust incorporates crushed pretzels, flour, butter, sugar, and eggs, while the creamy filling is packed with chocolatey flavor thanks to a whopping ¾ pounds of milk chocolate. The whole thing gets topped off with a sprinkle of sea salt and crushed pretzels for an extra sweet-and-salty finish.
Who doesn’t love a good chocolate brownie? This recipe incorporates salted caramel into the mix to put a salty twist on the American classic. Loads of dark chocolate and a heaping 1/3 cup of salted caramel gives these brownies a serious sweet-and-salty kick. The recipe is very straightforward and makes 16 servings—so bring these ooey, gooey treats to a picnic or potluck in order to impress your squad.
Don’t let their fancy appearance fool you: These salted caramel cups are made from only four ingredients, including chocolate chips, caramels, milk or heavy cream, and coarse sea salt. Making these delectable treats entails melting the chocolate, “painting” it into lined muffin tins, melting down the caramel filling, and then “painting” more chocolate on top in order to create something like a homemade peanut butter cup (only with caramel instead of peanut butter). That might sound complicated, but it takes a measly 30 minutes to create these pretty single-serving treats.
This paleo chocolate bark is surprisingly healthy and super easy to make. It requires only four ingredients, the first three of which are chock full of healthy antioxidants, vitamins, and fats respectively. Those ingredients are dark chocolate, dried cherries or cranberries, whole pecans, and sea salt. It takes less than 30 minutes to whip up this tasty treat, so make sure you have an appetite whenever you start cooking.
A lot of people love beer, and a lot of people love cake. Put the two things together, and you’re in for a real treat. This decadent recipe contains copious amounts of chocolatey cocoa powder without turning dry. That’s thanks to Guinness stout beer, which adds extra richness and moistness to the batter. The stout beer caramel drizzled over top of the cake takes things to another level.
It’s official: These sweet-and-salty chocolate recipes are scientifically proven to delight your taste buds.