Thursday, December 11, 2014
Caramel Chocolate Pretzels
These make a great friend/neighbor gift.
You can even get gluten free pretzels and they taste really good!
Here is what you need:
*Honey Wheat Braided Twists (There are many brands of these now. You can find them pretty much anywhere.)
*Your favorite caramel recipe. Here is a super easy recipe, in case you don't have one. You can also just buy caramels and melt them, if you don't feel like making caramel. (But homemade is better!)
Easy Caramel (and it really is!)
1 cup butter
1 lb. brown sugar (Just over 2 1/4 cups)
1 cup light corn syrup
1 15 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
Melt butter in heavy 3 qt saucepan. Add brown sugar, stirring until well combined. Blend in corn syrup. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over medium heat until candy reaches firm ball stage, 6-12 minutes. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Pour into buttered pan over toasted almonds, pecans or just plain. This caramel is also used for turtles. Cool. Cut into small squares and wrap in plastic wrap (or waxed paper). Makes 2 1/2 pounds.
A note about firm ball stage: You can use a candy thermometer (the stages are printed on mine along with the temps. Or, you can do it the old fashioned way, like my mom taught me and have a bowl of ice water sitting by the stove and you test it by dropping about 1 tsp caramel into the water. Let it cool for several seconds then make it into a ball. You will be able to tell if it's soft ball or hard ball by the consistency. Firm ball stage makes a firm, but not hard, ball. Hence the name. :)
Once caramel is done, let it cool a bit and then get dipping. I put mine on waxed paper or plastic wrap ( I have an obsession with waxed paper, for some reason. I think it reminds me of my grandma or something) If your caramel isn't quite firm enough, you may have to 'wrap' it back around the pretzels and then let it cool completely either on your counter or pop it outside or in fridge. Then, I melt my milk chocolate, and put some in a little plastic bag with a small hole cut off the tip. I pipe the chocolate onto the caramel, as shown in the picture above. I have a piping bag, but I hate the clean up! The baggie is so easy to just throw away once I'm done! You could also dip these in chocolate, but they are pretty rich, so the drizzling is nice.