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Caramel Pretzels

One of my favorite sweet and salty combinations is pretzels and caramel.  Don't faint, but I am not big on chocolate... So, what you see below is not covered in chocolate.  But you know what I say about creativity.  You can start with this easy recipe then take it to another level to create your own candy bars.

Think about dipping your candy pieces in chocolate, then covering with pecans or mini chocolate chips.  Possibilities are endless... and what a great inexpensive gift for teachers or neighbors.

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
2 cups half and half
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 cups salted pretzels

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Arrange pretzels in as close to a single layer as possible.  Set this pan aside.

In a large pot, combine brown sugar and corn syrup.  On medium heat, bring to a boil - heat to 235 - 240 degrees stirring continuously.  Be careful not to allow too much of your sugar mixture to hit the sides of the pot.  If this happens, wipe down the sides of your pot with a wet pastry brush.  Carefully stir in butter and cream - the mixture will bubble up very rapidly (that is why you need to use a large pot) - Allow mixture to reach 235 degrees again.  Watch your thermometer closely because the temperature will raise very quickly.  Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.

Pour the caramel mixture over the pretzels - cover all pretzels. WALK AWAY

Allow your caramel to cool for about 45 minutes.  It will be hard but do not go back and sneak a piece. Once fully cooled, cut into squares.  Serve as is or dip in chocolate, sprinkle with nuts, coconut, or whatever your heart desires.

If you have any leftovers, wrap in parchment paper or waxed paper and store at room temp.

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