Caramel Chocolate Dipped Pretzels and a Labour of Love!

on tray 625a sqAbout 6 months ago, my sister Jody asked me to make caramel dipped pretzels for her daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. She wanted to use them as place cards for lunch. Of course I quickly agreed. I love my niece and my sister very much. Besides, when it was my oldest son’s Bar Mitzvah, 10 years ago, she laboriously snipped twigs from her garden and fashioned them, with a hot glue gun and incredible manual dexterity, into numbers for the table cards for our dinner.

Another sister (I have four of them plus one brother!), Bo, baked and iced 225 of these adorable sugar cookies to give out to guests. They were created to look like the Bar Mitzvah boy! My siblings and I hail from a genetic pool of hard working and deeply creative folks! table numbersNicky cookies 2With the long lead time she had given me, I had ample time to research and test recipes so that we would have the perfect pretzel. My sister has a finely developed sense of aesthetics and we spent many hours discussing the appropriate colour shape and size of the tag to tie onto the pretzel bag and the colour of the ribbon. We debated fonts as well as font weights and sizes. We looked at the pros and cons of dipping all in dark chocolate or half in milk and half in dark. We contemplated coloured sprinkles vs. Skor bits. No option was left brown vase 3Fast forward to a week before the Bat Mitzvah and I had yet to produce a single dipped pretzel. Somehow I just hadn’t gotten around to it. There was no shortage of caramel chocolate dipped pretzel rods on the Internet for inspiration.  I found these and  these and these. However, most of them used ready-made caramels and just melted them for dipping. I needed to make 140 pretzels! By the time I finished unwrapping enough tiny caramels for melting, the Bat Mitzvah would be over. Besides, my niece deserved better than store bought caramel.

During my research I discovered that most recipes for homemade caramel followed a fairly similar ingredient list and methodology. I settled on a caramel recipe from Mrs. Fields’ blog (of the cookie fame).  Following the methodology of most of the recipes I found, I dumped butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk into the pot, brought it to a boil and started stirring. I ended up burning the bottom of the pot.  Dumped that mess out and started over again. Here is an excellent tip to remove burnt debris from the bottom of your pot: fill pot halfway with water, add a few tablespoons of powdered dishwasher detergent and bring to a boil. Rinse and scrub and most of it should come off.

Attempt # 2: I melted the butter, and then stirred in brown sugar until it dissolved. Then I added the corn syrup and condensed milk and boiled until my candy thermometer read 245°F. Once I started working with the caramel and it began to cool, it hardened too much for dipping.

At this point I suspected that my candy thermometer was off. I decided to test it by bringing a pot of cold water to a boil. Once the water was at a rolling boil, I checked my thermometer. It read 202°F.  If you recall from science class, water boils at 212°F. My thermometer was off by 10°F!

For my third attempt, I made the mental math adjustments and took the caramel off the heat at 235°F. Perfect!

making caramelspooning on caramel

I prepared a little video to show the coating and decorating process.

My sister and niece were thrilled with the finished pretzels. My sister ended up labelling them with beautiful kraft brown tags and purple raffia ribbon. She displayed them in glass ginger jars, All the guests gobbled them up very quickly.

pretzels for Em 3 pretzels for Em 2 in shot glasses 1

Click here to print recipe for Caramel Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods.

in brown vase 1

10 thoughts on “Caramel Chocolate Dipped Pretzels and a Labour of Love!

  1. faith feingold

    We admired them for over a week! They were proudly displayed in a French glass jar on our kitchen counter so we could show them off to our visitors – we get a lot of visitors! Then one night while watching tv we looked at eachother and said in unison “I think it’s time to try the caramel chocolate dipped pretzels that Cindy made for our neices Bat Mitzvah!” We savoured it slowly – they were so delicious!!! Thank you for the treat!

  2. gottagetbaked

    You guys are the best sisters!!! Everything looks absolutely incredible. I’m in awe over the cookies and I’m positively drooling over your decadent dipped pretzels. You got a whole lotta delicious awesomeness onto those pretzels. Thanks for the video too – love the music choices!

  3. themondaybox

    I had to laugh at the tag printing details you and your sister debated. We all get caught up in the silliest details in pursuit of esthetic perfection. I made the centerpieces for my son’s bar mitzvah luncheon and spent hours agonizing over the curling ribbon. It had to be evenly distributed and in identical spirals. Then I delivered the centerpieces to the luncheon venue in a wind storm! You, on the other hand, achieved AND maintained esthetic perfection with these pretzles! What a great idea for a seating card display…the pretzles, the jars, the tags. Beautiful! Though I appreciate learning the details of making caramel (can’t wait to try!) the best part of your story is the amazing love you and your siblings share through your creative offerings. Mazel tov.

  4. sue griffore

    I have found in the past that after 2-3 days the pretzel gets soggy from the caramel. Have you been able to avoid this? Hoping your caramel recipe makes the difference. Thank you

    1. saltandserenity Post author

      Hi Sue, I made about 100 of these 2 weeks in advance for my sister’s party and the pretzels were still crunchy. I wrapped each pretzel separately in a cello bag. She used them for table placecards. Good luck!


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