I have been visualizing how to make the perfect chocolate covered caramel pretzel rods since the pretzel rod disaster of '08.
I was all ready to make some of these babies as Christmas gifts for friends and neighbors when I hit a major road block. The caramel I bought and melted became as hard a rock after it cooled on the pretzel rod. I couldn't have my friends and neighbors breaking their teeth on my gift! So I scrapped the project and made them cookies instead.
Ever since that fateful day, I have been going over my mistake. Store bought caramel! So I've been waiting for my opportunity to make these again to redeem myself.
I recently had a luncheon at church to show appreciation for all the teachers who teach the children each Sunday. I gave a little talk about how our teachers are like shepherds for these little lambs and how we can love them as the Good Shepherd has shown love to us. I made the pretzel rods to give to the teachers to represent a shepherd's rod.
Now, did I plan the gift around the lesson or the lesson around the gift. You decide!
Anyway, it turned out great and I wanted to share my caramel recipe so no one has to go through a caramel debacle!
Chocolate Covered Caramel Pretzel Rods
Things to get:
Pretzel rods (recipe makes about 50!)
Whole package of Chocolate candy quick (found at Wal-Mart) or 2-3 bags of chocolate candy melts
Vanilla candy melts to drizzle (optional)
First make a batch of caramel:
1c. Karo syrup
1c. Brown sugar
1c. White sugar
1 stick of butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Put first 5 ingredients in a large sauce pan over medium heat and stir until melted and combined. Bring to a boil and stir for five minutes. Be careful to keep stirring so that it doesn't start to burn on the bottom of the pan. Take caramel off the burner after 5 minutes.
Put the hot caramel in a deep container. I used my Pyrex 4 cup measuring cup.
Prepare a couple cookie sheets lined with wax paper and spray the paper with PAM or coat with a thin layer of softened butter so caramel won't stick.
Dip pretzel rod in caramel, about 3/4 of the way and let it drip off any excess caramel. Then lay the rod on the cookie sheet.
Repeat with remaining pretzels.
Put cookie sheets in the fridge to help set up caramel.
Once caramel is set, lift up each pretzel rod off the wax paper and mold caramel around the rod since it will puddle on the sides as it cools.
Prepare the cookie sheets again with new pieces of wax paper. No PAM or butter needed this time.
Melt chocolate in a deep container and dip caramel covered pretzel rods.
Place chocolate covered pretzel rods on cookie sheets and place in fridge to set up.
In a zip lock baggie, melt the vanilla candy melts in the microwave. When completely melted, cut a tiny hole in the corner and drizzle the chocolate on the rods.
Place back into the fridge to set up.
Tip: I ran out of pretzel rods before I ran out of caramel and chocolate. So I put the caramel in a greased glass 8x8 and made some yummy soft caramel squares. I also put some dry roasted peanuts in the leftover melted chocolate and spooned in out on wax paper for some yummy peanut clusters. I'm just like the Indians. I don't let anything go to waste. Especially chocolate!
Well, I hope these turn out for you. They are a lot of work but so very worth it! Enjoy!