Lately my little boy has been super obsessed with pretzels. It’s his snack of choice whenever we’re out and about. We were shopping at Aldi the other day and I saw a big container of pretzel rods–I knew Jackson would LOVE them (which he did) and I wanted an excuse to dip them in chocolate for a little sweet treat! Thanks to Jackson we now refer to these as “Big Giant Pretzels”.
The best part about these though, is not the chocolate. It’s the easy homemade caramel that they’re dipped in! I used my moms AMAZING Homemade Caramels recipe for the caramel. Then I dipped them in semi-sweet chocolate. A-MAZING. The end.
- For the Caramel: *see Notes for a faster caramel method
- 1/2 cup of salted butter (1 stick)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup light karo syrup
- 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Pretzel Rods
- 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- Prepare two large baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Add butter, sugar, and karo syrup to a large heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat. Stir over medium heat until mixture begins to boil, about 5-10 minutes.
- Gradually add the evaporated milk, pouring it in slowly so that the mixture maintains a constant boil.
- Stir the mixture regularly, scraping the sides until it reaches a soft ball stage. This part takes patience and could take anywhere from 20-40 minutes or longer, depending on where you live. Just test the caramel with the ice water method--drop a spoonful of hot caramel sauce into a cup of ice water and mold it with your fingers. When it's ready it will feel really soft but still pliable. Don't overcook it! Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
- Dip Pretzel Rods in caramel. I use a spoon to scoop the sauce onto the pretzels and turn them as I go. Allow excess sauce to drip off and place the dipped pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- After the caramel has set on the pretzels (about 10-20 minutes) prepare the melted chocolate by placing chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave until melted. Dip the pretzel rods in the chocolate. (I used a spatula to spoon the chocolate onto them and smooth it around.)
- Again lay the dipped pretzels on a parchment lined sheet to set. At this point you could add other toppings like mini chocolate chips or sprinkles.
- Refrigerate until fully set. If chocolate pooled at the base of the pretzel you could easily shave it off with a knife, for aesthetics, if you want. Let the pretzels sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before eating.
- *If you don't want to make the caramel from scratch you could use Kraft Caramel Bits or hard wrapped candy caramels. I like the Kraft Caramel Bits because you just pour the entire bag in a microwave safe bowl with a little water and heat on high for 2 minutes. Allow the caramel to cool off a little before dipping your pretzels in it.