Caramel Dipped Pretzels

 

2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup butter, cubed
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 (10 ounce) packages pretzel rods
2-3 cups finely chopped pecans, walnuts, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips or any other desired coatings (in any combination)

 

  1. In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup and butter.

  2. Bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.

  3. Continue boiling, without stirring, at a moderate-steady rate for 4 minutes.

  4. Remove from the heat; stir in milk.

  5. Return to the heat. Reduce to medium-low; cook and stir to a "firm ball" stage.  A candy  thermometer should read around 235 degrees, but testing in cold water works best for me.  Be sure to stir/scrape the bottom of the pan frequently to keep sugar from burning on the pan.

  6. Keep warm.
    Pour 1 cup caramel into a 1 cup glass measuring cup. (Set this cup in hot water to keep the caramel warm enough to work with.)

  7. Quickly dip each pretzel halfway into caramel. (I like to break the pretzel rods in half before I coat them to make smaller ones.)

  8. Allow excess to drip off.

  9. Roll quickly in chopped nuts/chopped chocolate. 

  10. If using chopped chocolate or white chocolate, you'll need to cool the pretzel sticks in an upright position to keep the chocolate from smearing.  I used an upside down egg carton with holes poked in the egg compartments to stand the pretzel sticks in while they cooled.  I cooled them outside when the temp was about 20 degrees, but you could set the whole thing in the freezer or refrigerator to cool. If you just roll them in nuts and your caramel isn't too warm, you can place on waxed paper lined baking sheets to cool. Keep an eye on them, and if they start to get lopsided, roll them over a few times while cooling...

Store dipped pretzels tightly wrapped in the refrigerator.