I recently had caramel coated pretzels as a topping on ice cream at a great shop in town and fell in love. While the shop did sell small bags of them, they were five pounds each, way too expensive to fulfill my cravings, so I set out to make my own... I was a little worried that these would not be worth the effort, as I envisioned carefully watching a candy thermometer trying to get caramel just to the hard crack stage, then rushing to individually dip pretzels before it cooled to much. Then I realized I could just make them like caramel corn - replacing the popcorn with pretzels and baking them in the oven.
These come out of the oven looking very innocent - you can barely see the caramel coating, you might even make the mistake of thinking it doesn't have enough caramel. But then you put one in your mouth, and then another... and then half the bowl is gone and you feel sort of sick. So here is my warning - do not make these without having someone to share them with! They are delicious, addicting, and way too easy to eat. These are so easy to make and make an amazing party snack. Everyone is impressed by someone who makes their own caramel!
Caramel Salted Pretzels
8-9 cups (350 g) salted pretzels
56 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda
1. Preheat the oven to 120c (250f) and line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Place pretzels into a large bowl.
2. Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Once its melted add the brown sugar and corn syrup and stir till the sugar is all melted. Continue stirring, scraping the bottom of the pot, until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is even consistency or it starts to boil. Remove the pot from the heat and mix in the vanilla and baking soda.
3. Immediately pour the caramel over the pretzels and mix it in, then spread/pile the pretzels onto the prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake for 50minutes - one hour, stirring the pretzels every 15 minutes (and making sure to scrape up any caramel that tries to sit on the bottom).
5. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. As they cool down, break up the clumps once or twice (at about 3 minutes and 5 minutes out of the oven).
6. Try not to eat yourself sick.