Monday, December 21, 2009

gourmet pretzel rods

i am guilty of buying these treats online and sending them to family and friends near and far.
i won't be ordering them anymore since i made them myself yesterday.
very easy to make, the taste is unbeatable, variations are endless.

Pretzel Yummies
2 cups walnuts
1 cup peanut butter or butterscotch flavored chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cups sweetened condensed milk, roughly 1/2 a 14 oz. can
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
40 pretzel rods

In a food processor, combine walnuts, peanut butter pieces, and milk chocolate pieces. Cover and pulse until mixture is coarsely chopped. Or coarsely chop ingredients separately with a knife, then combine.
In a small heavy saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sweetened condensed milk. Return to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 236ยบ F (approximately 10 minutes). Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.
Remove saucepan from heat, stir in vanilla. Cool for 15 minutes.
Dip a spoon into the caramel mixture. Holding the spoon in one hand and a pretzel rod in the other, let the caramel drizzle off the spoon and on to 1/2 of the pretzel rod while turning the pretzel rod. You do not need to coat completely, mine had swirls of caramel on them with gaps showing. (I was able to cover twice as many rods this way. The original recipe suggests dipping 2/3 of the rod into the caramel.)
Let excess caramel drip off. Spoon or roll some of the chopped mixture onto the caramel covered pretzel, pressing crumbs lightly with the back of spoon or your fingers.
Let stand on nonstick foil until caramel is set.
Store in an airtight container between layers of wax paper in the refrigerator up to 4 days or freeze up to 1 month.

here are some other yummy suggestions you could roll the caramel covered rods in:
white chocolate chips
mini marshmallows
chopped peppermint patties
mini m & m's
crushed oreo's
your favorite chopped up candy bars
rainbow jimmies
candy melts, drizzled on

adapted from: better homes and garden annual recipe book 2003, page 304

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