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Caramel-Dipped Pretzel Sticks

Caramel-dipped pretzel sticks are a curious combination of sweet, salty, crunchy, and chewy. They might make you exclaim something like “Curiouser and curiouser!” and even if that’s not proper English, you would not be wrong.–Julie Van Rosendaal

LC Sweet Meets Salty Note

Sweet, meet salty. Salty, meet sweet. There. Now that that’s taken care of, we’ll let you two get acquainted. (Why did no one think to introduce them until now?! How rude of us.)

Special Equipment: Candy or deep-fry thermometer

Caramel-Dipped Pretzel Sticks Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 50 M
  • Makes about 100

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup corn syrup or golden syrup
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 ounces (about 1/2 bag) skinny, salted pretzel sticks

Directions

  • 1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the syrup, sugar, and salt over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture begins to simmer around the edges. At this point, stop stirring, although you can tilt the pan to swirl the mixture. Cook, uncovered, tilting the pan occasionally as the temperature rises, until the mixture reaches 305°F (150°C) on a candy thermometer. Be careful not to overcook the sugar mixture.
  • 2. Meanwhile, warm the cream in a small saucepan.
  • 3. When the sugar mixture reaches 305°F (150°C), remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Carefully and gradually stir in the hot cream. (It will bubble up and steam pretty violently, so be careful.) The caramel will clump up as some of the caramel solidifies, but don’t worry about this. Return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally at the beginning and more frequently later on, until the mixture is smooth again and reaches 260°F (125°C), which ought to take 10 to 15 minutes.
  • 4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside for 5 minutes or so, until it thickens to the texture of molasses. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • 5. Dip each pretzel stick into the caramel about a third to halfway up the stick, tilting and swirling the stick as you remove it from the caramel to catch the drips and let them coat the bottom of each pretzel stick. Place the pretzel sticks on the parchment and let set until cool. If the caramel thickens to the point where you can’t dip the pretzels anymore, warm it over low heat until it’s once again dippable. Then crunch away.

Salted Caramels Variation

  • Rather than dip pretzel sticks into the caramel, you could simply make salted caramel pieces. Follow the instructions above, but pour the caramel into a 9-inch square pan lined with buttered aluminum foil. Let it set for an hour or so, until slightly firm but still tacky. Sprinkle the surface lightly with flaky or coarse sea salt, pressing gently to help it adhere, and leave for another 3 to 4 hours, until firm. Remove the whole block of caramel and cut it into small squares. Wrap each caramel individually in waxed paper or cellophane.
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