Disneyland made me a pretzel snob.
As you walk off the Winnie the Pooh ride, you walk into an adorable sweet shop where the Disney experts dip the cutest caramel apples and other sorts of treats. I was happy with my caramel apple and would have never chosen a chocolate pretzel as my treat, but Kathryn offered me a bite of hers... and the rest is history.
I can no longer appreciate a simple chocolate dipped pretzel...they MUST have caramel!
Yes, they look the same as a regular old chocolate dipped pretzel, but when you bite into them, you have a salted caramel surprise that makes you feel like you just won the lottery or something.
Okay, maybe not that. But really, we're talking about a whole new level of pretzel.
Now I start dreaming of these things as soon as we plan a Disneyland trip. They are almost $4.00 a pop but I just plan on wasting a cool 20 on those things for my family. It's worth it.
I have, however figured out a way to make them. The only bad news for these is that there are dishes waiting for me afterwards, instead of Winnie the Pooh characters, like after I leave the sweet shop.
You win some you lose some.
To get started you need caramel. I used regular old caramel squares. The Kraft caramel bits that come in little tiny balls of caramel are so much better because you don't have to unwrap them. But sometimes they are hard to find.
I used approximately 2 cups of these and threw in 2 tsp. of water. I microwaved it for 1 minute, then stirred, then microwaved it for 30 seconds more. Your times may vary a little but this worked for me.
A 2 cup pyrex measuring cup is perfect to use. It doesn't even have to be totally full. If you tip it on it's side and roll the pretzel, you can get about 30ish pretzel rods out of it. I bought plenty of extra pretzel rods because about 1/4 of the bag was always broken.
After I dip, I actually scrape a lot of it off on the edge. You don't want it too thick.
Or maybe you do. Who am I to say?
The more you have, the more pooling you will have after you set it down. But no matter how little you have on there, there will be a little pooling and a flat side to your pretzel. This is easily solved by a little trick I know. You can see the ones I worked my magic on.
Before you dip it in chocolate, you roll the pretzel back and forth between your hands. It's like rolling a cake pop, kind of.
Now that your flat side is gone, your can dip it in your chocolate or candy melts. I add about 2 tsp of paramount crystals to my candy melts to make it a little thinner. Again, you just need to tip with one hand, and roll the pretzel till it's covered in chocolate. You can leave a little caramel showing, but I like to surprise people, so I keep it a secret.
You can, at this point, set your pretzel down on parchment paper. But that leaves a flat side to your treat. This is fine if you're setting them on a platter.
But sometimes I want them to come out round on all sides and I lie awake at night worrying about my pretzel flatness. In my sleeplessness, I came up with a lame, but workable solution. Don't laugh.
I created a way for them to dry upright, by punching holes in some flower foam and lining that hole with tin foil (to protect the food from the green stuff). I'm sure there's a better and smarter way. But that's what I came up with when I was tired.
Who needs Disneyland anyway. (I do) They turned out fab. I could even put candy on the outside or make them look like tigger tails if I really want to be like the Winnie the Pooh shop.
These were for the 4th though, so I used some festive sprinkles.
A cylinder vase was a great way to display 9 or so of these.
This treat is perfect for any holiday. Just match your chocolate colors and sprinkles to the closest holiday. And when you make them yourself, you don't have to handover a 20 to get what you need!
Just one bite and you might become a pretzel snob too.
(Consider yourself warned).