These easy and fun Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Rods are the perfect sweet and salty gift or snack. This recipe contains an easy, step-by-step guide to making sweet, silky smooth, and delicious caramel, as well as plenty of ideas for yummy toppings.
Homemade Chocolate Caramel Dipped Pretzel Rods
Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Rods have it all. They’re crunchy, sweet, salty, pretty to look at and super simple to make at home. Whether you need an easy holiday gift or a simple snack, this recipe is a keeper.
We’ve given you step-by-step instructions to make a delicious homemade caramel that can also be used for dipping caramel apples or even just as homemade caramel candy. But, if you are short on time you can also use melted Kraft caramels - we won’t tell anyone!
Decorating pretzel rods is also a great activity to get little ones involved with. It can make a fun gift for grandparents, teachers or anyone else.
Ingredients for Homemade Caramel
- Butter - we suggest using unsalted butter. If you use salted, you can reduce or eliminate the additional salt.
- Sugar - use regular white granulated sugar.
- Light Brown Sugar - this adds a deep caramel flavor.
- Karo Syrup - you can also substitute corn syrup.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk - be sure not to accidentally use evaporated milk! It’s an easy mistake to make.
- Salt - sea salt works great.
- Vanilla Extract - pure vanilla extract tastes best.
How to Make Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Rods
Easy Homemade Caramel
- Melt your ingredients. In a deep saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, sugar, brown sugar, Karo syrup, sweetened condensed milk and salt. Stir until all of the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted.
- Cook. Continue stirring constantly, cooking until the caramel mixture reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
- Remove from heat. Once it reaches 240 degrees F, remove from the heat immediately to and let cool off of the heat for about 5 minutes, or until it stops bubbling but is still hot.
Decorating Your Pretzel Rods
- Prepare a sheet tray. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly butter.
- Dip into caramel. Dip pretzel rods about ⅔ of the way into the hot caramel and let the excess caramel drip off back into the pot. Lay the dipped pretzels onto your prepared baking sheet to set.
- Decorate as desired. Once the caramel has set, you can decorate however you would like! You may want to dip pretzels into melted chocolate, or just add a drizzle and then roll in your favorite sprinkles, small candies or other toppings. If you want to nix the chocolate and just go with caramel pretzel rods, make sure to roll them in the ingredients before they have set up completely so they will stick well.
- Package or store. If you want to give as gifts, you can package them individually in cellophane bags wrapped with ribbon or a sticker. Otherwise, they can be stored at room temp, in the fridge or even in the freezer.
Toppings for Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Rods
Here are a few of our favorite toppings. If you are making these for a specific holiday, you can stick to a theme or else add whatever you like best. It’s hard to go wrong!
- Chocolate: you can use white, milk, dark or semi sweet chocolate candy melts or even melt flavored chocolate chips if you’d like! You can either transfer to a microwave-safe bowl and melt for about 30 seconds at a time, or melt slowly over a double boiler. (Note: be sure to stir the chocolate with a spoon or rubber spatula as you melt so that it doesn’t burn)
- Sprinkles: use single color, rainbow or holiday themed sprinkles. You can also find sprinkles in a variety of fun shapes!
- Candy: try mini chocolate chips and different crushed candies such as peppermints.
- Nuts: any type of crushed nuts will work!
Storing Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Rods
How Long Can You Keep Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Rods in the Fridge?
As long as they are sealed in an airtight container, these can be kept in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Make sure they are sealed and that no moisture can get inside.
How Do You Keep Dipped Pretzel Rods Fresh at Room Temp?
These will stay fresh at room temp for up to 2 days as long as they are stored in an airtight container in a relatively cool, dark place.
Can You Freeze Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods?
Sure! Wrap them up super well, store in an airtight container and they will hold up well for about 1 month. Just make sure and add a layer of parchment paper or wax paper between each pretzel layer so that they don’t stick.
Recipe: Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Rods
- 1 cup Butter
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Light Brown sugar
- 1 cup Karo Syrup or corn syrup
- 1 14-oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk Be sure this is NOT evaporated milk
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 pkg Pretzel Rods
- 1 cup White Chocolate melted
- 1 cup Milk Chocolate melted
- Sprinkles or Small Candies
How to Make Homemade Caramel
- In a deep saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, sugar, brown sugar, Karo syrup, sweetened condensed milk and salt. Stir until all of the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted.
- Continue stirring constantly, cooking until the caramel mixture reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
- Once it reaches 240 degrees F, remove from the heat immediately to and let cool off of the heat for about 5 minutes, or until it stops bubbling but is still hot.
How to Dip Pretzel Rods
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly butter.
- Dip pretzel rods about ⅔ of the way into the hot caramel and let the excess caramel drip off back into the pot. Lay the dipped pretzels onto your prepared baking sheet to set.
- Decorate as desired with melted white chocolate, milk chocolate, sprinkles or small candies. Let them set up completely before transferring to an airtight container to store. Enjoy!
Here are some more dessert recipes that we love!
- Unicorn Hot Chocolate Bombs
- Lemon Bundt Cake
- Raspberry Sweet Rolls
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Chocolate Fondue
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These Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Rods are crunchy, sweet, salty, pretty to look at and super simple to make at home. Whether you need an easy holiday gift or a simple snack, this recipe is a keeper.