Crunchy, salty pretzel rods dipped in soft caramel and coated with rich chocolate. Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Rods are a perfect quick treat for any sweet n’ salty lover!
Caramel and chocolate have a special place in my heart. They’ve always been a favorite flavor combo for me.
My family makes these yummy caramel and chocolate pretzel rods every year to include in our 18+ Christmas chocolates.
I made these cute Valentine’s Day inspired chocolate pretzel rods to add to a dessert charcuterie board I gave Ryan for Valentine’s Day. I also included Glazed Pecans, Chocolate-Covered Strawberries, Rolo Pretzel Turtles (super easy to make), dried fruit, and nuts.
WHAT KIND OF PRETZEL RODS SHOULD I USE:
I like to use honey wheat breaded pretzel rods but you can use regular large pretzel rods and break them in halve.
Most honey wheat breaded pretzels I’ve seen are about 3 inches in length. This is the perfect side to make a two to three bit treat once covered with caramel and chocolate.
The honey breaded pretzels also add a sweetness to the pretzel which is fabulous in this recipe.
PRO TIP #1: If using the large long (6 inches) pretzel rods, dip the end that is broken to give a cleaner more professional finish. Dip the end that is broken to make the rods look clean and complete as the broken part will be covered.
HOMEMADE VS STORE BOUGHT CARAMEL:
Homemade Soft Caramel is the best for this recipe. My caramel recipe takes about 25 minutes to make. The caramel will be ready to use almost immediately (allow it to cool slightly for a better coat).
If you don’t have the time to make homemade caramel you can use store bought caramel. Use the caramel squares or bites, you can find these in the baking isle or candy isle. Add 1-2 tablespoon of whipping cream to every 1 cup of caramel to soften it’s firmness when chilled.
If using store-bought caramel squares, unwrap the squares. Place in a microwave-safe bowl. Add whipping cream. Heat in the microwave in 30-second increments (1-3 times) stirring in between.
PRO TIP #2: Do you want to add a LOT of caramel to your pretzel rod? Use cooled caramel. Cut caramel into small pieces, flatten then wrap and shape it around the rod. Leave about 1 inch of the rod exposed so you still have a handle to dip the rod into the chocolate. You will be able to add a lot more caramel if the caramel is firm.
ADD A FESTIVE TOUCH TO YOUR CHOCOLATE PRETZEL RODS:
You can add a fun, festive pop of color by adding sprinkles to your pretzel dessert.
When we make these for our Christmas chocolate boxes, we add green, red, and white ball sprinkles.
For Valentine’s Day we love red, pink and white.
You can also have fun dipping or striping these rods with candy melting wafers which come in a variety of colors.
A GREAT TREAT TO MAKE WITH KIDS:
These chocolate pretzel rods are a great treat to make with your kids or grandkids.
I love to dip or wrap the rods in caramel (if I’m wrapping I have my girls help me), then I let them dip the caramel-covered rods in chocolate and add their own sprinkles.
This caramel chocolate dipped pretzel rod recipe is a great way to introduce recipe cooking to your kids.
HAVE EXTRA CARAMEL OR CHOCOLATE?
If you have extra caramel or chocolate here are a few recipes you might enjoy.
- Homemade Twix Bars
- Gourmet Caramel Apples
- Instant Pot Salted Caramel Cheesecake
- Make a simple chocolate bark with extra melted chocolate and sprinkles. To make this, thinly spread chocolate on a piece of parchment paper. Add sprinkles. Let set then break into pieces.
HERE’S THE FULL PRINTABLE DIRECTIONS. ENJOY!
- 1 bag PRETZEL RODS, Honey wheat breaded (they're about 3 inches long) or large pretzel rods broke in half (to be about 3 inches)
- 1-2 cups HOMEMADE SOFT CARAMELS (printable recipe can be found below this recipe card) or store-bought caramel squares (add 1-2 tablespoons whipping cream to 1 cup caramel squares to help soften)
- 1-2 cups CHOCOLATE CHIPS, chocolate or white chocolate
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. This will help the chocolate and caramel dipped rods release when ready.
DIPPED CARAMEL (warmed caramel=thinner caramel layer):
*If using homemade caramel recipe immediately after making, let the caramel cool slightly for a thicker coat.
*If using store-bought caramel add 1-2 tablespoons whipping cream to 1 cup caramel squares. Heat in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second increments stirring in between. Heat 2-3 times until smooth.
- Dip rods (dip broken end if using regular pretzels) into warm caramel.
- Place caramel-dipped rods on the prepared cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in the freezer to allow rods to cool and set (chocolate will set quicker and look better if the caramel layer is cold and firm).
WRAPPED CARAMEL (room temperature caramel=thicker caramel layer):
If you desire a thicker coat of caramel, use room temperature homemade caramel or store-bought squares with cream added, heated then cooled to room temperature. This will give the rods a much thicker layer of caramel.
- Cut small chunks of caramel, flatten into a silver dollar size pancake then wrap caramel around the rod. Shape the caramel as needed.
- Wrapped caramel rods can be dipped immediately or set in the freezer to chill (chocolate will set quicker and look better if the caramel layer is cold and firm).
- In a microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips in 15-30 second increments stirring after each. Heat 2-3 times until there are only small lumps. Stir until lumps melt. DO NOT OVERHEAT.
- Dip chilled caramel pretzel rods into melted chocolate chips. Tap extra chocolate off the rod.
- Place on prepared cookie sheet.
- Immediately add sprinkles before chocolate sets.
- Enjoy once the chocolate has set.
Have extras? Store in an airtight container or bag in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks or longer.
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 lb dark brown sugar, about 2 1/4 cups packed
- 1 cup salted butter
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large pot add sweetened condensed milk, dark brown sugar, salted butter, and corn syrup. Cook over medium to medium-high heat. Stir constantly to avoid bottom from burning.
- Mixture will begin to bubble and increase in volume. Avoid scraping sides of pan as this can make the caramel crystallize during the cooling phase (and go "grainy" or "sugary.") Using a calibrated candy thermometer, cook mixture to 234-238 degrees F or soft ball stage (depending on how soft you want your caramels to be).
- You can test how soft or firm it is by dipping a spoonful into a cup of ice water to cool quickly.
- Remove from heat and add vanilla.
- Pour into a butter greased 9x13 inch pan. Pour quickly and DO NOT scrape sides of pan (this can cause the caramel to crystallize and go grainy also.
- Once cooled, wrap individual pieces in waxed paper and store in an airtight container or bag. Will keep for several weeks if kept cool.
- You can wash sides of pan using a basting brush and water to help remove any sugar crystals that may have splashed onto the side of the pot. The water helps push sugar crystals back into the pot to minimize the possibility of crystallization (caramels going grainy).
- If you want to save ALL the caramel including what is left in the pan after pouring the majority into the 9x13 inch pan, scrape the remaining caramel into a separate pan or jar. The portion that was scraped is more likely to go grainy do to sugar crystals on the side of the pot.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 60 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 118Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 49mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 19gProtein: 1g