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Caramel Pretzel Sticks

Homemade caramel, smooth almond bark and chopped nuts make these pretzel rods sinfully delicious. This treat is always a huge hit at holiday parties. People think you spent all day in the kitchen! —Mary Bown, Evanston, Wyoming
  • Total Time
    Prep: 2 hours Cook: 35 min.
  • Makes
    about 3 dozen


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 package (12 ounces) pretzel rods
  • 6 to 12 ounces white candy coating
  • 6 to 12 ounces milk chocolate candy coating
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts, optional


  • In a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup and butter; bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, without stirring, 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until a candy thermometer reads 245° (firm-ball stage). Keep warm.
  • Pour 2 cups caramel mixture into a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Quickly dip each pretzel halfway into caramel; allow excess to drip off. Place on well-buttered baking sheets; let stand until firm. (Rewarm caramel mixture and replenish as needed.)
  • In a microwave, melt white candy coating; stir until smooth. Dip half of the caramel-dipped pretzels into the white coating; return to baking sheets. Melt milk chocolate coating; dip remaining pretzels; place on baking sheets.
  • Drizzle white-dipped pretzels with milk chocolate coating; drizzle milk chocolate-dipped pretzels with white coating. If desired, sprinkle with walnuts. Store in airtight containers.
Editor’s Note: We recommend that you test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212°. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test. Remaining caramel mixture may be poured into a well-buttered 8x4-in. loaf pan. Cool completely before cutting into squares and wrapping in waxed paper.
Nutrition Facts
1 coated pretzel stick: 132 calories, 5g fat (4g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 224mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (14g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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  • Charleen
    Dec 21, 2016

    This recipe is not hard although I used Peter's Caramel in the loaf and put it into my crock pot turned it on low let the caramel melt then took a spoon and scooped the caramel onto the sticks then put them on parchment paper and refrigerated them for several minutes then took them out of the refrigerator and covered them with melted chocolate then sprinkled them with nuts or candies or whatever you wanted then drizzled them with melted white chocolate and put them back in refrigerator to finish. You only need one person to do this it is very simple and no need to cover them with chocolate right after covering them with caramel. One person can do this very easily no need for two people. Hint: The caramel loaf is so easy no need to unwrap all those caramel pieces, it's too time consuming. This recipe takes less then 30 minutes to do three packages of pretzels.

  • Pabslp
    Dec 15, 2015

    How many pretzel rods does this recipe make?

  • begrl78
    Sep 30, 2015

    Used this recipe to make favors for my wedding and they were a big hit! I did find that parchment paper worked (instead of buttering all those trays) and could then be reused once you decorated the pretzels with chocolate. I also found that using a pint glass for the dipping the pretzels into caramel was easier than a measuring cup.

  • RhondaRisinger
    Dec 12, 2014

    Love this recipe. The caramel is well worth making. It does make a lot. I use the left over for pecan turtles. I find the caramel cools and thickens quickly. This year I put the caramel in a tall 2 cup measuring cup. I put that cup into a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup and filled the pyrex about 3/4 full with boiling water. This kept the caramel at a workable temperature. When the caramel dipped pretzel cools, it will have a flat side from laying on the pan. I put gloves on and rounded the caramel around the pretzel before dipping it into the chocolate. You don't have to have gloves, but it keeps the fingerprints off the caramel.If you wrap them individually, they make great fillers for gift baskets or coffee mugs.

  • kat0508
    Mar 23, 2013

    While this is a favorite every year. The carmel has never set up. I followed the recipe and the carmel is always to soft, I have to freeze them before dipping them. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • lynfinn
    Dec 23, 2012

    very good, make every christmas.

  • vneely
    Dec 11, 2011

    This recipe is requested every year at Christmas. And I agree that it makes a lot of caramel, but it is the best homemade caramel I have found!! I pour the leftover caramel into a greased jelly-roll pan and sprinkle with some coarse sea salt and let cool. Then cut unto squares and wrap them - great for gifts!

  • cris53
    Feb 2, 2011

    Made this recipe for a fund raiser, everyone loved them! I bought the pretzel rod container from Aldis and used all the caramel (probably 100 rods in that container).

  • slushy935
    Dec 20, 2010

    I have made this recipe now the last 3 out of 4 yrs and now it's expected almost every year. This year I am taking the left over caramel and making turtles out of it. I was upset cause there would be so much left but hopefully this will help complete the leftover. Plus I use small rods so i can give more out since I work with nearly 35-40 other employees and everyone wants one!! These are worth the time!!

  • kelsnap
    Dec 16, 2010

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM was what my husband said when he took a bite of one of these! The homemade caramel makes this! It took me about 3 hours start to finish but the end result was fantastic. As other reviewers said this makes A LOT of caramel but I also did what the recipe writer suggested and make about 30-35 caramels out of the leftovers. It was like a bonus treat! Delicious and will definitely make again. Thanks for this recipe!