I made these originally last Christmas for the office and loved them. I wanted to make them again thisfor my parents who’ve never tried them, but do a little something different.
I had a bottle of bourbon in my cupboard (this year’s new “it drink”) and decided to add a little to my caramels. Oh boy was it awesome! My first thought was to use rum, but I didn’t have any, but the bourbon worked very nicely. They’re very simple to make and will easily impress your friends and family. Taking the time to make your own caramel is worth it.
Pretzel Turtles with Bourbon Caramel
- 24 whole mini-pretzel twists
- 24 Bourbon Caramels
- 8 ounces , dark chocolate, melted
- 24 whole pecan halves
- 1 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup honey
- 6 tablespoons butter , cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoons sea salt
Make the caramel
Prepare an 8-inch baking pan by lining it with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Place the cream in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil. Stir in the sugar, corn syrup and honey and stir until it begins to boil. Periodically wipe down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent sugar crystals from forming.
Cook the candy, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 257 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Remove the pan from the heat immediately and stir in the butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt.
Pour into prepared pan and let set at room temperature until firm enough to cut.
Cut the caramel into small squares with a chef’s knife.
Make the turtles
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place the pecan halves in a single layer on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes, shaking the pan once halfway through, until they're lightly toasted. Remove them after they're toasted and put them on a plate to cool.
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the pretzels neatly on the pan, then top each pretzel with a caramel square. Place the pan into the oven for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the caramels are soft, but not melting. Remove the pan from the oven.
Gently press a pecan half onto each caramel, just enough for the caramel to fill the pretzel. Set them aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate. When the pretzel/caramels are cooled, remove them from the baking sheet. Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate on the parchment spacing them about 1 inch apart, then lightly drop each pretzel onto the middle of each dollop, making sure they're centered.
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman