I am a huge fan of all things salty and sweet… Salted caramel? I can eat it by the spoonful. Chocolate dipped pretzels? I love them! And, I totally understand the bacon cupcake fetish…While I’ve never actually baked one, I can definitely imagine all of the salty sweet goodness.
I remember when the Take5 candy bars first came out… I believe I was in high school. They quickly became a fast favorite of mine, and I’ve had a soft spot for them ever since. I remember discovering one of the few vending machines on campus at my college that always had a few rows stocked with Take5 bars. It was conveniently located in the same building as my computer science classes, and I can tell you that I ate one for breakfast on more than one occasion.
So, when I was perusing the January issue of Bon Appétit, and I stumbled on an easy recipe for chocolate covered pralines, I knew what I had to do… I had to add them to pretzels! For me, pralines are a bit too sweet on their own. But, once you add something salty? I’m sold! Less than 24 hours after seeing the recipe, I had already gathered up the ingredients and made my own salty sweet version!
You’ll need a candy thermometer for this recipe, but don’t let that scare you. These are incredibly easy to make. Just make sure you have everything ready to go before you get started because the process can go quickly, and you don’t want the praline mixture to cool too much before you get it spooned onto the pretzels!
Pretzel Praline Bites
Makes about 3 dozen
(Adapted from Bon Appétit, January 2012)
- 36 bite sized pretzels
(I used square pretzel snaps)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Pinch Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces milk chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable shortening
Arrange the pretzels on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper (or a silicone baking mat works well, too!) and set aside.
In a large heavy saucepan, combine the pecans, sugar, brown sugar, heavy cream, butter, and Kosher salt. Fit the saucepan with your candy thermometer. Place the pan over medium-high heat and gently stir to combine. Stir only until the ingredients are combined.
Bring the mixture to a boil, swirling gently every once in a while. Continue to cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches 236°F.
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Continue to stir until the mixture cools and thickens slightly. You don’t want it to be too thick, but just thick enough that it will retain its shape and not run all over the baking sheet.
Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto each of the pretzels (the amount you use will depend on the size and shape of the pretzels you’re using). Set the tray in a cool place for an hour or two until the praline sets.
Once the praline has set up, combine the chopped milk chocolate and vegetable shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium power for about 30 seconds at a time, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Transfer to a squeeze bottle, and drizzle over the praline bites.
Allow the chocolate to cool and harden before transfering the praline bites to an airtight container. They will keep for up to a week.