Admission: I've been meaning to food blog for a long time, and have always come up with some excuse. My camera is too old, my kitchen's lighting sucks, my food isn't pretty. And so on. But here I am, ready to take the plunge. Luckily, I have an immensely charming sister who also spends way to much time reading blogs (of another sort) and was willing to go in together. Also, I got a cute little lamp to improve the lighting in my kitchen.
To start off, I figured I should make something fantabulous and unusual. Enter dijon + pretzels + caramel + chocolate. I've always been partial to mustard as a condiment, and to salty sweet things, so I figured this recipe from Gourmet's website would be a good excuse.
The recipe instructs you to make a wet caramel with water and sugar. As you can see, my first try didn't turn out so well. And it actually looks better than the second try. I think they all got the idea to crystallize and it spread like. . . a prion?
Thanks to David Lebowitz though, I tried making the caramel without water, which worked much better. When it gets nice and smooth, stop the caramel with the butter, cream, mustard, and 2 Tbsp water (because I didn't add it at the beginning)
Line your pan with foil (I used a 9x9) and lightly grease it, then lay in your pretty pretzels in an organized fashion. Though less organization would certainly taste good too. A third of the pretzels should be crushed/chunked up.
When the caramel is done, pour it over the pretzel layer and let is hang out for about 20 minutes until it's hard. Meanwhile, melt your chocolate in a bowl over a pot of boiling water. Spread it over the caramel and sprinkle the crushed pretzels over it. Then let it cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Mustard Caramel Crunchies with Chocolate Glaze
adapted from Gourmet
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/8 cup water
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 6 oz thin pretzel sticks, divided
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Line baking pan with nonstick foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides. Arrange two thirds (4 oz) of pretzel sticks in baking pan, all in same direction.
- Heat the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, folding and stirring as the bottom begins to melt. Keep stirring to keep the caramel from burning. When the caramel is smooth and dark-amber colored, remove from heat and add mustard, butter, cream, and water . It will bubble a lot, but keep stirring carefully until incorporated
- Pour caramel over pretzels as evenly as possible. Let caramel set, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Put remaining 2 oz pretzels in a resealable bag and crush with a rolling pin.
- Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pot of boiling water and pour over caramel layer, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with crushed pretzels. Chill 30 minutes.
- Lift out confection using foil overhang and transfer to a cutting board. Let stand about 10 minutes, then cut into 36 squares. Invert to serve caramel side up (lift squares off foil to serve).