Willy Wonka I Ain’t*

*Sorry if my incorrect grammar in the title has offended anyone. As a professional editor, I know emotions over the word “ain’t” can run high. I hope you don’t hold it against me.

I usually don’t do much to celebrate Valentines Day. It’s not that I’m bitter about anything, or hate all the gushy love stuff, I’m just not that into it for some reason. A few chocolate kisses and a few real ones from my handsome husband is enough V-day recognition for me. But last night I decided I wanted to make some special treats to send to my brother in New Jersey for Valentines day (yes I realize that said treats will not make it halfway across the country today, but it’s the thought that counts, right?). He’s almost done with his LDS mission, so I thought I’d send one more package before he comes home.

I decided to go with caramel-and-chocolate-covered pretzels, mostly because I wanted them (that’s usually the driving force behind any treat-making in my house). Well, as it was a Sunday evening and I had no bag of individually wrapped caramels lying around, I decided to make my own caramel. I’ve made caramel popcorn and caramel sauce, so I thought making caramel for dipping the pretzels would not be that hard. Yeah, I was wrong. Here’s what my note to my brother is going to say:

“Dear Justin,
I hope you like the pretzels. I burned my finger and made myself and my kitchen into a candy-coated mess, so even if they are mashed and broken and you have to scrape them out of the bag to eat them and they’re a little stale by the time they get to you, please pretend that you like them.
Love, your sister”

Yup, it was kind of a mini disaster. Besides the above-mentioned problems, I was also not patient enough to let the caramel reach the right temperature, so whatever magical chemistry that needs to happen to make the caramel get hard did not happen. As a result, the pretzels were really sticky, even after I put them in the fridge overnight. (Does anyone have any caramel making tips to help with this?) Then, when I went to dip them in the chocolate, the caramel started melting off, and pretty soon I had a bowl of caramel-chocolate goop the was all grainy and not pretty.

I only did half the pretzels with the dipping method before I realized it just really wouldn’t work. So instead I laid each pretzel in a little puddle of chocolate and drizzled the tops with melted chocolate.

I drizzled the dipped ones, too, to cover up the ugliness. It worked pretty well, I guess, but not exactly what I was going for. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to try again next year.

Here are the ones I’m sending:

and here are the ones I’m not:


I kept a couple good ones for myself and my honey, of course. It is Valentines Day, after all.

Hope your day has a little sticky gooey goodness, too. Happy Valentines Day!

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2 thoughts on “Willy Wonka I Ain’t*

    • Thanks Whitney. They did turn out yummy, even though they’re not very professional looking. I got the recipe for the caramel from allrecipes.com (“caramel for apples”).

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