pretzel covered caramel apples.

by Janetha on October 1, 2012

in Uncategorized

it’s october! you guys know i am obsessed with national food holidays. here are a few of october’s:

  • National Apple Month
  • National Pretzel Month
  • National Caramel Month
  • National Dessert Month
  • Eat Better, Eat Healthier Month

i did a guest post for ashley last year that incorporated these october food holidays. i never got around to posting the recipe on my own blog, so i decided october 1 was the best day for this. enjoy!

I decided to whip up a recipe that combines five October food holidays so I could really showcase my strange obsession with national food holidays.


That’s a surefire way to make friends, right?


Just put all your odd quirks on the table, and if any one still likes you, you know you’ve made a true friend or two.


And, hey, if you make these apples, you might even be able to bribe more than one or two people to be your friend despite your odd quirks.

Pretzel Covered Caramel Apples

Makes 12 apples

  • 12 apples (tart ones are best)
  • 12 sucker sticks, popsicle sticks or bamboo skewers plus decoration (if desired)
  • 3 cups salted pretzels, crushed into bits
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (one cube) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  1. Remove stems from apples, wash and dry.
  2. Decorate sticks if you want, then stick about 1” into each apple (where the stem was.)
  3. After crushing your pretzels, place them in a shallow bowl.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt cream and butter over medium heat.
  5. Whisk in sugar, syrup and molasses and turn heat to high, bringing the mixture to a boil.
  6. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. To check if the caramel sauce is thick enough, dip a spoon into the sauce and pull it out—if a thick layer of sauce sticks to the spoon then you are good to go.
  8. Whisk in the vanilla bean paste.
  9. Remove caramel sauce from heat and let cool for about five minutes. You may transfer it to a bowl to speed up the cooling process.
  10. Carefully dip each apple into the caramel sauce a few times so a nice, even coat of caramel is achieved.
  11. Roll each apple into the crushed pretzels so there is an even layer around the entire apple.
  12. Place each apple onto parchment paper to dry.
  13. Serve immediately or package apples individually in cellophane wrap tied shut with cute ribbon (yes, the cute ribbon is required.)


Step-By-Step Tutorial Time!

First, pick your apples. I like tart apples because they pair well with the sweet caramel. My favorite apples to use for this recipe are Honeycrisp and Granny Smith.. plus, it’s more fun to use both a red and a green apple, right?


After de-stemming, washing & drying your apples (don’t forget to remove the stickers!), set them aside and get ready for arts & crafts time!


You could always just use the white sticks and call it good, but I decided to fancy these apples up a bit by decorating the sticks. I tried two methods and will show you both.

First up: sticky glitter tape.


This was the easiest method because the adhesive was already on the decoration. I simply placed the tape about 1” down the stick (leaving the part that goes into the apple bare) and wrapped the tape in a spiral down the stick, snipping it once I reached the end.


The second method was a little more labor-intensive, but I think it turned out cuter. Although, if I could find some polka-dotted tape, this method wouldn’t be needed at all.

For this method, you’ll need cute ribbon and super glue.


Dab a bit of glue on the inside edge of the ribbon, then place the edge onto the stick.. again, about 1” down the stick.  Wrap in a spiral until you reach the end of the stick, snip the ribbon and dab another bit of glue on the tail end to seal the deal.

IMG_5211 IMG_5213

Tada! Cute apple sticks!


Stick a stick about 1” into each apple and set the apples aside.

Time to get started on the pretzels!  Place your pretzels in a Ziploc bag.


I only had quart-sized zipper bags, so I had to crush my pretzels in stages.. but you could do them all in one big bag.  Grab a bottle of anything—I used a bottle of wine. Use the base of the bottle to crush the pretzels up a bit.


Finish the process by rolling the bottle over the bag.


Place the pretzel bits in a shallow bowl and set aside.


Time to make the caramel!


In a medium saucepan, combine cream & butter and heat over medium heat until butter is melted.

Next, whisk in the sugar, syrup and molasses. Turn heat to high and bring mixture to a boil.


Once it is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.


To test the caramel sauce, dip a spoon into the sauce and pull it out. If there is a thick layer of caramel sauce stuck to the spoon, you are good to go.  Just before removing the sauce from the heat, whisk in the vanilla bean paste.

Remove saucepan from heat and let the caramel sauce cool for about five minutes. To expedite the cooling process, I transferred it into a bowl.


Assembly time!







IMG_5263 IMG_5266 IMG_5273

Place all the apples on parchment paper to dry.


Serve immediately or wrap in cellophane sealed with a cute ribbon/bow.


So, I think you have made the food holiday connection so far, right?  This recipe celebrates National Apple Month, National Pretzel Month, National Caramel Month, National Dessert Month… oh, and that last one, Eat Better, Eat Healthier Month?  The healthy apples in this pretzel-covered dessert cancel out the sugary caramel. Promise.

xo. Janetha G.

Print Friendly
Coco October 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm

How cute and awesome! And definitely “healthier” than some of those candy and chocolate covered apples you see out there. I will be attempting these this fall :-)

Momma b October 1, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Wow you’ve been busy….who gets the yummy treats?!? As I quickly throw my hand in the air :-)

Yep fall is in the air!!

Love you.

Janetha October 1, 2012 at 7:36 pm

hahaha um. re-read the intro. you were too busy proof reading to realize i made these a year ago!

Blog is the New Black October 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm

LOVE this idea, girl.

maria @ lift love life October 1, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Amazing. And I don’t even like apples that much (I know, I know!).

Lauren October 1, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I absolutely love this idea! I don’t think I’ve ever made carmel apples but I’ve enjoyed a few in my life. Making them seems like so much fun. It’s like the fall christmas cookie experience. :)

Katie @ Talk Less, Say More October 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm

YUM! And it gets me thinking there should be a chocolate caramel pretzel covered apples….yes? yes?!

Carly @ Snack Therapy October 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm

HOW have I never thought of/seen this before? And WHY is it not sitting in my kitchen, because I basically need this, like, now. Such an awesome recipe : ).

mary @ what's cookin with mary October 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm

This is such a cute idea! I think this would be fun to bring to a Halloween party.

lindsay October 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm

i hope you drank that wine… just sayin

kathleen @ the daily crumb October 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm

i love these! as someone who does not like nuts, this is the perfect crunchy alternative.

Julie @ Sweetly Balanced October 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I love these decorative sticks you used!!! I’m going to be making these soon!! :)

Kim October 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm

LOVE this recipe. What says fall more than caramel apples??

Erica October 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm

OMGOSH! These are so cute! I want one!! I’ve never made candy apples. I totally want to do it with Kay one day

kim@hungryhealthygirl October 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm

How festive are those!?!?! I love honeycrisp apples and pretzels, carmel and apples are an awesome combo!!

PurelyMichelle October 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm

awesome idea!! perfect for parties too

ali October 1, 2012 at 8:16 pm

They look amazing Janetha! Sooooo delicious! And look at you…..gettin’ all crafty! I’m so proud! I’m going to have to make these for sure! Thanks for sharing! Miss you, by the way! :)

Janetha October 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Miss you, too! Heard you were at the chiro today :( hope your back is OK

Heather (Heather's Dish) October 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm

You are so adorable :) and I’m super impressed with the homemade caramel!

Rae October 1, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Today is national vegetarian day!

Sort of a food holiday.

sarah @ sarah learns October 1, 2012 at 8:56 pm

these are super cute! i’m usually too lazy to make something like this, but after reading this post, i have the urge to get busy covering some apples in caramel! :)

also, i bet washi tape would be a great option to cover the sticks!

Janetha October 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I have never heard of that! I will look it up!

Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries October 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm

What a cute idea! I love it. I’m not sure I’d have the patience to make these, but you can send some my way to eat any day! ;)

Brittany @Berries and Barbells October 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I’m going to have to make these with my kids. They look amazing!

Sarah @ The Healthy Diva October 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Seriously one of my favourite desserts. When I had my braces removed it was the first thing I dug my new pearly whites into. Don’t know why I’ve never thought of making them at home…super simple recipe! Thanks for sharing :)

Corrie Anne October 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Those are beautiful!! Love that glitter tape!

Heidi kokborg October 2, 2012 at 6:46 am

They look so beautiful! I have to make them this fall – maybe for my birthday?? :)

Kim @ The Family Practice October 2, 2012 at 6:51 am

Super cute! Salty carmel apples – yes please!

Megan @ Fiterature October 2, 2012 at 8:13 am

*Non-apple related question alert*
For the LIFE of me, my camera will NOT do the whole “focus on the front thing, blur out the rest” look that you have going on here. WHAT kind of setting are you using? And are you a genius?

Janetha October 2, 2012 at 8:31 am

Haha.. no.. not a genius. I use the canon f/1.8 lens and manual mode. I adjust the shutter speed and ISO according to the lighting and that’s it!

Calee October 2, 2012 at 8:23 am

I had to stop by to say lovely photos! I seriously need some better lighting in my life. Dungeon apartment blows for food blogging.

ALSO, look at you bein’ crafty! :)

Janetha October 2, 2012 at 8:30 am

Ugh yeah, my house is pretty dark and dreary, too. there is ONE spot that is OK ONE time of day. Waiting for it so I can take photos of last night’s cookies, haha. Lighting sucks!

Calee October 2, 2012 at 8:31 am

can’t wait to see your cookies from last night. are there any left? ;)

I might actually give away a subscription to my cookie of the month club this year. the only thing is, that I’d be worried about catering to food allergies because it gets damn expensive.

Janetha October 2, 2012 at 9:18 am

Yes there are lots left! I mainly ate the dough and then just one baked cookie. Marshall’s mom is still here so she handled a couple and so did Marsh, but we couldn’t conquer them all hah.

I have mailed baked goods before, but it’s never worked out in my favor.

Life's a Bowl October 2, 2012 at 8:29 am

These are SO COOL and I bet they taste awesome, a perfect fall treat!!! sweet + salty is my favorite combo, I totally want to make these [or just eat one] :P

Claire @ Live and Love to Eat October 2, 2012 at 11:35 am

Too freaking adorable – and I’m sure, delicious!

Annette@FitnessPerks October 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm

LOOOOOVVEEEE this!!! You know I am obsessed with caramel right? And i LOVE salt/sweet combos?! You read my MIND, lady. YESSS.

SO making these soon (can ya tell?!) :)

glidingcalm October 3, 2012 at 7:01 pm

you are so cute! how beautiful are these! i love what you did with the ribbon!!!

Kristen@livinlifeinlouie October 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm

my 7 year old will love these!!!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

FTC Disclosure. Disclaimer.