Caramel Apple Soft Pretzels
Who doesn’t love freshly made soft pretzels? My latest Caramel Apple Soft Pretzels recipe is almost too much to handle. Stuffed with apples, smothered with dulce de leche, then sprinkled with sea salt, these big softies are our newest favorite fall treat.
Every April, Lt. Dan asks me to make soft pretzels for his birthday. He could have anything under-the-sun to eat, but he asks for soft pretzels.
Pretty cute, if you ask me.
Today I made his favorite soft pretzel recipe just for the heck of it. …Because that’s the kind of thing you do when you love somebody.
You don’t wait until they ask.
You don’t ponder what they’ve done for you lately.
You don’t check your schedule to see if you can fit it in.
You just do things you know they like, because it will make them smile.
Dan loves these Caramel Apple Soft Pretzels. And who wouldn’t?
Pillowy twists of buttery dough, with tiny morsels of apple nestled deep within. Then each soft pretzel is generously drizzled with creamy “dulce de leche” caramel and sprinkled with a hefty dose of course sea salt.
They are much easier to make than they appear.
Simply make the dough and let it rise. Then using a mixer, “knead” in the fresh apple chunks.
Separate the dough into equal pieces.
Then roll each piece into a long doughy snake, on a greased surface. Some of the apples will pop out, but keep rolling and you’ll recollect them all.
Lift the ends up to make a U shape. Twist and press the ends close to the bottom. Don’t worry if they are imperfect. Caramel Apple Soft Pretzels “pretty-up” as they bake.
Quickly boil the Caramel Apple Soft Pretzels to create the “skin.” Then place them on cookie sheets and bake.
Drizzle, Sprinkle, Devour.
I can’t say enough about these Caramel Apple Soft Pretzels, other than you REALLY should make it.
Yield: 8 large or 16 minis
Prep Time: 40 minutes active time
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Caramel Apple Soft Pretzels Recipe
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tb. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. dry active yeast (1 packet)
2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 cups (24 oz.) all-purpose flour + 1 Tb.
6 Tb. melted butter
1 1/2 cups diced apple
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk + 1 Tb. water for egg wash
1 can Dulce de Leche
Course Sea Salt
Place the water, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Let it foam for 5-10 minutes.
Using the dough hook, mix in 24 oz. flour and the melted butter on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 5-6 minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl, spray the bowl with nonstick spray, then place the dough back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the apples into small chunks, toss the apples with cinnamon, nutmeg and 1 Tb. flour. After the dough has doubled, pour the apples into the dough and knead to combine.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray, Set aside.
Bring 3 quarts water and the baking soda to a boil in large sauce pot.
In the meantime, dump the dough out onto a slightly floured work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces (or 16 pieces for mini pretzels.)
Spray a work surface with nonstick spray. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope (12-inch for minis.) The apples will pop out a little, but keep rolling and you will reincorporate them.
Make a U-shape with the rope. Take the ends and cross them over each other twice, and press onto the bottom of the U to form the pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined sheets.
Put the pretzels into the boiling water, one at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove from the water using 1-2 large spatulas. Return to the cookie sheet and brush each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture.
Bake until dark golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for at least 15 minutes before drizzling with caramel and sprinkling with salt.
For the Dulce e Leche Caramel Drizzle: Because Dulce de Leche doesn't "set" like frosting, it's best to drizzle the pretzels right before serving. Place them in an airtight container to keep fresh. When ready to serve, warm the dulce de leche until slightly thin. Then place in a zip bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and "pipe" the warm caramel over the soft pretzels. Sprinkle with course sea salt and serve.
More Fall Favorites:
Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bars ~ Made with Pink
Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream ~ Annie Eats
Brown Sugar Cookies ~ My Kitchen in the Rockies
Baked Caramel Apple Donuts ~ Not Quite Nigella
Cider Caramel Apple Pie ~ Honey & Jam
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