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Step up your snack game with pretzels and pecans covered in a crispy caramel coating that is addicting! You will be asked back when you bring these crack pretzels as a hostess gift for sure!
The holidays are here and that means crazy schedules and gift-giving. Like everyone, you are probably stressed to your maximum and can’t handle one more thing on your to-do list. Every year I want to plan ahead and have the perfect holiday season and then I wake up on December 15th and still have no tree, no gifts bought, no pounds lost, a room full of dirty laundry, and unwashed hair. Every Freaking Year!
This year in my blogging journey, I have definitely made strides in my goal-setting and planning ahead. I actually had recipes planned a month in advance (even though I only had the recipe scribbled out on a sketch pad and a note on my editorial calendar that I want to post it-still progress) and started to feel a little extra breathing room! A lot of that also comes from not trying to do it all, taking a step back and prioritizing my time, and not getting sucked into all these unobtainable ideas of perfection that go with being a wife and mom.
That means I didn’t decorate for Halloween this year but since my kids are older I didn’t feel guilty about that! Give yourself some GRACE!!
That’s not saying that you can’t avoid unplanned emergencies and last minute projects since we are all susceptible, but I have found ways to say no and some other things that help me when I have to say yes. This year I have been really good at saying no but when it comes to gifts for my kid’s teachers I never say no!
They work hard with very little thanks, and usually a lot of complaining from parents and students, and they certainly deserve a treat! Since I can’t afford a Caribbean cruise, I like to make edible gifts or give gift cards. They love gift cards for their favorite coffee place, restaurant, or package store 🙂 The next best thing is an edible gift that they can eat themselves or use as a gift for someone else if they are too busy to make something and can’t go to a party empty-handed.
My go to edible gift is Crack Pretzels. Last Christmas I made a Crack Chex Mix that turned out to be a big hit! It’s the usual snack mix but with an addicting crispy caramel coating much like caramel corn. This year, inspired by my son’s addiction to pretzels, I switched up the snack mix part. Total win! I knew I wanted to make this for the teachers because it makes a large amount so I could get away with making one batch. Even better win! I did get a few days notice on this unplanned task but I can whip it up the night before because:
- It’s easy and doesn’t have too many ingredients
- I could make it all at once.
- I can make it a few days ahead of time and it will hold.
- All the items I need I can pick up at Big Lots right after my workout since the gym is right next to it!
During my year of goal setting and planning ahead, I also wanted to make sure I went to the gym regularly and stayed in shape. I am happy to say I went at least 3 times a week for most of the year. Rearranging my schedule and making it a priority helped me achieve this. When my son mentioned that he needed teacher’s gifts on the way to school, I didn’t bat an eye as I knew I could hit the Big Lots right after my workout. The other customers might not like me shopping while sweaty but sometimes you just have to go with the flow.
After my workout, I walked straight from the gym and into the store. I remember when I first started attending this gym and hitting the Big Lots afterward for a couple of last minute items. We always need batteries for my son’s game controller or a last minute gift for a friend’s birthday. Talk about being shocked when I learned that they also had groceries and not just housewares. I can’t tell you how many times I went in for some laundry soap to get the kid’s clothes washed and got so happy to find some snacks for their lunch boxes! They had food! Big Lots really is a life saver.
The staff is always so cheerful and when I gathered my sugar and pretzels (I already had butter at home) they immediately asked me what I was baking. I might have to make some for the cashiers:) I also grabbed a jelly roll pan since I knew that my regular baking sheets weren’t tall enough for this job.
Check out these Crack Pretzels! This coating will blow your socks off.
Another great thing I love about this mix is it leaves you a little surprise at the bottom of the pan. The caramel coating sometimes chips off the pretzels when you stir it leaving little bits of crispy caramel sugar in the pan. After cooking, I gathered up all the pretzels and pecans for the teacher’s gift jars and was left with about a 1/2 cup of these wonderful little crunchies. I started to lick my fingers and press them into the crumbs so I could eat a little bit but then figured they would taste better on some ice cream.
Or stirred into your coffee.
Or even by the spoonful.
I won’t tell.
- 6 cups twisty pretzels
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 250F.
Mix the pretzels and the pecans in a large glass or metal bowl. Do not use plastic!
In a medium sauce pan, add the butter and sugar.
Bring to a boil.
Boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from burner and add the salt, vanilla, and baking soda.
When you add the baking soda, it will foam up and bubble so be careful.
Stir to settle and mix.
Pour over the pretzel and pecans and stir quick. The sugar coating will start to harden fast.
Once it is mixed pour onto a jelly roll pan or baking sheet and spread out.
Bake at 250F for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool completely.
Store in gift jars or other another air-tight container until ready to give away. Or eat yourself.
Whatever is on your to-do list this holiday season you have time to make a batch of these Crispy Caramel Crack Pretzels. All it takes is 15 minutes of prep and then you can just throw it in the oven while you are doing laundry or decorating the tree. After an hour you will have a large batch of edible heaven you can use for gifts or snacking while watching your favorite holiday movie. Best of all, you can get practically everything you need from Big Lots in one trip! That is definitely a holiday stress-reliever if I ever saw one.
This post was featured at Party Time at a Bouquet of Talent!