rain & pretzel pralines

December 7th, 2009

drip drop

Annalie and I woke up this morning to the sound of rain on the roof. I was awake before Annalie for once, but I stayed in bed where it was warm, listening to the rain. It wasn’t long before Annalie woke up. She immediately hopped out from under the covers to stand on the bed and peer out the window, then turned to me, all excited. “Mom! It’s raining! Can I go outside and play?”

the conductor

Whaaaat? What do you mean, it’s not everyone’s first impulse to go outside at 8am and play in the rain in their pajamas? This does not compute.

rainy outtake

I know some people despise rain. They dread days without sunshine. All I can say is, I sympathize but I don’t really understand. I love rain. I have done for as long as I can remember. Days when I wake up to rain are just about the only days when I’m happy to get up early. When Troy is home he normally lets me sleep in on Saturdays but if it’s a rainy morning he wakes me up, because he knows I won’t want to miss the rain. I’ll go to the kitchen and get myself a cup of coffee and then position myself near a (preferably open) window so I can watch and hear the rain.

Day 130 for Troy

Rain is my happy weather. It’s next to impossible for me to be in a bad mood when it’s raining.

rain imp

sneaky umbrella girl

Annalie loves rain too. I have many, many photos of her playing in the rain, jumping in puddles, holding an umbrella, even drawing with sidewalk chalk in the rain. Rain is fun! Not to mention the cup of hot chocolate she knows she’ll get when she goes inside.

green bowl with pretzel pralines

Rainy days are also good for baking. Today I cranked up some Christmas music and got a whole bunch of my Christmas baking done, which means in the next day or two I’ll be getting a whole bunch of Christmas mailing done. And I only ate a half-dozen or so of the World’s Best Apricot Cookies. Maybe a few more than that.

pretzel pralines

Unfortunately I had to refrain from eating these pretzel pralines. They’re all going into gift packages soon. I only ate a couple of pieces to make sure they were good. Maybe three or four. You should make some and eat more, though, because they’re quite tasty!

Pretzel Pralines
based on Ideas in Food’s Pretzel Pralines (via Brownie Points)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
  • 4 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 cups of sourdough pretzel nuggets (or broken-up pieces of sourdough pretzels)

Butter a large cookie sheet well and set it aside on a heatproof surface. (Note: Don’t do what I did and assume that you can just line a pan with waxed paper, because the waxed paper will stick to the bottom of the caramel-coated pretzels and you’ll waste a good 15 minutes peeling all the bits of paper off the candy at the end.)

In a large stockpot, begin melting the butter over medium heat. Combine the salt and sugar, then add to the melting butter. Add the vanilla. Stir constantly, watching carefully, over medium heat with a wooden spoon.

After a couple of minutes, the sugar mixture will begin to melt and the sugar will caramelize. Once the mixture is smooth and no longer grainy, add the pretzels and quickly stir to coat the pieces evenly. If you leave the pot on the heat too long the sugar will burn, but if you remove it from the heat the mixture will quickly harden and it’ll be nearly impossible to stir, as I learned the hard way. So keep it on the burner but work quickly.

Once the pieces are all coated, dump the caramel-covered pretzel pieces out onto the buttered cookie sheet. Using the spoon, quickly spread the pieces out in a single layer. They’ll cool fast. If you want, you could drizzle a little melted dark or white chocolate over the cookie sheet at this point. Then you can break them up into bite-size pieces and package them to give away as gifts.

Or you can keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell.

24 Responses to “rain & pretzel pralines”

  1. LaurenC says:

    I am constantly amazed at the ways in which you and I are so very similar.
    I love rain.
    The sound, the smell and the mood it puts me in when I hear it when I wake up.
    The only time I don’t like rain is when it wakes me up on a work morning, and I know that I cannot just stay home with my knitting listening to it on my roof.
    We have just had a cool change here and I was hoping for a storm before going to sleep….but so far it’s holding out on me.

  2. karen says:

    Try parchment paper – it doesn’t stick to things like wax paper. I use all the time because I really dislike greasing pans.

  3. mamalang says:

    I don’t love rain here because…I have to go in and out of it constantly picking up and dropping off my kids, it’s always POURING, THUNDERING and LIGHTENING when it rains, and finally, we’ve somehow been relocated to Washington State, as it rains more than it doesn’t around here lately. I no longer enjoy the rain.

    But I did enjoy the pictures of Annalie enjoying the rain.

    And those pretzel things look yummmmmy.

    I made the granola bars yesterday. OMG, the yumminess. I will gain 100 lbs~!

  4. bonnie says:

    I love the rain, too. I kept the window open as much as possible yesterday so I could hear it.

  5. MMMM. I just have to say that those pretzel pralines look AMAZING! Great–now I’m hungry:)

  6. Annika says:

    Ooh, I love Annalie’s red crocheted hat!

  7. Erin says:

    Oregon calls to you, Bethany! Except you wouldn’t want the window open this time of year for long! Cold rain is different than warm rain for sure.

  8. Melissa says:

    Oh boy, just what I needed – another item on my “recipes to try” list ;) Good thing this one looks fast and easy – so it’s right up my alley! The last picture of Annalie holding the umbrella is just fantastic!

  9. Antony says:

    I wanna try that pretzel, looks delicious.. Also like the rain, need the rain to reduce the hot weather..

  10. Lauren says:

    seriously?! you love the rain that much?! you really should move over here, we can’t get enough of the stuff! ;)

  11. jastereo says:

    You are an absolute baking PIMP!!! Those look delicious and we shall be making some at my house sometime, I love all things pretzel related.

  12. Ooooo do those pretzels ever sound yummy! I may have to try them, too!

    I love the rain, and, no, playing in the rain is not an unheard of request at 8 am. :) Those pics are too cute. I only wish we’d get a good thunder storm with all this snow headed our way, but alas, that is a rare treat.

    I always enjoy reading!
    -Carolyn Michelle

  13. Mamatucci says:

    I love the rain. It never rains in my city in Saskatchewan. But I am moving back to my childhood city where the rain hardly stops. We will seee if I still love it

  14. Deanna says:

    Time to move to Washington! You’ll love it here with all our rain. Although it does get old quickly when you’re trying to keep two little ones dry on errands!

  15. Kate says:

    I agree with Deanna – move to Washington! You’ll be ECSTATIC if rain makes you happy. :)

    And I am definitely trying those pretzel pralines. I love the salty/sweet combo. Yum.

  16. ~moe~ says:

    I’m with you. I love the rain, but alas we’re getting snow instead right now. Snow I can handle, but not the bitterly cold wind that is joining it. Oh well. Happy baking!

  17. Gillian says:

    I love the rain too. It’s suppose to snow up here in the Northeast so I’ll take that as well. I absolutely cannot wake up late on snowy days.

  18. Bekah says:

    I can hardly contain myself! I think I may have found a mistake in the ultimate editor’s blog!! Isn’t “I have done for as long as I can remember” wrong? Shouldn’t it just be “I have”? Sadly, I have to ask you because I don’t really know, I’m just guessing *sigh*. When you get back here, I’ll have to get you to Competitive Game Night for some word games….but I call you for my team if we’re playing on teams!

  19. Lauren P says:

    Hi! I’m a long time lurker, but I just had to say that I love that first picture of the rain. You are very talented.

  20. Bek, I’m sorry to say, it’s not really an error. :-) It’s a colloquial speech form. Saying “I have done” is just another form of “I have done so” or “I have,” not terribly common in American English but still fairly common in British English. I like the way it sounds and use it for emphasis sometimes.

    It’s kind of like saying “I’ve never gotten to the top level of this game before,” instead of “I’ve never got to the top level.” Gotten is an archaic form of got, not used in most parts of the English-speaking world, but it’s still common in the U.S. just like forgot/forgotten.

  21. Amanda says:

    I made a special trip to town to go to the bulk food store because of this post! It looks like a pretty perfect, non-nut treat to bring to the staffroom at school.

  22. Kuky says:

    Mmm that looks yummy but I don’t think I know what sourdough pretzel nuggets are.

  23. [...] thing I never got around to organizing my art supplies because they made great containers for the pretzel pralines and candied nuts I made to give as gifts. I was originally planning to use some of the glass pickle [...]

  24. Amanda says:

    Finally made these today (one day before Christmas break!) and OMG, they are delish. And it’s a good thing I am bringing the vast majority of the batch to school because they are hard to resist. Thanks again for sharing.