Guinness Pretzel Caramels

One of my favorite Irish toasts for your enjoyment:

 I have known many,
and liked not a few,
but loved only one
and this toast is to you.

Welcome to the third installment of Leave a Happy Plate's Irish Extravaganza!  (When you say "extravaganza", do you say it with a weirdly deep, game show host voice?  I certainly do.)

Oh, speaking of Irish Extravaganza, our 6-yr-old Whippersnapper told us how to catch a leprechaun the other day.  It went something like this:

Kid: “Dad, will you help me build a trap to catch a leprechaun?”

Dad: “What kind of trap?”

Kid: “You know… one made out of a shoe box and anything gold, like a necklace.”

Dad: “Oh.  Well how big do you think a leprechaun is, exactly?  As big as you are?”

Kid: “No.”

Dad: “As big as Stella?” (See Figure 1)

Figure 1: Stella, our 50 pound goldendoodle
Kid: “No.”

Dad: “Well, how big then?”

Kid: “As big as a mouse.”

Dad: “And why do you want to catch a leprechaun?”

Kid: “Because it has a pot of gold and is the size of my thumb.”


So, if you happen to run across a booby-trapped shoe box with a cheap gold necklace underneath, don’t be alarmed.  It’s just Whippersnapper catching leprechauns.

So let's talk about Guinness pretzel caramels.  What's not to love?  Best of both worlds.  Salty and sweet.  Ooey gooey.  I saw a version of this recipe on Food Network and couldn't wait to try it with Guinness.  So go ahead, Irish it up!

Printable recipe HERE

12 ounces Guinness beer
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups pretzel sticks

Butter an 8-inch-square baking dish.

Place the pretzels on a cutting board or counter, cover with a kitchen towel, and use the bottom of a pan to gently press down on the pretzels, crushing them into small pieces. 

Meanwhile, combine the beer, the brown sugar, corn syrup, cream and butter in a large saucepan. 

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until a candy thermometer registers 235 degrees F, about 20 minutes. 

Remove from the heat and stir in the pretzels. 

Spread in the prepared dish and chill until firm, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cut into pieces.

Note: The caramels remain sticky even after they are chilled.  I recommend placing parchment paper in between caramels when storing to prevent one big caramel blob!


  1. Lol, I hope little one will catch his leprechaun.

    Those pretzel caramels look fantastic. I love the flavor combo :)

  2. I would love this for lunch tomorrow. Love simple and wonderful ideas like this.


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