Sorry guys, but I’m not over the bacon trend yet. Ever since I learned to cure my own bacon, I just can’t get enough! Maybe someday I will, but not today. And to be honest… I’m totally ok with that because the salty chew that bacon lends to the crust of these caramels is friggin heavenly. It’s like bacon and pretzels were destined to be together at the bottom of a luscious, spicy caramel lake. Divine intervention may have been responsible for the creation of these Cayenne Caramels with a Pretzel Bacon Crust.
I’m really struggling to find the right words to accurately describe these treats today. I just want to make delighted grunts and other happy unintelligible sounds and hope that my love for them translates through the screen, but that would be weird. So, let’s start with the caramel! This caramel is a generations old family specialty. I can’t remember a Christmas that my Aunt Barb didn’t make this. I can still picture her cozy kitchen with a bowl of these golden morsels lovingly wrapped in wax paper sitting on the counter. My sister has since picked up the tradition and she is the Aunt Sarah that my kiddos adore with the yummy caramels on her counter. Sweet, delicious memories. That same caramel recipe plays a starring role in these jazzed up caramels I’m sharing today. It’s old school, but totally unbeatable. Add in the subtle heat from the cayenne and these caramels will rock your Santa socks off.
The perfect, chewy cayenne caramel is drizzled over a buttery, sugary, savory pretzel bacon crust. The crust at the bottom adds the most amazing crunch and texture to the caramels. It’s like a salty surprise that hits you right at the end of the bite and then melts into the warm heat from the cayenne. It also makes these already addictive caramels completely irresistible. Be prepared to eat half of the pan by yourself while you are wrapping the rest up as gifts. Hallelujah.
Oh, PS, these make the absolute best neighbor gifts on the planet. Reason being, they are spicy so the kids don’t want them and the adults actually get to enjoy the treats. Ha! If you are feeling like being accommodating, you can just make a separate batch of just the plain caramels (sans cayenne) for the kiddos.