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2000s Recipes + Menus

Mustard Caramel Crunchies with Chocolate Glaze

Makes36 confections
  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:1 1/2 hr (includes chilling)
June 2009
Mustard has a tart, acidic quality that can go in many different directions, as can Paul Grimes’s passion for chasing salt with sweet. For this dessert, he built on some previous research at Denise Acabo’s L’Etoile d’Or confectionery shop, in Paris, as well as on his years of experience in French kitchens. His taking-off point for the resulting mustard caramel was the sweet-and-sour caramel-flavored gastrique for duck à l’orange. Add the saltiness and crunch of pretzels—they’re great with mustard and with dark chocolate, so why not both at the same time?—and you’ve got a great treat. (Editor’s note: This recipe is solely the creation of Paul Grimes and has not been formally tested by the test kitchen.)

Watch the Test Kitchen Challenge video that features this recipe.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 6 oz thin pretzel sticks, divided
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • Equipment:

    a 9-inch square baking pan; nonstick foil; a small offset spatula
  • Line baking pan with nonstick foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides.
  • Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then wash down any sugar crystals from side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Boil, without stirring, swirling pan so caramel colors evenly, until deep amber. Remove from heat and add mustard, butter, and cream (mixture will bubble vigorously), then carefully stir to incorporate.
  • Arrange two thirds (4 oz) of pretzel sticks in baking pan, all in same direction. Pour caramel over pretzels as evenly as possible. Let caramel set, 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Put remaining 2 oz pretzels in a resealable bag and crush with a rolling pin.
  • Melt chocolate (see Tips) and pour over caramel layer, spreading evenly with offset spatula. Sprinkle with crushed pretzels. Chill 30 minutes.
  • Lift out confection using foil overhang and transfer to a cutting board. Let stand about 10 minutes, then cut into 36 squares. Invert to serve caramel side up (lift squares off foil to serve).