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Gluten-Free Rolo Pretzels (Rolo Turtles)

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Let’s make Gluten-Free Rolo Pretzels! This easy Rolo turtles recipe is the perfect easy holiday treat to add to your cookie plate this year!

gluten-free rolo pretzel bites with m&ms and pecans

Happy holidays! We’re about to dive headfirst into all the Christmas cookies, brownies, and fun little treats you look forward to in the holiday season but first, I thought we’d dip our toes into holiday baking with an EASY 3-INGREDIENT treat.

Yep! We’re talking about gluten-free Rolo pretzels. Have you made them before?

This easy recipe has all kinds of nicknames–Rolo Pretzel Turtles, Turtle Pretzel Candy, Rolo Pretzel Delights, and more –but no matter what you call them, this yummy treat is DELICIOUS.  A little bit sweet, a little bit salty, it’s the perfect little something to make for your next holiday party, cookie exchange, or gifting to neighbors and friends.

The combination of salty pretzels, gooey caramel, crunchy pecans and plenty of chocolate makes them absolutely delicious, but Rolo pretzels are also pretty much the easiest treat around! They’re simple enough for absolute beginners (or kids who love to help!), and we’ve got LOTS of different ways you can make them.

But, like I said, you only need 3 easy ingredients to get started on these easy Rolo Turtles…

ingredients for gluten-free Rolo pretzels with m&ms or pecans
a white bowl of gluten-free rolo pretzel turtles

Simple Ingredients For Gluten-Free Rolo Pretzel Bites

  • Gluten-Free Pretzels. Since we’re making gluten-free pretzel turtles, we’ll need to start with gluten-free pretzels. I love that sweet and salty combination! Regular pretzels are NOT gluten-free, so make sure you’re grabbing certified gluten-free pretzels, like Snyders Gluten-Free (our favorite!), Glutino, Quinn Snacks, etc.
  • Rolos. Thankfully, Rolos are gluten-free! You can choose either the original Milk Chocolate Rolos or their Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Rolos. Either version of this chocolate caramel candy is delicious. 
  • Toasted Pecans. There are two ways to make these rolo pretzel treats. The first is Rolo Pretzel Turtles, made with toasted pecans. (Turtle candy typically has chocolate, caramel, and pecans). I love their nutty crunch! Make sure you’re using pecan halves rather than chopped pecans, which won’t work well here. If pecans aren’t your style, then…
  • OR M&Ms Candies. For a nut-free option, you can absolutely make your Rolo pretzel bites with M&Ms instead. This can be a great way to add some color, and it looks so fun around holidays. (You can see which M&Ms are gluten-free here.)
making Rolo pretzels step by step

How To Make Rolo Turtles, Step By Step

  1. Toast Pecans. If you haven’t already, spread pecan halves out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes, stirring once in the middle for even browning. Set the pecans aside to cool.
  2. Preheat Oven & Prep The Pan. Then, preheat the oven (or reduce the temperature) to 300 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. Layer Pretzels & Rolos. Place pretzels in a single layer (no overlap!) on the prepared baking sheet. Place an unwrapped Rolo candy on top of each pretzel. (In the center of each pretzel)
  4. Melt Chocolate. Place the pan in the preheated oven to soften/melt the chocolate for 4-5 minutes. Ideally, you want to soften the chocolate, but not melt it too much. Look for glossy, shiny tops and sides of the Rolo candies to see that it’s softened enough.
  5. Quickly Top. Remove the pan from the oven and quickly press a toasted pecan half or an M&M candy on top of each Rolo, and gently press in to flatten the Rolo. The melted Rolos should easily press down and flatten out to cover most of the surface of the pretzel.
  6. Cool To Set. The hardest part! Let them cool completely so the melted chocolate can set back up (this can take 1-2 hours at room temperature, or you can speed things along by popping them in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.)
  7. Serve & Store. Enjoy right away or store pretzel rolo turtles in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Good luck not eating the whole pan!
gluten-free Rolo turtles on a white plate

Rolo Pretzel Candy Variations To Try

I think Rolo turtles (Classic Rolo pretzel delights) are the perfect combination of textures & flavors (I love a sweet & salty treat!), but there are so many different variations of this easy Christmas treat to try, if you’re in the mood to get creative:

  • Colorful M&Ms. Swap the pecans for colorful m&m candies! It’s easy to dress these up for different holidays–red and green for Christmas rolo pretzels, red, white, and pink for Valentine’s Day, green m&m for St. Patrick’s Day, etc.
  • Sprinkles. Make this an even more festive treat by sprinkling the pretzel bites with sprinkles while the chocolate is still melty.
  • Dip or Drizzle With Chocolate. For a fun finish, you can drizzle the pretzel rolo treats with white chocolate or dip them into melted chocolate or candy melts for an extra chocolatey finish. What could be better than Rolo pretzels dipped in chocolate!?
  • Almonds. Not a pecan fan? You can absolute swap in other kinds of nuts. I love toasted almonds!
  • Sea Salt. Finish each sweet treat with a pinch of flaky sea salt.
  • Pretzel Sandwich (My favorite variation!) Instead of topping the Rolo with a pecan or chocolate candies, top the melted rolo with an additional pretzel to make a sort of rolo pretzel sandwich! You can even sprinkle them with nonpareils sprinkles or dip each sandwich halfway into dark or white chocolate for a pretty finish.
  • Hershey’s Kisses. Not a fan of the caramel center in a Rolo? Swap them out for Hersheys kisses. They’ll need a touch longer to soften in the oven, but they can work great here, too! (Some people make theirs with the white chocolate swirled Hugs candies!)
  • Other Chocolate Candies! Try swapping m&ms for milk duds, or bite-sized candy bars!
Gluten-Free Rolo Turtles with pecans

FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The BEst Gluten-Free rolo Pretzels

Pick The Right Pecans! Make sure you’re using complete, unbroken pecan halves rather than chopped pecans, which won’t work well here. I recommend raw, unsalted pecans for toasting.

Gluten-Free? Grab Gluten-Free Pretzels! Keep in mind that if you’re making these Rolo pretzel bites for someone with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you MUST use certified gluten-free pretzels. Our favorite pretzels are Snyder’s Gluten-Free pretzels, but you can find more brands than ever at the grocery stores these days! Keep an eye out for Quinn Snacks, Glutino, Snack Factory and Gratify brands!

What Kind Pretzels Work Best For Pretzel Turtles? If you’re not gluten-free, lots of folks make their pecan Rolo pretzels with square pretzels, but I haven’t found any that are gluten-free. Stick to pretzel twists/mini pretzels (or square shaped pretzels if you’re not gluten-free!). Pretzel sticks and pretzel rods won’t work for this recipe.

gluten-free Rolo turtles on a white plate

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gluten-free rolo pretzel bites with m&ms and pecans

Gluten-Free Rolo Pretzels (Rolo Turtles)


  • Author: Emily Dixon, Sweets & Thank You
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 25 pretzel bites 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These 3-Ingredient gluten-free Rolo pretzel bites are one of the easiest treats around! We love the combination of salty pretzels, gooey caramel, crunchy pecans, and plenty of chocolate. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 25 gluten-free pretzels*
  • 25 Rolo candies, unwrapped*
  • 25 pecan halves (or M&M candies)*

Instructions

  1. Toast Pecans. If you haven’t already, spread pecan halves out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes, stirring once in the middle for even browning. Set the pecans aside to cool.

  2. Preheat Oven & Prep The Pan. Then, preheat the oven (or reduce the temperature) to 300 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

  3. Layer Pretzels & Rolos. Arrange pretzels in a single layer (no overlap!) on the prepared baking sheet. Top each pretzel with an unwrapped Rolo candy.

  4. Melt Chocolate. Place the pan in the preheated oven to soften/melt the chocolate for 4-5 minutes. Ideally, you want to soften the chocolate, but not melt it too much. Look for glossy, shiny tops and sides of the Rolo candies to see that it’s softened enough.

  5. Quickly Top. Remove the pan from the oven and quickly press a toasted pecan half or an M&M candy into the top of the Rolo candy. The softened Rolo should easily press down and flatten out to cover most of the surface of the pretzel.

  6. Cool To Set. Let them cool completely so the melted chocolate can set back up (this can take 1-2 hours at room temperature, or you can speed things along by popping them in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.)

  7. Serve & Store. Enjoy right away or store Rolo pretzels in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 

Notes

*Ingredient Tips:

  • Pretzels. If you’re gluten-free, make sure to buy certified gluten-free pretzels, as regular pretzels are NOT gluten-free. We love Snyder’s gluten-free pretzels, but keep an eye out for Glutino, Gratify, Snack Factory, and Quinn Snacks brands! 
  • Rolos Candy. Regular milk chocolate Rolos or dark chocolate salted caramel Rolos are gluten-free! 
  • Pecans. Use complete, unbrokedn pecan halves, not chopped pecans or pecan pieces for best results. 
  • M&Ms. Not all m&ms are gluten-free, so double-check your package to check for potential allergens in the ingredient list. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: gluten free rolo pretzels, gluten free rolo turtles, gluten free rolo pretzel bites, gluten free rolo pretzel delights

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