26 April 2012

I wasn't planning on blogging today, as I've got a busy morning, but then I opened up my email and learned that it is National Pretzel Day.  And I just happened to have a pretzel recipe on my "ready to blog about" list.  I couldn't let this opportunity pass by!  These are the food gifts I gave out to all of our family members last Christmas (hence the Christmas trees and red and green M&Ms, oh yeah, and the candy canes!).  They are really easy and really fun to make.  It's something I found on Pinterest.  The idea and method came from The Baker Chick; I added specific ingredient quantities.

Candy-Covered Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods

1 (12 oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1 tbsp shortening
Chopped candy toppings 
15 pretzel rods
White chocolate melts

Prepare a cookie sheet or two with covered wax or parchment paper.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and shortening for 60 seconds. Remove and stir, and then warm in microwave for 15 second increments until it is smooth.

Start dipping the pretzels right away. Use a spoon to bring the chocolate up to where you want.  Set rods on the cookie sheet.

Dip about 5-10 pretzels and then start placing the toppings on. You will have to do this by hand because if you try to roll or sprinkle them on it really won't work and will end up with a sticky candy-glob mess.

Arrange the candy bits on each pretzel rod. (You have a good 5-7 minute window where the chocolate will still be soft enough to press the toppings in.)

If the melted chocolate in the bowl has started to harden, just give it 15 more seconds to get it back to its nice melty-state.

Repeat with the rest of the toppings.

Place tray in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes until chocolate has hardened.

Melt white chocolate (the same way you melted the chips) and place in a plastic baggie.  Cut off a tiny bit of one corner and drizzle over the pretzels.

Place them back into the freezer to harden and then wrap, eat, enjoy!

Makes 15 pretzels.

I didn't get a picture of the white-chocolate drizzled ones, but they turned out well too.

I used mini M&Ms instead of regular and I thought that worked well.  The third one up there is Heath Bits.  Yum!  They were easy because you can buy bags of those already chopped up in the baking aisle.

Even though I am a total control freak in the kitchen, the holiday spirit got to me and I let my three-year-old daughter, Lena, help me make these.  As you can see, at this point she had already sampled the chocolate!

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  1. I make these every year at Christmas time also.  It is amazing to me how much people like them, and they really are so simple.  I have a trivia night to go to next week....I should make some (minus the Christmas toppings, I'll use something else!) to take as my contribution to the snacks.  Have you ever put in some creamy peanut butter into the melted chocolate?  I tried that once, and it was very good.

  2. OMGee, I love the idea of the heath bits, yum, yum! My next batch of these will definitely be coated in some of that!