Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chocolate-Covered Christmas Pretzel Rods

Did you know that December 16th is National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day?  Really?  There is a national holiday for something like this??  I'm not arguing - I love anything smothered in chocolate.  I just wonder who decides on these things?  Anyway, in honor of National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day, I'm sharing with you my Christmas Pretzel Rods.  These are super easy to make and kids can help out too!

1 bag of pretzel rods
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
Crushed candy cane bits
1 – 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening or vegetable oil

1.  Melt 1 cup dark chocolate chips with 1 - 2 teaspoon shortening or vegetable oil (never use butter or olive oil; it will end in disaster) in the microwave, stirring at 30 second intervals. 
2.  Melt 1 cup white chocolate chips with 1 -2 teaspoon shortening or vegetable oil in the microwave, stirring at 30 second intervals. 
3.  Dip the base layer about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way down the pretzel. To make any dipping easy, you can either melt the chocolate on the stove top and transfer it to a tall narrow glass cup or just melt it directly in the cup in the microwave. Then you can hold the pretzel in one hand and the cup in the other and maneuver it however you need to to coat the pretzel.
4.  After dipping, allow the excess to drip back into the cup. You can also roll the pretzel rod between your hands to spin the excess back into the cup.
5.  For drizzling, dip a fork in melted chocolate and drizzle as desired.  If decorating with crushed candy cane, sprinkle it on before the chocolate hardens.  Here's how I decorated my pretzels:

6.  After dipping or decorating each layer, you don't want to ruin your pretty creation, so you can either allow them to harden with each end of the pretzel on a wide-mouthed bowl or you can use a cooling rack. Just be sure and spray whatever you use with non-stick cooking spray.
7.  Keep chilled in the refrigerator.

  • Keep the layers thin. It's tempting to load those puppies up, but pretzels are pretty fragile and you still want to be able to taste the pretzel underneath everything else.
  • Try to be patient and let the layers cool completely before dipping or drizzling. This is especially important if you're using two different kinds of chocolate. Otherwise, they'll melt right into each other.
  • After the chocolate had completely hardened, I placed them in cellophane treat bags for gift giving!

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