Here is a very, very last-minute food gift that takes literally five minutes to make, and yet everyone you share it with will love it (and you). Too good to be true? No -- it's just chocolate-dipped pretzels.
The other very nice thing about this pretzel project is that it is quite inexpensive. All you need are pretzel rods, chocolate chips or another chocolate good for melting, and some sprinkles or coarse sugar.
Here are a few tips for making these salty-sweet treats.
• We really like the Newman's Own brand of pretzel rods for this project; they are short and chunky, so you get a better ratio of chocolate to pretzel.
• We used a bag of chocolate chips and a bag of pretzel rods; they should be pretty evenly matched.
• Some chocolate chips, like the ones we used here, are not going to get very liquid -- even when melted down completely. If you want a smoother chocolate finish, use a little edible paraffin wax in the chocolate. This will make it much more liquid and also help your chocolate go farther.
• Melt the chocolate over low heat or in a double boiler. Dip each rod in and twirl as you pull it out. Sprinkle with sugar or Christmas candy sprinkles and put down on a sheet of aluminum foil to cool.
• We used big sugar sprinkles, flavored with peppermint oil. We found these in the baking aisle at a craft store.
That's it! They cool in just about ten minutes or so. We packed a half batch into a small glass and took them to a dinner party, where the kids made a big dent in them before the meal started -- much to the chagrin of their mothers.
Also, when we say that these just take five minutes, we're not exaggerating. We made these very, very quickly at the last minute. Once your chocolate has melted, it just takes a few minutes to dip and sprinkle.
Do you ever make chocolate dipped pretzels? What sort of sprinkles or flavorings have you used?
Related: Recipe: Chocolate Orange Truffles