'Tis the season for chocolate!
Well, any season is a good one for chocolate, in my opinion, but the Christmas season is when our kitchen becomes a candy factory for a day or two. One of my favorite chocolate projects is to make chocolate covered pretzels with the kids. They are easy, fun and delicious!
First, you need chocolate. For the best results you will want to start with a good coating chocolate. It is sometime sold in large blocks, but most often you will find it in wafers. It can be found at craft stores, party stores or online. I'm partial to the Merckens Brand.
Coating chocolates come in many colors and flavors. I stick mainly to the dark, light, and white. the kids like the colors. In my opinion, the other colors tend to have a waxy taste. They are great to use to add color to your pretzels though.
Next, you need pretzels. Any pretzel will do, but I like to use the small twists or the large rods. Using holiday shaped pretzels is also a fun idea for this time of year. Lay several sheets of wax paper out to get ready for your chocolate covered pretzel making.
Now, it is time to melt the chocolate. A Double Boiler is the best way to go. You are less likely to burn the chocolate, you can dip right from the double boiler, and you do not have to worry about the chocolate setting up again.
If you don't have a double boiler, chocolate can be melted in the microwave. Put the chocolate in a small bowl and microwave in 30 second increments. Stir after each heating. Do this until the chocolate is completely melted. You may need to reheat periodically during your dipping session.
Let the fun begin. Dip the pretzels in the melted chocolate. For large rods you can simply hold one in end while you dip the other. You may need to use a spoon to help get the chocolate far enough up on the rod.
For twists and other shapes, use a chop stick, fork or tongs to help you with the dipping. Another useful improvised tool is to take a plastic fork and break off the middle tongs, leaving just two tongs on the outside.
After you dip the pretzel in the chocolate, lift it out and gently tap it so any excess chocolate drops off. Lay the pretzel on waxed paper to dry. Before the chocolate is completely set, pretzels can be rolled or sprinkled with colored sugar or other candy sprinkles for decoration. Or wait until the chocolate is a bit more set, and drizzle the pretzels with a different color of melted chocolate. Allow the pretzels to completely dry.
When you've dipped all the pretzels you can, there will still be quite a bit of chocolate in the bottom of your bowl. Don't let it go to waste! Put some peanuts in the chocolate, and stir them around to coat. Drop them by the spoonful onto the waxed paper.
Once dry, if you can keep your family from eating them all, they can simply be stored in a covered container. To give as a gift, simply put them in a plastic bag with some ribbon and a gift tag. They can also be put in a tin or other container. They look great on a tray of other candies or cookies to take to your holiday events. They also are a nice addition to your gift baskets.
Want some more ideas for homemade chocolate candies? Check
Easy Chocolate Christmas Candy.
Making homemade chocolate covered pretzels is an easy and fun project that can be done with the kids. The end result is delicious and pretty. What more could you ask for?
Stephanie is a homeschooling, homesteading momma of four, attempting to live a frugal and simple life in the hills of West Virginia. She also blogs at Stop the Ride and Adventures in the 100 Acre Woods.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
'Tis the season for chocolate!