Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chocolate Covered Halloween Pretzels

One of my bosses has the good fortune of having her birthday fall on Halloween, so naturally her birthday celebrations must be filled with a good dose of all things Halloween—classic colors like orange, black and purple... and of course yummy treats!

This year I decided to try something new (for me) and whip up batch of chocolate covered pretzels decorated with some Halloween-y sprinkles. I'd intended just to get orange & black sprinkles, but then I found a cool package of purple, green, black and white sprinkles with mini pumpkin confetti pieces mixed in and I simply couldn't resist.

I wasn't sure if these would work out, so I made them a couple of days ahead. But they turned out just fine and set up fairly quickly, so I definitely could've done them the night before. They were also very easy to put together (admittedly it would've gone more quickly if Piper, the new kitten, hadn't been fascinated by the sound of sprinkles being poured and hadn't been trying to climb up my legs...)

I made 2 batches—1 with white chocolate chips and 1 with chunks from a big bar of Trader Joe's 72% dark chocolate. The directions for both are the same and would be for any chocolate you want to use.

You'll need:

6 oz. chocolate chips or broken up chunks
1 Tbsp. butter-flavored shortening (I use Crisco because it's the only kind I've found that doesn't have trans fat)
1/2 of an 8 oz. package pretzel rods (about 12 rods)
Sprinkles of your choosing (I give Wilton's Halloween Pumpkin Mix sprinkles 2 thumbs up!)
Wax paper

Step 1: Break the pretzel rods in half to make about 24 pieces. (Use a sharp knife to crack the pretzel in the middle.)

Step 2: Combine chocolate & shortening in a microwave safe bowl.
Heat in microwave at 80% power for 1 minute. Stir to melt chips/chunks. If whole chips/chunks remain after stirring, microwave 10-15 seconds longer and stir again. (Repeat as needed.)

Tips: Be careful not to overheat the chocolate or you might scorch it. If you don't want to use a microwave, you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler by stirring constantly just until melted. (Melting over direct heat is not recommended because scorching happens VERY quickly... trust me, I found out the hard way!!)

Step 3: Dip the cut end of a pretzel rod into the chocolate, coating about 1/2 of the rod. (Leaving the top half uncoated makes a great handle for easy eating!) Let any excess chocolate drain off by twisting the rod over the bowl of chocolate. Over a separate bowl or plate, pour sprinkles onto chocolate while twisting the rod.

Step 4: Place dipped rods onto wax paper and allow to dry completely before moving.

For the white chocolate chips, I found the drying time was only about 15-20 minutes. But the dark chocolate took longer to fully dry - over an hour. So plan accordingly.


Meg said...

I love these. Very festive and can be made for any holiday!

stephchows said...

I hope you like the cinnamon rolls! These pretzels look delicious!! I can't wait to check out the rest of your blog :)