"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Goodness: Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Last week, our neighborhood elementary school organized a battalion of baking moms for a good old-fashioned throw down of a bake sale. These talented ladies do it up right (as I covered in my Memorial Day post) -and I wanted to pitch in with something special. But easy. Easy and special. And cute, did I mention, cute?
I decided to attempt chocolate covered pretzel rods. I had seen them on Pinterest and they appeared to meet the above requirements.
After reading through several recipes, I settled upon a hybrid process of my own -and it worked! In fact, I highly recommend it!

Bag of pretzel rods
semi sweet chocolate chips
sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, or crushed candy bars
cookie sheets lined with wax paper or aluminum foil
Here is the process I used:
1.  Pour about  2 cups of chocolate chips into a bowl and microwave on high in 30 second intervals. Stir chocolate every 30 seconds until almost smooth. There should be a few partially melted chips remaining. Careful not  to overheat and burn the chocolate.  If the chips do overheat the chocolate will not be as easy to work with -and you won't get the desired  results (or at least that is what several other recipes warned. I was so paranoid of burning the chips I probably erred on the side of under-heating).
You may need to melt more chocolate, but I think by working in smaller amounts you have less risk of  heating more than you need and wasting chocolate! Sacrilege!
2.  Next,  hold a pretzel rod over the bowl of chocolate and, using a spoon, pour/cover 3/4 of the rod completely (leaving 1/4 of the rod uncovered  for gripping).
3.  Then tap the rod with the spoon and shake off excess chocolate back into the bowl.
4.  Next over the cookie sheet lined with wax paper or aluminum foil, shake sprinkles over the chocolaty part of the pretzel. Turn the rod to get a nice, even coverage. Some recipes suggested rolling the rods in the sprinkles or crushed candy bar bits, but I liked the way this turned out -and it prevented the melted chocolate from getting mixed up in all of the sprinkles. I did end up wasting a lot of sprinkles using this method, so if anyone has a better idea I would love to hear it!
5.  Once you have a tray full of chocolate covered rods with sprinkles, put the whole thing in the refrigerator to set. (None of the recipes I looked at suggested this, but I was sort of in a hurry. I worried a little about my shortcut, but it ended up working great.)
6.  After the chocolate and sprinkles are set put the treats into Zip Lock baggies to keep fresh and store them in the refrigerator until needed/wanted/craved. Enjoy!
I used the broken pretzels (there are some in every bag!) to make a few for us to keep -and they were a big hit until my dog ran off with the bag. Don't worry, Daisy was fine. Unfortunately, the pretzels didn't fare as well...

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