Chocolate Traditions

December 17,2008
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

I realize it's ironic that yesterday I was carrying on about too much candy and yet, today here is a post on…drumroll please…making candy!  In your own home!  So it is readily available!

Growing up, my mom and her sister created a fun holiday tradition. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, they would gather me, my brother (if he was interested) and my cousins, and we would make chocolates to give away during the holidays.  We tried all sorts of chocolate confection making, but the recipe that became the clear favorite was the one for chocolate-covered pretzels.

The funny thing is that these pretzels couldn’t be easier to make, and yet they always garner such praise. I have read recipes that use fancy candy thermometers, glycerin and special chocolate, but but this is really the best and easiest recipe:

Chocolate-Covered Pretzels

1 bag of chocolate chips
1 bag of pretzel twists 

Pour the bag of chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir, repeat. Continue to repeat until the chocolate is almost completely melted. If there are just a few lumps here and there, a good stir of the heated chocolate will fully melt the contents.

Dip the pretzels one by one with tongs, tapping them a bit to remove the excess chocolate.

Place dipped pretzels on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper to cool. If you wish, you can put colored sprinkles on top, but do so immediately after the pretzel has been placed on the cookie sheet, when the chocolate is still wet, so the sprinkles will adhere.

If the chocolate in the bowl begins to harden while you are still working with it, put it back in the microwave for 15 seconds.

If you are feeling a bit nutty, try this added trick: Mix 2 tablespoons peanut butter, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and a few tablespoons of powdered sugar until it reaches a “play-doh” consistency:

Press into the holes of the pretzels:

And dip and decorate (R was my sprinkle go-to person for this batch):

Once the chocolate is nearly gone, break up some pretzels pieces, toss them in the bowl and mix to combine. We call this concoction “bumpy dirt road," and it's the best part of making chocolate covered pretzels, since it's the pretzel dipper’s responsibility to eat it.

Life is sweet,
SPC