In busy, hectic times–especially with the start of cool weather signaling impending holiday craziness—it’s important to take a breather and celebrate any child mini-milestone: losing that first tooth, that first training-wheel-free bike ride, first shoelace tying or being fitted with that first pair of eyeglasses. And they all deserve little rewards.
I’ve always enjoyed the sweet-salty combo of chocolate-covered pretzels. But using pretzel rods and dusting them afterwards in candy ups the ante to create an impressive yet easy treat, perfect for a milestone celebration. The real fun and creativity comes in the abundance of what to roll the chocolate-covered pretzels in:
Roll these in your kid’s favorite candy or sweet item. From Oreo dust (or Wilton’s Cookies & Cream Crunch), shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or sprinkles—really the sky is the limit. Basically, anything pulverized into small pieces in a food processor works. Then, pile these pretzels into a mason jar, a wide-mouthed glass, or even a vase. Tie with a ribbon and ring in this newest mini milestone along with Netflix’s October titles in the same vein, like “Arthur: Through the Looking Glasses.”
Keep these gorgeous pretzels in mind for any homemade gift-giving as well—just wrap each one individually in cellophane and tie with a ribbon.
Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods
Yield: about 16 pretzels
½ (12-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate morsels
16 pretzel rods or 1 (8-ounce) box
Various toppings: shredded coconut, chopped nuts, sprinkles, crushed Oreos, crushed toffee, etc.
1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
2. Make a double boiler to melt the chocolate. Fill a medium heavy-duty pot almost halfway with water. Bring to a rolling simmer over medium-high heat. Add chocolate into a heat-proof medium bowl and place on top of the simmering water. Let chocolate melt, stirring occasionally, until mostly melted, a few minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a flat Pyrex dish or baking dish (at least 8 inches wide to fit pretzel rods), add the topping to coat the bottom.
4. Using an oven mitt or a dish towel, carefully move the bowl with the chocolate off the pot. Using a spatula, stir the chocolate until completely melted and smooth. Working quickly, use a small spatula or knife to spread the chocolate over two-thirds of the pretzel. Gently shake the pretzel, letting any chocolate excess drip off.
5. Roll the chocolate-covered pretzel in the topping, fully covering the chocolate. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pretzel rods. If the chocolate becomes difficult to work with, just place back over the double boiler for a few minutes until melty again.
6. When done, refrigerate pretzels on the baking sheet about 1 hour to let chocolate harden. Place in an airtight container for up to a week.
Note: If you’re wanting to go the white chocolate route, use white chocolate wafers or disks. Available in a variety of colors, these also melt far superior to white chocolate chips. To make white chocolate swirls on the semi-sweet chocolate like I have, melt the white chocolate in the double boiler; transfer to a small Ziploc bag. Snip off a tiny corner of the end and drizzle the white chocolate over the dark.