One of my absolute favorite things to do during December is to take a drive to look at holiday lights. I’m not sure exactly what makes them so magical but for me there is nothing better than setting out on a cold winter’s night with a car full of holiday treats, hot chocolate or coffee to get lost in people’s festive ingenuity (or ‘illumination neurosis’ in some cases).
CHOCOLATE DIPPED PRETZELS
- 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 bag pretzels I used gluten free pretzels from Glutino which come in at least three shapes
- Small cake decorating toppings I used nonpareils and pearls
- In the top of a double boiler or in a metal bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, melt the chocolate chips, stirring occasionally.
- While the chocolate is melting, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the cake decorating toppings on a plate or a flat-bottomed bowl.
- Once chocolate is melted, dip half of a pretzel into the chocolate, coating thoroughly and allowing any excess chocolate to drip off back into the pan. Place the pretzel on its side in the desired decoration allowing the decoration to stick to the chocolate. Turn onto the other side to cover as well. Place on the parchment paper and allow to dry until hard (usually takes between 30-60 minutes); can be expedited by putting the tray into the refrigerator.
- Part of the reason I like to only coat part of the pretzel is for mobile outings (in the dark) especially, it allows the pretzel to be eaten without chocolate melting all over.
- A gourmet tip: one of my favorite (and local) chocolate bar companies is Choc-o-love. They make a variety of wonderful flavors like Chilies and Cherries in Dark Chocolate. Instead of chocolate chips, you can chop up a bar, melt it and proceed with the recipe, or omit the decorations and just let the chocolate do the talking.
WHITE CHOCOLATE PRETZEL STICKS
I wanted a variation of both shape and textures in my treat boxes so made the same recipe above only with (gluten free) pretzel sticks and decorating sugars. In particular I used a red sugar and a beautiful silver flakes I had not seen before.