I always feel really guilty when I haven't blogged for a while. The thing is, you would think I didn't realize Christmas came each year on December 25th, because I waited until the last minute to do everything this year.
Last weekend I was busy. Including making some Christmas goodies for Landon's co-workers -- chocolate covered pretzel rods.
These have become my signature Christmas gift. Not only do they taste good but they are so easy to make look good. I'm not sure if the recipients like them as much as Landon. It is always his requested gift for co-workers, mostly because he knows I'll make extras that he'll get to eat.
So, here's what you need to make these: pretzel rods and two types of chocolate (I use almond bark because it melts so easily, though I have also used chocolate chips in the past).
Next, melt the chocolate in two separate pans. Here is one step that I wish was a little easier. Not that melting chocolate is hard, because it's very easy, but it's choosing the right pan that is the problem. See, I think someone needs to invent a tall, skinny sauce pan in which I can actually dip the pretzels. Instead, I usually just use a regular sauce pan and spoon the chocolate over. Not nearly as easy, though it's still not hard.
There is a very important step after you spoon the chocolate over. Once you do that, you need to spin the pretzel in small circles to make sure to get rid of all the excess chocolate. Otherwise, when you lay it down to dry, all the excess runs off in a puddle. It takes a bit away from the beauty of them.
After you have done this, place the pretzel rod on wax paper and let them dry.
Once dry, here's where the fun part come in. Grab a fork and dip it in your other chocolate. Feel free to dip generously. You want your fork to be covered with a good layer.
Then, take the fork and fling it over the dipped pretzel rods. Now, this process doesn't have to be perfect but you will want to be somewhat careful not to fling too hard. The first time I did this, I ended up with strands of chocolate all over my kitchen.
The end result should be a beautiful pretzel rod.
You'll want to let this layer of chocolate dry as well, but then you can bag them up. I usually buy the tall, cellophane gift bags at Wal-mart or Target and use those. It's the perfect size.
I dip my pretzels in both the chocolate and white chocolate and simply decorate with the other color. You can also decorate with white on white or so forth. It makes for a nice sophisticated look. In the past, I've also gotten creative with my flavors, using dark chocolate and even mint. You can really do whatever you like.
What "staple" Christmas goodies do you make every year?