Stupid Easy Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels
There are few desserts more magical than a chocolate-dipped pretzel covered in candy. Kids, boyfriends, neighbors, moms, teenagers, in-laws, husbands, BFFs... everyone gets sparkly-eyed over one of these babies.
You have the power to make your people's eyes sparkly in less than five minutes. It's time to create the sparkle.
The "Chocolate-Dipped" Part
Let's talk about the chocolate.
All the brown chocolates (dark, milk, semisweet) melt beautifully in whatever form you have - bars, chips, etc. No worries there.
White chocolate is a different animal. The chips don't like to melt. Chips, by nature, have a kind of wax in them to help them hold their shape even when baked in the oven for a long time, and the white version is really stubborn and breaks apart and inspires a general feeling of teeth gnashing. If you want to use white chocolate, use bars chopped into pieces. And use real white chocolate which is cocoa butter and sugar, not palm oil. The difference is crazy and well worth the extra dollar.
Now let's talk about melting the chocolate.
The key? You want to bring the temperature of the chocolate to a certain point and then back down a little. We can get all scientific about it, but no one cares. You just want your chocolate. So to get the perfect dipping consistency where the chocolate sets up perfectly, melt most of your chocolate in one of two ways.
- The microwave - Heat on high for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between (even if it doesn't seem like it'll stir)
- A makeshift double boiler - Snugly rest a heatproof boil in a saucepan of simmering water, and melt the chocolate in the boil.
Then after most of your chocolate is melted, add in the last little bit off the heat to bring down the temperature of the chocolate. It'll all melt as you stir, but that temperature drop makes a big difference.
The Stupid Easy Part
- Pour your melted chocolate into a tall plastic cup. Dipping is way easier if you can just stick the pretzel in "tall" chocolate.
- Stick a big pretzel in the chocolate, pull it out, and gently spin the pretzel so the excess falls off and the coating is even.
- Place the pretzel on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and let the chocolate set up for half an hour.
- Roll the pretzel in some stuff. We'll get to that.
- Let it set up for another hour or two.
That's it. Certainly you can eat them before the chocolate is completely firm, but the texture is so perfect when everything is the right temperature. It's worth the wait. But your hands-on time? Miniscule. And you can make five pretzels and be done. No need for giant batches if you don't need them.
The chocolate needs to be tacky so that The Stuff will stick to it but not so set up that nothing will. After half an hour, try one pretzel as a tester to see if things are ready to go. Depending on the type of chocolate you use and even the temperature of your house, the firming time could vary quite a bit. Here are some ideas for you to use as The Stuff:
- Chopped candy bars (great use for extra Christmas candy)
- Chopped nuts
- Mini chocolate chips
- Toasted coconut
- Anything else tiny and yummy
The easiest way to coat the pretzels is to put The Stuff on a plate and basically roll the pretzel around. You can certainly sprinkle it on, but it often goes everywhere and doesn't get well coated. The more stuff you have, the better the texture.
This might feel like a lot of words for something stupid easy, but I'm simply giving you everything you could possibly need to know to make this happen. But the basics? Melt some chocolate, dip a pretzel inside, let it dry a little bit, and then dip it in more stuff. There's no measuring, so there's no way to mess it up. Do this, please! You'll be SHOCKED at how delicious and fun they are. Your sparkly-eyed people will thank you.