Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels

My friend Jennifer posted a link to this article, “The Coolest/Smartest/Best Gift You  Can Give to Your Kids on Valentine’s Day” and the guilt set in.  Most of us moms today are working in overdrive, working overtime, overworked, over scheduled, over exhausted and overwhelmed…” – yep, check!  Look at how well I have kept up with the blog?  I missed 2 of my favorite posting days - Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday!

My brain starts racing – what can I do today (after school, piano lessons and homework) to spend some quality time with the kids (all before dinner, bath and bed) – then the multi-tasking side of me (guilty again, but they are at school so…) says “what am I serving for dessert tonight?”  Where’s that recipe that I pulled from Southern Living, November 2012?  It’s in a pile somewhere… This sounds like fun – chocolate dipped pretzels with a variety of toppings to sample! 

It was a wee bit messy (but fun); we learned to scrape off some of the chocolate before rolling.  David and I liked the toffee and peanut butter chips.  The kids liked the mini-marshmallows and sprinkles.

Happy Valentine’s Day – enjoy those who bring love and laughter into your life!

Chocolate-dipped Pretzels (and our other sweeties)
1.      Package of pretzel rods
2.      8 oz semi-sweet or white chocolate baking bars (or both)
3.      Wax paper

1.      1 ½ c coarsely chopped pecans
2.      ¼ c firmly packed light brown sugar
3.      2 T heavy cream

1.      Marshmallow bits (by Kraft)
2.      Heath English Toffee bits
3.      Reese’s peanut butter chips
4.      Sprinkles
5.      Coconut
6.      Crushed peppermint
7.      Whatever else sounds good to you!

To prepare the praline topping:
Preheat oven to 350.  Stir together pecans, brown sugar and heavy cream.  Spread into a single layer in a lightly buttered 9-inch round cake pan.  Bake 20 minutes or until sugar is slightly crystallized, stirring once.  Cool in pan 10 minutes; finely chop.  Spread mixture in a single layer on wax paper.

To dip the pretzels:
Spread out whatever toppings you choose on wax paper for easy dipping.

Place 8 oz of chocolate baking bars, chopped, in a microwave-safe measuring cup.  Microwave on high for 1 minute or until melted, stirring every 15 seconds.  Immediately dip 2/3 of each pretzel rod into chocolate, twirling to coat all sides.  Roll coated ends of pretzels in topping(s) of your choice.  Gently place on wax paper, let stand until chocolate is set.  Store in air tight containers for 4 days. 

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