Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods are so fun and simple to make. They're the easiest “Christmas cookie” out there and everyone loves them!
I considered not even sharing these cute Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods, if only because they're so simple to make (and seemingly self-explanatory) that I can hardly call this a “recipe”. They're so fun that I decided I just had to though! My girls and I had a blast making them – so much so that we're going to make a second batch just before Christmas Eve to take to my sister's fiesta that evening.
They left for school this morning and decided that they wanted to bring some for their teachers and friends. So off they went, each with about 25 chocolate covered pretzel rods in their backpacks. They were really excited to share them. And I don't blame them since they were able to make their own without any help from Mom.
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZEL RODS?
The first thing you'll need to do is to gather all of your chocolate covered pretzel making supplies. In our house, this included the following:
- Good-quality chocolate
- Wilton Candy Melts
- Wilton Candy Bags
- Parchment or Waxed Paper
- An assortment of holiday colored sprinkles (or Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Fourth of July or Halloween)
For the chocolate, I don't use anything that's outrageously expensive. I try to buy high quality without feeling wasteful. I linked to the Ghirardelli brand which I've used before and they melt nicely and have a wonderfully rich chocolate flavor. But then I've also used Hershey's in a pinch! Just use what you'd normally eat (sort of like using wine in a dish that you'd actually drink).
We used red, white and brown candy melts because 1) it's what I had on hand and 2) a trip to Michael's is always a three-hour trip. It's only 20 minutes each way but I cannot go in there without buying all sorts of cute cooking items that I may or may not ever use. Wilton Candy Melts are thankfully not one of them as I'm known to be a drizzling chocolate fiend on all kinds of desserts! :) I was wishing I'd also had green but we managed okay without it.
As for the candy bags, these things are amazing!! Yeah, I know, they're just little bags. But they're little bags that you can use in the microwave and the candy melts are so simple to use with them.
I love that all I have to do is fill the bags, pop them in the microwave until they're about halfway melted (then just squeeze it with your hands and they'll melt the rest of the way), snip the bottom of the bag and drizzle! But the best part is that I can just throw the bag away once I'm done. Let me tell you, that feels so good come cleanup time.
The amount of chocolate you'll need will vary according to how you decorate your pretzels and how far down the pretzel you go. For this batch, we used approximately 2 regular-sized bags pretzel rods, 2 bags white candy melts, and one bag each red and brown candy melts (I also melted one bar of Ghirardelli chocolate with the brown melts to boost the chocolate flavor). And, of course, lots of sprinkles!
Don't worry too much if you have some extra melted chocolate in your bags. It's easy and super fun to turn them into Christmas shapes for snacking and they look pretty scattered around the plate next to the chocolate covered pretzel rods.
Here are a few tips and tricks to make your chocolate covered pretzel rods the pretties ones you've ever seen (and the easiest):
- You'll want to dip your pretzels into a bowl or mug for the first layer of chocolate (the bags are for the drizzling layers). I try to use a mug or dish that's deep enough for the chocolate to go high enough on the pretzel at one time. If you don't have something that will work, simply spoon some of the melted chocolate onto your pretzel while holding it vertically so that the chocolate slides down and covers the pretzel where you want it.
- Be sure to completely dry one chocolate layer before the next! It's easiest to cover all of your pretzel rods with the first layer first then move on to the next layer.
- BUT – when you're ready for sprinkles, don't give the chocolate time to dry. Get those sprinkles on quickly!
- Use separate bowls for each sprinkle. This way, you can hold the chocolate covered pretzel rod over the sprinkle you want and the excess will fall back into the bowl. Don't roll your chocolate covered pretzel rods in the sprinkles or you'll mess up both the chocolate design and it may make a mess in the sprinkles. You're going to want them for next year so don't waste 'em! :)
Aren't those little chocolate shapes so cute?? I swear, that's one of my favorite parts of making these. The extra chocolate shapes are great for cupcakes or mini cheesecake toppers, too (here's a Christmas version).
I know you'll love these making these fun Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods but if you'd prefer to dip cookies or biscotti, check out my friend Laura's post over at The Spiced Life. Her family isn't pretzel fans so she came up with an alternate idea which I think is great.
HOW TO STORE CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZEL RODS?
You'll want to store your chocolate covered pretzel rods in an airtight container. They don't need to be refrigerated and can be kept for up to a week on your counter or in the pantry. They also freeze beautifully, so make them well in advance of whatever holiday season you're making them for.
More holiday dessert recipes:
- 2 bags pretzel rods
- 1-2 bars milk or dark chocolate
- 1 bag brown candy melts, I use both "regular" chocolate and melts but you could use all of one or the other
- 2 bags white candy melts
- 1 bag red candy melts
- 1 bag green candy melts
- Assorted Sprinkles, these are exactly what I use
- Spread out some waxed paper large enough to hold all of your finished pretzels. Place a smaller "work station" sheet of waxed paper for every person decorating pretzels.
- Melt 1 bag white candy melts in a mug or dish that will allow for easy pretzel dipping according to package directions. Do the same with the brown melts and chocolate bar, melting the darker chocolates together. Dip each pretzel rod into the chocolate, allowing the excess chocolate to drip back into dish. Set pretzel onto waxed paper and allow to harden while you finish remaining pretzels.
- Place desired color candy melts into bag and melt in microwave according to package directions. I do them all at once and pop back in microwave as it cools and hardens in the bag, if necessary.
- Drizzle melted candy melts over pretzel rods, allowing layers to harden between each one or immediately adding sprinkles if ready. Allow finished chocolate covered pretzel rods to harden completely before placing on serving tray. Keep covered with saran wrap until ready to serve.