These chocolate covered pretzels–made with dark chocolate as well as white chocolate–boast a stunning appearance and a spectacular salty sweetness that’s terrific at parties. Here’s how to make them, whether you want to use rods, sticks, or twists, and whether you want to glam them up or keep them simple.
We guarantee these sorta swanky chocolate covered pretzels are guaranteed to be a conversation starter, whether you gift them at the holidays or simply set them out at your next gathering. We became reacquainted with them at a recent Christmas gathering where chocolate-covered pretzels were carefully arranged in tall jars and plonked in a little red wagon along with other sweets, ostensibly for the kids. But those sweetly salty sticks were drawing an equal amount of attention from the adults. Maybe more attention from the adults. And best yet, although the pretzels appeared to be store-bought and ridiculously pricey, they weren’t any of those things. They were simple, stunning, and enticing as heck. As for being only for kids, forget that nonsense. The salty sweet crunchiness of these noshes actually work terrifically with cocktails. Here’s how to make them.–Renee Schettler Rossi
☞ Table of Contents
How far in advance can you make chocolate covered pretzels?
You can stash these chocolate covered pretzels in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Though we’re not gonna lie. We sorta doubt you’ll have any around long enough.
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
- 2 squeeze bottles (optional)
- 14 ounces semisweet, dark, or milk chocolate coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces unbroken large pretzel twists or pretzel rods (you’ll need to buy a couple 16-ounce bags to get enough unbroken pretzels)
- 14 ounces white chocolate (sometimes referred to as “white confection”) coarsely chopped
- Sprinkles or other toppings* (see How To Fancy Up Your Chocolate Covered Pretzels below) (optional)
- Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper, wax paper, or silicone baking mats.
- Melt the semisweet or dark chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, stirring it every 10 seconds or so, or in a bowl placed over but not touching a small saucepan with simmering water. Place the bowl of chocolate alongside the baking sheets.
- Grab an unbroken pretzel, holding the bottom of it between your thumb and forefinger, and dip it approximately 3/4 of the way into the warm chocolate to coat it. Lift the pretzel out of the chocolate and gently shake it to let any excess chocolate to drip off. (If you wish, you could instead dunk the entire pretzel into the chocolate, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. It’s much messier.) Place the pretzel on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with half the remaining pretzels.
☞TESTER TIP: Watch your fingers as you dip! If you’re doing this with little ones, make sure you take over the dipping duty as the chocolate level gets low in the bowl.
- Melt the white chocolate in the same manner as you did the semisweet or dark chocolate and then dip the remaining unbroken pretzels in the warm chocolate as you did in step 2.
- While the chocolate is still wet, either add sprinkles or other toppings or add an extra chocolate drizzle to the pretzels. To add an extra chocolate sprinkle, warm any leftover semisweet or dark and/or white chocolate until once again melted. Dip the tines of a fork in the melted chocolate or pour it into a squeeze bottle and drizzle it over the coated pretzels, using a white chocolate drizzle over pretzels dipped in semisweet or dark chocolate and semisweet or dark chocolate over pretzels dipped in white chocolate.
- Let the chocolate-covered pretzels rest at room temperature until completely set and no longer sticky, about 30 minutes for white chocolate and about 2 hours for semisweet or dark chocolate. The chocolate-covered pretzels will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (Hah! As if anyone can show sufficient restraint to make them last that long.)
How To Fancy Up Your Chocolate Covered PretzelsYes, sprinkles are quite jolly as added bling to chocolate covered pretzels. But so are shredded coconut, chopped pistachios, colored decorating sugar in whatever colors suit the occasion or the season, even crushed candy canes.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
My nieces love being in the kitchen with me and I equally enjoy making simple things together that allow them to let their creative juices flow. This was the perfect solution. There is no limit to the amount of possible toppings you can use to adorn these sweet and salty delights.
I used waxed paper to line my baking sheets and I chose to use the method of a stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. Be sure to monitor your temperature carefully, especially with an electric cooktop. Once you start seeing that melting occur, turn the burner down even more. The last thing you want is for sugar bloom or fat bloom to occur (which is when you have surface moisture that dissolves the sugar in the chocolate or that causes the chocolate to separate). Note that the white chocolate has a higher melting point, so be patient. Instead of coarsely chopping chocolate, I used one bag of Ghiradelli white chocolate chips and one bag of Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips.
For pretzels (apparently a popular purchase at this moment, as I grabbed the last bag on the aisle!) I used Rold Gold “Tiny Twists.” They really are just a standard size pretzel. Watch your fingers as you dip! If you’re doing this with little ones, make sure you take over the dipping duty as the chocolate level gets low in the bowl.
We used a variety of toppings—sprinkles in lots of different colors, shredded coconut, chopped pistachios, and the lovely powder left in the last big of a bag of Heath toffee baking bits. The whole family concurred that the best tasting was the semisweet chocolate with the toffee bits—I’ll never throw out those last little bits again! The white chocolate looks lovely with red or dark green sprinkles. The semisweet chocolate looks best with the coconut. Think contrast in color and texture. This is going into our regular rotation, but first we’ll have to learn how to eat these in moderation. It’s tough!
Kids, husband, and coworkers are happy thanks to these chocolate covered pretzels, although they all prefer the chocolate covered pretzel rods I make as opposed to the twists. I personally like the delicate nature of the thin twists. My husband says the chocolate-to-pretzel ratio is best on the rods.
The little balls on the chocolate pretzels were good, but the crystalline texture of the sprinkles on the white was more satisfying and added a nice little crunch, in my opinion. I used Utz Extra Thin pretzels, Ghirardelli semisweet baking chips, and Nestle white chocolate baking chips (the two stores I went to were out of the better white chocolate options, so I settled). I usually use the Wilton candy melts (bright white, not vanilla) for my pretzel rods, and they work great, but I was actually surprised by how tasty the Nestle white baking chips were.
My biggest problem was that in the 16-ounce bag of pretzels that I purchased, I would venture to guess that over half of them were broken. I had plenty of chocolate left over, possibly enough to dip twice as many pretzels. It’s clear that thin pretzels are subjected to cruel and unusual punishment during the packing and shipping process.
Originally published December 30, 2015