Last Christmas I made batches and batches of Christmas cookies over Thanksgiving break and took them into work the following week. Peanut Butter Balls have been a Christmas cookie tradition in our family since before I was even born. They are hands down my favorite Christmas cookie. The only problem when making Peanut Butter Balls (other than being tedious and messy) is you always have a ton of melted chocolate leftover when you’re done.
My mom’s solution to the leftover melted chocolate has always been to make chocolate covered nuts. I didn’t have any nuts in my cupboard, but I did have a bag of pretzels that my mom had brought out with her from Wisconsin when she and her husband drove here the previous August. I’m not a huge pretzel fan (unless we’re talking about big, soft pretzels accompanied by a bowl of beer cheese soup), so I decided that dipping the pretzels in chocolate would be the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone (or get rid of two ingredients I wasn’t going to otherwise use for anything else).
Never the one to take the simple path when it comes to baking or cooking, I decided to make extra special chocolate covered pretzels: turtle pretzels, chocolate peanut butter pretzels, chocolate covered pretzels dipped in crushed snickers bar, and chocolate covered pretzels dipped in crushed Reese’s Pieces. This entailed several trips to the grocery store for more and more ingredients and hours of tedious dipping, freezing, more dipping, rolling, and more freezing. I had to admit that they looked pretty good when all was said and done. Professional even.
As it turned out, the pretzel rods were by far the most popular treat amongst my coworkers (much to my amazement).
Hopefully these chocolate covered pretzels will be just as big a hit.
- Two bags of Rold Gold Pretzel Rods
- 1 bag of Kraft caramels
- 2 T. water
- 1 package milk chocolate chips
- 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 bag of chopped pecans
- 1 box of Reese’s Pieces (like the box they sell at the movie theater)
- Two Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped
- 1/2 package peanut butter chips, chopped
- 1/2 package of butterscotch chips
- white chocolate chips or squares
- Vegetable shortening
- Chop pecans and place in a shallow bowl. Chop Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and peanut butter chips and place in a shallow bowl along with Reese’s Pieces.
- Melt caramels and 2 T. water in a pot on the stove set inside a pan of simmering water. Dip the pretzel rods in the caramel (if necessary use a spoon to scoop the caramel over the pretzel rod). Cover the rod with caramel leaving one or two inches uncovered. Set on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper sprayed with cooking spray. Chill.
- Melt one package of milk chocolate chips in a tall drinking glass with 2 tsp. vegetable shortening in the microwave for 60 seconds (or until smooth). After the caramel-covered pretzel rods have cooled, dip into milk chocolate. Twirl the pretzel rod around lightly against the top of the drinking glass to get rid of excess chocolate.
- Dip into chopped pecan pieces (or other topping) and set on greased wax paper cookie sheet. Or set on greased wax paper cookie sheet and drop toppings onto chocolate. Chill.
- When you run out milk chocolate chips, repeat the above step with semi-sweet. You can also mix chocolate and butterscotch chips as well.
- Drizzle melted white chocolate or dark chocolate on top. (Optional)
- Keep in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Allow pretzels to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before eating.
The key to drizzling chocolate on top is to line all the rods up right next to each other on a sheet of paper and dip a spoon into the chocolate. Make sure the spoon is only covered in chocolate and then wave the spoon back and forth across the rods. If you dip the spoon into too much chocolate, the chocolate will glob onto the rods.