Thanks so much for visiting HipWriterMama, my blog about children's books, authors and readergirlz!

It's time for a change. I've decided to focus my attention on my writing blog, www.vivianleemahoney.com. Hope to see you there!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sweet Treats: Peppermint Sticks, Pretzels and Chocolate

I finally had a chance to download my Christmas pictures and found something you may find sweet to look at.

My chocolate bark and chocolate covered pretzels. These are simply the easiest things to make. And when you arrange these chocolate pieces in a small box or cellophane bag with a festive ribbon, you've got an impressive gift to bring to friends, family and neighbors.

Jama Rattigan, I know these aren't cookies, but I think you'll enjoy these tantalizing morsels of goodness.

I made three kinds of chocolate bark and chocolate covered pretzels this year. White chocolate, milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate. Yum! Here's how to do it.

Note: First, as you all know, my middle child has a bunch of food allergies, two being dairy and nuts. So I make the semi-sweet chocolate goodies first. Just for her. She LOVES the semi-sweet chocolate covered pretzels the best.

If you have a loved one with food allergies, make sure the "safe" ingredients and "uncontaminated" cooking pans and utensils are kept separate from the rest of the food and cooking supplies. This is absolutely critical in my household. You'll be able to find semi-sweet chocolate, pretzel rods, jimmies, and some candies that is not manufactured near nuts or dairy. You may have to call the manufacturer directly to find out this information, if it is not specifically detailed on the food packaging.

Chocolate Bark
2 bags white chocolate chips

2 bags milk chocolate chips (if you can't find milk chocolate chips, then melt white chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips together until you get the milk chocolate flavor you like)
2 bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
Crushed peppermint and/or spearmint hard candies or candy canes

Melt the chocolate chips over the lowest heat possible in separate pots. Stir each pot of chocolate chips until the chips have all melted. Line three cookie sheets with wax paper. Spread the melted white chocolate in one pan, melted milk chocolate in the second pan, melted semi-sweet chocolate in the third pan. Spread the chocolate to less than 1/2 inch thickness.

Quickly shake the crushed peppermints/spearmints or candy canes over the chocolate and press down. If you use the peppermint/spearmint combination over the white chocolate, you'll have a pretty red/green/white candy that's perfect for Christmas.

If you have any leftover chocolate, drizzle the white chocolate on top of the milk chocolate, drizzle milk chocolate on top of the white chocolate...get the picture? Place the chocolate someplace cool to harden--your refrigerator, your porch, etc.

Once the chocolate bark has hardened, break off pieces and store in an airtight container. This makes plenty to share with loved ones. Enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Pretzels
1/2 bag white chocolate chips
1/2 bag milk chocolate chips
1/2 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 bags of Rod pretzel sticks
Colorful jimmies, sprinkles, colored sugars, mini chocolate chips, crushed candy canes, crushed toffee, crushed candy bars, mini marshmallows and anything else you'd like to try

Melt the chocolate chips in three separate pots over the lowest possible heat. Stir until the chocolate chips have melted. Line three cookie sheets with wax paper.

Take one pretzel rod and dip it into the chocolate. Use a spoon to distribute the chocolate evenly over the pretzel. Quickly cover the chocolate covered pretzel with any of the yummy toppings and then put on the wax paper lined cookie sheet. Take a spoon and drizzle chocolate on top of the toppings. Continue with the rest of the pretzels.

Place the cookie sheets somewhere cool until the chocolate hardens. These are amazing. The crunch, salt and sweet together is total, total joy.


m. thompson said...

Now I know what I'm going to do with all these candy canes. Thanks and have a great New Year's!

jama said...

Thanks for these yummy treats, Vivian. A nice balance for the cookie platter! I like the tips for dairy allergies, too. Happy New Year!!

Barrie said...

Yummy! And thank you so much for the sunscreen website!!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I love chocolate covered pretzels, but the last time I tried to make them (over ten years ago), the pretzels had a bit of a stale texture once they cooled. Does that ever happen with yours?

HipWriterMama said...

M. Thompson,
Hope you have fun making the chocolate covered pretzels. Happy New Year!

You're welcome! Hope it works. Happy New Year!

Glad you liked these recipes. Happy New Year!

I haven't had the problem with the chocolate. I melt the chocolate very slowly and then let the chocolate gradually cool. So I think there is less chance to shock the chocolate. I know that the chocolate can get a white covering...which is totally okay to eat, but not as attractive.

Hope this helps. Happy New Year!

MotherReader said...

Those pretzels sounds especially delicious. Yummmy.