These chocolate covered Christmas pretzels are so cute, but they’re also so easy that anyone can make them. Some links in this article are affiliate links that may earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
I love making Christmas cookies and other treats. Every year, it’s always a debate what cookies we leave out for Santa.
This year? Santa doesn’t just leave presents. He’s going to GET presents, too.
These chocolate covered Christmas pretzels are absolutely adorable, and they’re a great no bake treat. It’s a perfect sweet and salty combination.
In fact, these are so easy that they’re a perfect first baking foray with kids. Note that an adult can and should be in charge of the chocolate.
One kid can drop a pretzel into the chocolate and flip it. Another kid can help add the bows to each chocolate covered pretzel once it makes it to the wax paper.
That leaves the adult to get the pretzel safely out of the chocolate with as much chocolate shaken off as possible. I’ve got tips though!
What kind of pretzels should I use for chocolate covered Christmas pretzels?
The key is to use the square pretzels that look like grids. Those make the base box shape you want.
In terms of flavor, a plain flavor pretzel works best. You can use butter flavored pretzels or sourdough pretzels, but that’s as wild as I would get.
And yes, this works beautifully with gluten free pretzels for a completely gluten free Christmas dessert. Quinn’s is the only square shaped gluten free pretzel I know of, but I would love to hear about more options!
What chocolate should I use for chocolate covered pretzels?
For me, taste is paramount. I prefer almond bark because it melts well and tastes good.
You can use colored melting discs, as well. They melt great, but honestly they don’t taste the same.
Good quality white chocolate also works, but be careful you don’t scorch it. While almond bark burns relatively easily, white chocolate is even easier.
If you use white chocolate, you may need to add a teaspoon or so of oil to it as it melts to get it smooth, which is another reason I don’t recommend it.
What food coloring should I use?
For this, the traditional food coloring works well. I started with gel food coloring, but it did not mix well (though it may be an age issue).
As with anything, the more you add, the more vibrancy you get, but it does change the texture of the almond bark if you add too much.
Originally, I had planned to make red presents and green bows, but I use my food coloring and food dyes so infrequently that my reds were completely dry and useless.
Obviously, if you use candy melts, they come already dyed, so you simply melt the color(s) you want to use.
Why do I need so much chocolate?
Unlike when you make cookies and can use every last bit of dough to make cookies, when you dip anything in chocolate, you always want and need plenty of extra as you dip.
If you try to get the last bit out of your bowl or pot to coat your pretzels, they won’t look pretty. It just doesn’t work.
So yes, you need to melt 10 ounces of chocolate for this, but you don’t use it all. So what do you do with the leftover chocolate?
Once it hardens, you can put it in a container to melt again for another day with more chocolate. As long as you don’t heat the chocolate too fast or too high of heat, you can melt it repeatedly so long as it stays clean of debris.
Alternatively, I make chocolate bark with my leftover chocolate every time. It’s two desserts in one, and I vary what I make by the season.
With the spirit of Christmas, this would be a great layer to use as a base for chocolate peppermint bark.
What’s the best way to melt chocolate?
The best tip I have for melting chocolate – outside buying quality chocolate – is to chop it before you start to melt it, not matter what method you use.
The smaller the pieces, the faster each will melt. This reduces the risk of scorching chocolate waiting for big pieces to melt.
I very rarely melt my chocolate in the microwave, though I did this time to remind my why I don’t do it more often. My preferred method is with a very heavy cast iron pot on low heat.
The cast iron is thick enough to keep the chocolate from burning over low heat, and the cast iron also holds in the heat so the chocolate stays warm and melty for longer.
Traditionally, you melt chocolate in a double boiler, which is the safest method. The key here is to ensure you don’t get any water in your chocolate, or it will seize.
The simplest method is to use a candy melting pot. This is similar to an electric fondue pot for chocolate, and it works great to keep your chocolate at temperature.
If you melt chocolate in the microwave, do it in short bursts. Start with 30 seconds, then move to 20 second intervals, and make sure you stir between each interval.
Regardless of how you heat your chocolate, heat it just until almost all of it melts, then stir and let the residual heat melt the rest. This keeps it tempered.
What do I do when my chocolate starts to get thick?
As chocolate cools, it quickly gets thick and unwieldy. You want chocolate warm enough that it remains thin to make prettier chocolate covered pretzel presents.
Your chocolate will eventually start to get harder to work with, and you will need to warm it up again gently.
If you used a microwave, heat it for 10 seconds and stir to see if that was enough. Heat it again for another 10 seconds if needed.
If you melted it on the stove or over a double boiler, gently return it to low heat and warm it until it’s smooth and thin.
If you use the chocolate melting pot, it has a setting to keep your chocolate warm, and you never have to worry about this. Lucky!
How do I get the excess chocolate off the pretzel?
If you just dunk your pretzel and pull it out, the shape tends to not be well defined, and it looks sloppier than you will want it. Plus, it uses way more chocolate.
The square pretzel grids also hold a lot of chocolate initially. If you don’t shake off the excess chocolate, you don’t get the right sweet to salty balance.
While you can use a fork for this task, it is far easier if you use chocolate dipping tools. For this work, I use the wide three pronged fork.
Its narrow tines don’t retain as much chocolate as a regular fork does, and it both holds a pretzel better while shaking it and more easily allows you to set it onto the wax paper cleanly.
They are definitely worth the investment! I use the different shapes for other projects, whether the round one for dipping cookie dough truffles or the spear when I make chocolate dipped strawberries.
How to Make Chocolate Bows
The first step in making these chocolate covered pretzel presents is to make the bows. Set up your work are with wax paper, your pastry bag (or zip top sandwich bag), and scissors before you melt any chocolate.
Because you’re working with a small amount in a bag, it hardens quickly. Work. Fast.
To pour melted chocolate into a pastry bag, I place the bag into a glass, with the top of the bag turned over the glass to make a wide and sturdy opening. Once you pour about a third of a cup (don’t measure) into the bag, seal it with as little air as possible.
Snip just a tiny bit off one corner to make an opening. Melted chocolate flows fast, and it doesn’t take much to be too much.
Squeeze out the chocolate onto the wax paper to make small bows about a half inch or so. Don’t stress about the exact size, but you want it to be proportionate to your chocolate covered pretzel.
A little chocolate goes a long way, so don’t worry about being perfect. Just make more if you need to.
Form a sideways figure eight – or an infinity symbol, if you will. Then make an upside down V that attaches to the center of the first figure.
It may be easier to watch the video that demonstrates how to make this, but they don’t have to be perfect. The eye sees what it wants to see.
They harden quickly on the parchment paper, especially in winter. However, make sure the bows are solid chocolate before you dip the pretzels.
The bows easily pop off the parchment paper. Peel them off so they’re ready to attach to your presents immediately.
How to make the chocolate covered pretzel presents
Check your chocolate to ensure it’s at a good temperature. Add the food coloring if you haven’t already.
Green presents with red bows, red presents with white bows, white presents with green bows, red presents with green bows, white presents with red and green bows – it all works!
Drop a single pretzel into the chocolate, then flip it over with your chocolate tool. Use the tool to remove it from the chocolate, then shake off as much excess chocolate as you can.
Place the chocolate covered pretzel on a clean sheet of wax paper, and immediately pop a bow near the top of your pretzel. If there’s a side that got less chocolate or looks less pretty, put the bow there.
Repeat for the remaining pretzels, reheating your chocolate as necessary.
Let the chocolate covered pretzel presents harden, then remove them from the wax paper. Store the chocolate covered Christmas pretzels in a tightly sealed container on your counter for up to a week.
Make these chocolate covered Christmas pretzels, and save the recipe to make them again!
- 10 oz almond bark
- 50 pretzel snaps
- food coloring
- Chop almond bark and melt gently using your favorite method.
- Place about 1/3 cup in a pastry bag and seal. Snip off a tiny corner.
- Pipe bows onto wax paper. Let harden.
- Ensure chocolate remains warm enough, then dip a single pretzel into the chocolate, flip it, then shake off excess chocolate.
- Place onto a clean piece of wax paper, and immediately place a bow on the "top" of a present.
- Repeat with remaining pretzels, then let harden.
- Store in a tightly sealed container for up to a week on your counter.
- You will NOT use all the chocolate, but you need to have extra melted chocolate for the dipping to work well. Use any extra to make chocolate bark or save it for another project.
- This works best with food coloring over gel. Feel free to use whatever colors you like or even mix and match colors - white, red, green, and more.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 50 Serving Size: 1 pretzel
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 368mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.
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