While everyone else has visions of sugarplums dancing through their heads, we’ll be dreaming of salty-sweet snacks that are easier to make than cookies, more fun to gift than a jelly of the month club and tastier to snack on than any old fruitcake. Here’s how to make chocolate-covered pretzels that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
How to Make Chocolate-Covered Pretzels for Snacking (and Gifting) All Season
What are the best pretzels to use?
While mini twists are a classic choice, you can make chocolate-covered pretzels with any shape or size pretzel you prefer. Rods and sticks? Yep. Windowpanes? Sure. Christmas tree pretzels? Yes (and let us know where you found them). If you’re baking with kids, you may want to use rods—they’re easier for little hands to wield and dip, resulting in (slightly) less mess.
We prefer to use salted pretzels for this snack because we can’t get enough of the sweet-and-salty combination, but you could use unsalted or lightly salted pretzels too.
What’s the best chocolate to use?
While the pretzel choice is more of a free-for-all, you shouldn’t use just any chocolate when making chocolate-covered pretzels. Our rule of thumb? Choose a chocolate that you would want to eat. It doesn’t have to be the fanciest bar ever (chips are totally fine!), but if it tastes good on its own, it will taste good with pretzels. If you use chocolate bars, you’ll just want to chop them first to speed up the melting process.
How To Melt Chocolate In A Double Boiler
If your eyes glaze over as soon as a recipe mentions melting chocolate over a “double boiler,” allow us to explain: A double boiler is just a way of gently melting an ingredient over indirect heat. To set one up, you’ll need a small to medium saucepan and a heatproof bowl that fits in the saucepan without touching the bottom.
Step 1: Fill the saucepan with a few inches of water and set it over low to medium-low heat. Bring the water to a gentle simmer (not a boil—you don’t want to scorch the chocolate).
Step 2: Place the chocolate in the heatproof bowl and set the bowl over the saucepan, taking care to not get any water inside the bowl. (This will cause the chocolate to seize and turn gritty, forcing you to start over.)
Step 3: Using a silicone spatula, stir the chocolate until it’s melted and smooth, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a very gentle simmer. Once the chocolate is melted, you can either remove the bowl from the saucepan or just turn off the heat. (We like the latter option because it allows you to rewarm the chocolate if it gets too cool as you dip.)
How to Melt Chocolate in the Microwave
If setting up a double boiler is too much trouble, no worries: You can also melt the chocolate in a microwave.
Step 1: Place the chocolate in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl, then microwave at medium power (50 percent) for 1 to 1½ minutes.
Step 2: Use a silicone spatula to stir the chocolate until the bowl feels cool to the touch, then microwave in 15- to 20-second intervals, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. If the chocolate cools down too much while you’re dipping the pretzels, return it to the microwave to heat in 15-second intervals until it’s melted again.
How to Make Chocolate-Covered Pretzels
Once you’ve chosen your pretzels, chocolate and melting method, you’re basically halfway to snacking heaven. Here’s exactly how to make chocolate-covered pretzels.
12 ounces chocolate
4 ounces pretzels
Garnishes, such as sprinkles (we like Supernatural) or flaky salt (optional)
Parchment paper or wax paper
Fork or bamboo skewers for dipping
Step 1: Line A Baking Sheet With Parchment Paper
Before you begin, prep at least one baking sheet (or more, depending on how many chocolate-covered pretzels you’re making). Line each with parchment paper, wax paper or a silicone baking sheet.
Step 2: Melt The Chocolate
If you’re using the double-boiler method, set up your double boiler and place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Arrange the bowl over the double boiler and use a silicone spatula to stir the chocolate until completely smooth.
If you’re using the microwave method, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave until melted.
Step 4: Remove The Excess Chocolate
Use the skewers or fork to remove the pretzel from the chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. If using a fork, you can gently tap it against the side of the bowl; if using skewers, gently shake the pretzel to coax any excess chocolate back into the bowl.
Step 5: Transfer The Pretzels To The Prepared Baking Sheet To Dry
Gently transfer the chocolate-covered pretzels to the lined baking sheets after you’ve dipped them. While the chocolate is still wet, you can garnish the treats with sprinkles or other toppings as desired. Allow the chocolate to set completely before removing the pretzels from the baking sheet to an airtight container. They’ll keep like that for about a month—that is, if you don’t eat them all first.