Monday, December 23, 2013

Last Minute Christmas Treat

If you’re looking for an easy, inexpensive, and tasty holiday treat for your neighborhood Christmas gifts, look no further!  This salty sweet combination provides the perfect amount of crunch, chewy goodness, and holiday flare. 

What You’ll Need:
*Melting Caramel
*Melting White Chocolate
*Melting Milk Chocolate
Candy Canes
Pretzel Rods (1 bag of 30)
Parchment Paper

*You’ll need to purchase your caramel, and chocolates from a store that sells melting chocolates.  I bought all my supplies from Orson Gigi.  

I like to start by placing my candy canes in a bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. I crushed all 12 of them and had plenty to spare- I made about 40 pretzels.

You can leave the chards in a bag or place them in a bowl to use later.  Next I cut my caramel into squares.  I used about 1/4 of the block.  I chose to just fill a tall mug with the melted caramel so that it would make the dipping easier.  If your microwave is tall enough a pitcher would work great as well. 

You can use a stove top to keep your caramel and chocolates melted, but you want to be very careful they don’t burn.  If you use a stove you need to have a double broiler.  The microwave was an easier option for me and if my caramel started hardening I could just pop it back in for a few seconds!
Every microwave will differ, but these are the general cooking times…

Caramel: 30 seconds, stir, 30 more seconds

White chocolate: 30 seconds, stir, 15 more seconds (the white chocolate melts the fastest)

Milk Chocolate: 30 seconds, stir, 30 more seconds

The key to finding out the perfect time for your microwave is start low!  Try 15-30 seconds increments at most… You don’t want your candy to burn!

Now you can start dipping!  The caramel should stick pretty well to your pretzel.  If it’s falling right off, it’s too hot and you need to let it thicken up a little.  

I do a few twists and then set it down on my wax paper.  When you’ve finished with your caramel you can heat up the white chocolate (or milk chocolate, whichever you prefer).

And the process starts over!

Just dip…

And twist! 

While the white chocolate is still soft, sprinkle your peppermint over the top.  Make sure you do it soon after you’re finished dipping, or it won’t stick!

And now for the finishing touches!  This part can get a little messy.  The chocolate I used wasn’t thin enough to “drizzle” so I kind of just had to wave my spoon back and forth.  I think it it made my lines a little more artistic ;)

And you’re done!  Easy, inexpensive, yummy (and cute).  I paid $60 for my supplies and I’m going to be making these every weekend for the rest of the month if I want to get rid of them!  Consider it this way; you give 20 neighborhood gifts and they’re only $3 dollars a piece! (Plus you’ll have plenty to spare for those holiday get togethers).  

Just wrap it up with some cellophane and finish it off with a bow. Thanks for reading, hope you have a Merry Christmas!