Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Gifts - Chocolate Pretzel Treats

Chocolate Pretzel Treats have become our most favorite holiday gift. We started making them long ago and even the youngest member of the family can help. We have made them at Christmastime, for Valentine's Day, and also Easter. The more varied M&Ms have become, the more treats we make.

It's a very simple concept. Hershey Kisses are unwrapped and set upon waffle pretzels. The Kisses and pretzels go into a cool oven of 250 degrees for five to eight minutes. Once the chocolate has just started to glisten and lose a bit of its form, it's time for the M&Ms. This job has always been reserved for mom. M&Ms are pressed into each softened Kiss. The chocolate takes at least a couple hours to harden again. This is important for packing them up and gifting.

When I first read about making them, the tutorials cautioned against using Kisses other than milk and dark chocolate. I wasn't convinced this was necessary. We have tried a variety of Kisses including caramel, mint truffle, Hugs and white chocolate with candy canes. What I will note is that each variety seems to melt at varying lengths of time and the caramel sometimes makes a big mess if they get too soft. However, those ones are especially tasty. The specialty Kisses seem to take the least amount of time, then milk chocolate, and finally the dark chocolate takes the longest. The softness can be checked with the back of a spoon. Another thing I always do now is to only bake one variety at a time.

Along with a few other specialty chocolates, this is our staple teacher gift. We find the teachers love them as much as we do!

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