Chocolatey Pretzel Treats

A friend brought these to a holiday party a couple of years ago, and the hubby has been talking about them ever since then. Intuitively, I knew how to make these, but did a bit of searching around anyway, to see if there were hints or anything I was missing. It seems that most people use Hershey kisses to make these treats, although Beantown Baker used chocolate bark instead. I’ve also included two techniques for making these (for melting the chocolate) below, based on what sort of chocolate you use.

These goodies went into care packages this week – I hope the recipients of these goodies like them!

Chocolatey Pretzel Treats

By Books n’ Cooks

Makes 10 dozen treats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a 1 lb. bag of pretzels – either the ties, the circles, or the checker boards
  • 1 bag Hershey kisses (milk chocolate, dark chocolate, hugs, or other solid-chocolate kiss, unwrapped) or bag chocolate melts
  • 1 bag M&Ms

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cover the baking sheet with pretzels, with the backside facing down.

  1. Method 1: If making with Hershey kisses, preheat the oven to 200F. Set a candy on the center of each pretzel. Bake until kisses are softened, 4-8 minutes. (The Hershey hugs soften the fastest). Remove from oven. Spread chocolate with a knife, or push it into place with the M&Ms.
  2. Method 2: If using candy melts or chocolate bark, melt in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, stirring chocolate until smooth. Pour a bit of the chocolate over each pretzel, using a teaspoon or a squeeze bottle.

Lay 3 M&Ms on each pretzel treat. Refrigerate the sheet until chocolate is set.

Store in an airtight container, or in the freezer.

Mixed Spiced Nuts

These nuts are great for munching. I love the rosemary flavor combined with the sweet brown sugar. Quick and easy to make, these nuts can be made up to a week ahead of time.

Mixed Spiced Nuts

Source: Fine Cooking No. 75 (p. 90c)

Ingredients:

  • 4 c. mixed unsalted nuts (I chose peanuts, cashews, pecans, almonds and walnuts for a batch and a half)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spread nuts out on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes, until toasted (be sure to shake baking sheet to stir nuts a couple times to ensure nuts are toasted throughout).

While nuts are toasting, you’ll make the butter sauce for the nuts. While I used a small skillet, I’d recommend using a large pot so that you’ll be able to toss the nuts in the same pot, rather than a separate one.

So heat your skillet or pot over medium heat.  When hot, toast coriander and cumin until aromatic, just a few seconds. Lower heat to low and add butter, brown sugar, rosemary and cayenne. Stir until butter melts and sugar is dissolved. Keep warm.

Remove nuts from oven and add to pot of spiced butter. (If you used a skillet, add nuts to a warmed bowl, warmed to make it easier to spread the butter). Using a rubber spatula so that you can really scrape the sides of the pot, stir nuts and spiced butter until nuts are coated. Add salt to taste.

Let nuts cool completely before transferring to a serving bowl or an airtight container.