Chocolate Covered Pretzels (Happy Independence Day!)

Happy Independence Day, friends.  I think if I had to choose a favorite holiday, I’d go with the 4th of July.  It combines all sorts of things that I love: good food, parties with friends, alcoholic beverages, and fireworks.  Throw in some red, white, and blue accessories and good old Sousa march, and you really can’t go wrong.  Growing up, my parents always held a big 4th of July party, with hot dogs and hamburgers, and patriotic-themed desserts, INDY-pendency Day on AMC (Indiana Jones movie marathon, naturally), and croquet in the backyard (thanks for that one, England).  During my long tenure in DC, I spent many years celebrating with friends who lived in Capitol Hill, and strolling outside just in time to catch the fireworks, portable beverage and camera in hand.  Now that we’ve moved north, we’ve decided to continue the tradition, and throw a party of our own!  We even have friends from DC coming up to join us, so there’s even more reason to celebrate this year!

These chocolate covered pretzels were made many years ago (this year, I opted for a trifle and homemade ice cream sandwiches), but they’re simple enough that you can make them last minute if you’re looking for something to bring to a party tonight.  Everybody seems to love the combination of salty and sweet, and they’re perfectly portable to take with you on a picnic.  Happy 4th – may your grill be hot, beer be cold, and fireworks display be magnificent!

chocolate covered pretzels
Chocolate covered pretzels obviously don’t require a recipe, but there are a few tips and tricks that make the process run a little smoother.

  • You can use either a bag of chocolate chips or candy melts for your chocolate – the candy melts tend to be a little smoother, but chocolate chips are a little tastier.
  • When microwaving the chocolate, go for short intervals at a time – 20 seconds, stir, 20 more seconds, stir again.  Chocolate burns quickly, so keep a close eye on it.  If your chocolate is melted, but not extremely smooth, add in a teaspoon of vegetable oil or coconut oil and stir.
  • Instead of using a bowl to melt your chocolate, use a tall glass.  Instead of having to spoon the chocolate over the pretzel rod, you can just dip the rod right in – super easy!
  • If you’re going to decorate with sprinkles, shake off all the excess chocolate first.
  • If you’re going to decorate with either frosting or a different color candy melt, either squeeze the frosting into a ziploc bag, or melt the chocolate right in the bag.  Snip off the corner, and drizzle by zig-zagging back and forth over all the pretzel rods.
  • Allow the pretzel rods to chill until completely set in the refrigerator prior to packing.  You can do this at room temperature as well, but cooling the chocolate speeds up the process significantly.