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Candy Coated Pretzel Rods

I received a very specific request... Tell me how to make Chocolate Covered Pretzels so that I can give them away as gifts to my coworkers.  Great idea.  Chocolate covered pretzels are easy, inexpensive to make, and quite tasty.
Here is my technique.  You only need a few simple items - pretzel rods, candy coating, toppings, and plastic pretzel bags.

I have tried several different candy coating, but I like to use Vanilla Candiquik.  You can get it in most grocery stores in the aisle where chocolate chips and other baking supplies are sold.  If your store does not carry Candiquik, they will have a product called Almond Bark.  The two items are very similar and can be used interchangeably.  I usually use Snyder's of Hanover Pretzel Rods.  They are always fresh with a minimum number of broken pretzels int he bag.One 16oz package of candy coating will cover two bags of pretzel rods.  Here are a few ideas for toppings, but be creative - you can top off these pretzels with just about anything you'd like.  Some toppings I have used in the past include rainbow sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, and nerds. Pretzel bags can be purchased at Walmart or Michael's.  They are in the section with the Wilton cake making supplies.

Line two cookie sheets with waxed paper.  

The easiest way to melt the coating is to place the entire block of Vanilla or Chocolate coating in a large glass bowl.  Microwave on high for one minute.  Gently stir the coating, then continue to microwave in 30 second increments until the candy begins to soften.  After each 30 second time frame, stir the candy coating. 

*You are not looking to completely melt the coating in the microwave.  As the chocolate heats up, the continuous stirring will help the chocolate to become smooth.
*Keep all liquids away from your candy coating.  If any liquid gets into your candy coating, it will seize up and not be useable.  This is very important to know.

Once the coating is smooth, pour some of it into a tall drinking glass. Using a tall drinking glass will make it easy to dip the pretzels and remelt the candy coating as it cools and hardens.  Dip one pretzel rod 3/4 of the way into the coating and be patient. Lift the pretzel and give the excess coating a few moments to run off back into the glass.  Wait about 30 seconds, then holding the pretzel over one of the prepared pans sprinkle with your topping.
*If you are using a "heavy" topping like mini chocolate chips, allow the pretzel to firm up just a bit before sprinkling with the chocolate chips or they may fall off.
*If you are having problems with the topping sticking to the chocolate, you can sit the pretzel down, then sprinkle your topping over each pretzel.  

Allow the pretzels to sit for about 15 minutes.  They will firm up quite quickly.  Once you are finished coating all of your pretzels, put one or two in each pretzel bag and tie the top with curling ribbon or a twist tie.  Here are a few photos of some candy coated pretzels that I have prepared.

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