Thursday, December 17, 2009

Peppermint Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels

Candy canes put me instantly in the Christmas spirit. Eating them transports me back twenty years to when I sat on the couch watching Christmas movies, wearing them down to finely-tipped spikes which I used to probe cavities and administer minty vaccinations.

It wouldn't be December without candy canes, but I'm not willing to eat corn syrup or red 40, blue 1, yellow 5, or any of the other chemical weapons present in conventional brands. Fortunately, I tracked down some Pure Fun Organic Candy Canes at Whole Foods. They're made with evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, and peppermint extract, and colored with a mix of elderberry, apple, and black currant juice. No refined sugars, no freakish dyes, and they taste exactly like normal candy canes. They're available online, but shipping is steep. Amazon sells Organic Peppermint Swirl Mint Pinwheels, which are the wrong shape but right flavor.

Since a dozen candy canes is a few too many to just straight up eat, I considered some pepperminty desserts. A google search turned up some good ideas, but I finally settled on a holiday treat that is stupidly easy: pretzels dipped in chocolate, dipped in smashed up candy canes. Salty and sweet and incredibly addictive, they're perfect for a party or last-minute gift.

I used Glutino Pretzel Twists (remarkably tasty and normal) for this no-bake gluten-free alternative to Christmas cookies. The straightforward ingredients and method have been documented on dozens of blogs, but I'll share my tips and ratios.

Peppermint Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels

salted pretzels, any shape
12-oz. bag vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (white chocolate would be nice, too)
12 peppermint candy canes

Clear some counter space and lay out sheets of wax or parchment paper.

Place candy canes in a sealed plastic bag and smash (!) with a hammer or rolling pin until they are like fine gravel, but not completely pulverized. Pour the crushed candy canes in a small bowl and set aside.

Melt chocolate gently. (Create a poor man's double boiler by setting the bottom of a small metal bowl in a pot of hot water.) Set melted chocolate beside crushed candy canes.

Use chopsticks or skewers to submerge pretzels one at a time in melted chocolate. Allow excess chocolate to drip off. Dip pretzels in crushed candy canes and set on wax paper, leaving space between pretzels.

Or dispense with the skewers and use your fingers to dip half of each pretzel in the chocolate and candy canes. Still pretty.

Place pretzels in a cool, dry place and allow to set for 2-3 hours.

10 comments:

  1. I may have to head over to Whole Foods after reading this post.

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  2. I wish I had this right now--I love that combination of salty and sweet. Also like the poor man's double broiler tip!
    xo
    Eco Mama

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  3. Well, that's just awesomely festive, that is! What a great find you made on those candy canes! I have to admit, though, I really only love peppermint when it's mixed with chocolate. So yay, you! :-)

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  4. Thanks for this, Mary! I didn't know about gf pretzels--I'm so glad they exist and taste good. These photos are great, too. Happy Christmas! :)

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  5. Hmm. I wonder if I can get my wife to make these. They look great.

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  6. Soooo pretty! I love these, the salty, sweet combination is always a favorite around here. Thanks for this idea!

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  7. Mmm, yum, chocolate covered pretzles... *Homer-like drooling noises* Merry almost Christmas!

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  8. Yum! I'm not sure if I'd like the peppermint-pretzel combo, but they sure look good!

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  9. Oh Mary! So awesome! I made these this weekend and Josh and I gobbled them all up! I used white almond bark because that's just how we roll, but man are they tasty!

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  10. Awesome recipe! I was looking for another easy & sweet treat to make for some holiday get-togethers this weekend and this is it. Thanks Mary!

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