18 December 2009

the pretzel project


our annual pretzel project was a fun family activity for a snowy sunday afternoon. it's an easy treat to whip up since you can purchase everything well in advance. each year we add a little something new to the mix, making the experience more of an experiment for us amateurs. i was super happy with the chunky oversized, larger-than-life knots that accompanied the usual pretzel rods. we dipped and coated and sprinkled while triumphing over chocolate hurdles. christmas candy-making, as you may know, can be a bonding experience. it takes team effort. at one point, i appointed myself to the sprinkle station while dan donned chocolate patrol. we should make tee-shirts next year. yep, our teenagers are gonna love us.

pretzel pointers
add a touch of whipping cream to the semi-sweet chocolate chips while melting, but be careful it doesn't turn into a ganache texture (we almost started making truffles instead). keep at it and it will give them a nice glossy look. use waxed paper. this is an absolute essential to get sprinkles and chocolate to behave themselves. also, do not attempt to drizzle store-bought caramel sauce over them, they never dry and therefore will make you very frustrated and sticky (on the other hand, you'll have more for the throw-out pile which means more to eat). speaking of the throw-out pile, dan was a resourceful genius with the half broken knotted pretzels. he sawed off the broken bends and dipped the little triangles (the base of the pretzel) in chocolate, which looked like tiny trees. completely cute. one more thing; be sure to buy a lot of white chocolate chips for melting. this is an ongoing debate in our house, but i think they make for the yummiest and prettiest pretzels. amber over at giver's log has posted some great melting chocolate tips.

pretzel embellishments
christmas tree and holiday sprinkles, sweetened flaked coconut, chopped nuts, cinnamon & sugar (deliciously divine), mini marshmallows, edible silver dragee balls (check the label, i accidentally bought the kind that you cannot ingest!! should they really be selling those in the baking aisle?!), mini m&m's, chopped candy bars and crushed candy canes too. mmm. mm.

enjoy.

15 comments:

Monika said...

I think we'll do this today. Just made some lemon pound cake for a school worker, getting ready to make my first-ever round of biscotti (which will be chocolate dipped, of course) and will make these with the 3 kids (18,6,4) since today begins Christmas break! They all look yummy. BTW-You mentioned liking some country music at Christmas. Go to iTunes and give Christmas Cookies by George Strait a listen. It' soooo cute and I bet you'll think of our sweet husband when you listen to it. I think about mine. And really, three-fourths of the reason I bake is for him!

Jamie and Jared said...

Those pretzels look so yummy. You just gave me a major craving. I may have to make a trip to the grocery store today. I am sure mine won't turn out so cute, but that's alright.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Diane said...

You have inspired me. These are so pretty. I think I could do this. I think I'll give it a try (I'm talking myself into it as I go.)

Micayla said...

OOOH they look yummy and I cannot believe how many you made. I may have to try these myself.

Anne Living Life said...

Adorable!! What a fun family project.

Hil said...

It should be said that these were absolutely delicious. The white chocolate with cinnamon and sugar was my absolute favorite... but they were all SO GOOD. Thank you for sharing Marta, they were adorable (while they lasted).

Anne said...

LOVE the gift tags you made! That paper is so pretty!

Sarah said...

Oooh. Very cute.

Dansie Family said...

yum! and beautiful i attempted the truffles this year. i think they turned out great. now that i have something to work from, i will experiment more next year. i tried lemon-dark chocolate and classic dark chocolate. both yummy.

hannah said...

darling! what lucky friends you have.

k said...

That is the CUTEST pic of your little guy in the background. I bet he loved your pretzel night. What a fun project and the rewards are delicious!

country girl said...

Marta, this is such a great idea! Thank you!
xo country girl
p.s. Geeze, how adorable is that lil' Benji?!!

The Schoonmakers said...

I just recently stumbled across your blog. Over the past three weeks I have read the entire thing. That's right, every entry from the beginning to now! You have inspired me to dig deeper and tap into my creative self. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, your photos, and your life with us!

Katie H said...

Thank you for the tips! I usually make bread & cookies, but this year I decided to try pretzel rods. I tried your tips last night & they helped a lot. Thank you.

summer said...

stupendous!
love the looks of pretzels storming your countertops and little benj laughing in the background. you guys are the coolest- making it a full fam activity.

these have to be one of my top christmas treats. but my oh my, the salty and sweet have never looked this good. i'm going to be following this tutorial next year.

ps. i'd have to take your side, marta. white really are the best.

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