I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving weekend! The countdown to Christmas (and other winter holidays) has officially begun. As promised, I’ll be here with fun ideas for meals (at home and for entertaining), snacks, bento lunches and edible gifts to get you through the next few weeks with aplomb.
First up are these delicious, festive and easy chocolate-topped pretzels. They take 15 minutes to make (not counting cooling time), and the combination of the salty, crunchy pretzel with the sweet chocolate is heavenly! These cute treats make an excellent party snack, favor, or gift. OK, fine, they’re also good when you’re watching junky TV late at night. ;) You can make as little or as much as you want — you just need a pretzel, Hershey’s kiss and M&M for each treat. Many thanks to my friend Heang for alerting me to this recipe!
- Pretzel squares (I suppose you could use regular pretzels, but the grids in the square ones work best to catch the chocolate when it’s slightly melted, so that it doesn’t end up falling off the pretzel after it cools)
- Hershey’s kisses or Hugs, which are those white-and-milk-chocolate-swirl kisses (I think a combination looks best), unwrapped
- M&Ms (Target and other stores sell bags of just red and green ones for the holidays, if you want to go for the ultra-festive look)
- Baking sheet
- Parchment or wax pape
Line the baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Spread the pretzel squares in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. Top each pretzel with a Hershey’s kiss or Hug.
Slide the chocolate-topped pretzels into the oven and bake for 4 to 6 minutes, or until chocolate is soft when touched with a wooden spoon. You want the chocolate to still retain a a pyramid shape but be malleable enough to be smushed down. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, then immediately press an M&M into the center of each chocolate kiss.
Note: Depending on how accurate your oven temperature is, you may have to adjust the baking time. Mine must burn low, because I had to bake the treats for 8 minutes before they were gooey enough to where the M&Ms didn’t meet with hard chocolate a quarter of the way down. They just don’t look as cute if the chocolate rises too high above the pretzel. Also, the Hugs will melt more quickly than the milk or dark chocolate kisses. Next time, I’m going to do one baking sheet for just the pretzels topped with Hugs, and another for the ones topped with regular kisses.
Let the treats cool completely, until the chocolate has hardened again. This took longer than I expected — about an hour in front of an open window. Once they’ve cooled, transfer the treats to a plate, bowl or airtight container for storage.
These also make an excellent gift (or addition to a gift basket). Simply put a few into a treat bag, then tie with a ribbon. I was able to fit 9 treats comfortably into a 4″x6″ treat bag.