Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye, 2010

...You were a most amazing year. Not an easy one, by any stretch, but a good one all the same. Well, except December. December kind of sucked, but it's nearly over.

Since my Harrowing Highway Incident, I have had a change of outlook; not unlike Scrooge after his spirit visitation. Mine came too late for Christmas but I am nevertheless feeling quite festive, on account of being alive. Belatedly in the holiday spirit, I am full of ideas for next year, including this great gift idea: a bouquet of chocolate dipped pretzel rods, in a handmade mug.  I ain't just whistling "Jingle Bells;" I went and bought the ingredients and made some up, for photos.

Here's the recipe:

10 ounces pretzel sticks (Pretzel RODS)
12 ounces milk chocolate chips (or melting disks)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
candy sprinkles (optional)
miniature M&M's chocolate candies (optional)
mini Reese's pieces (optional)
chopped peanuts (optional)

Prep Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 33 mins
1) Melt milk chocolate chips in double boiler or in microwave (be careful not to burn in the micro).
2) If you are using the white chocolate, wait until later before melting unless you can keep it over warm water.
3) Dip each pretzel rod about 2/3 of the way up in chocolate.
4) Lay on wax paper lined baking sheets, lining up the rods but leave a bit of space between them.
5) Allow to set a little, but not completely dry (while waiting, make sure your white chocolate is ready).
6) Dip a fork into the white chocolate and drizzle over the milk chocolate by gently swishing the fork back and forth over the rods but not touching them.
7) Place your sprinkles or candies on a paper plate and roll each pretzel rod in desired topping (or just sprinkle on).
8)Lay back on wax paper to set completely.
9) Tie up with a bow and give in a handmade mug!

Two things: I had better luck after I added a little bit of vegetable shortening to the chocolate, for a smoother coat. I later read that some people add parafin wax for the same purpose, and because it makes the chocolate harden better - important if the gift has to travel any distance, like, say, out of your kitchen. Kind of like adding CMC gum to glaze, for a stronger dry coat. 

Oh -- the photo at the top is not mine. My first efforts were too ugly. The ones in the photo came from this Etsy seller

My annual week of reflection has been postponed until next week, due to car, travel, and work issues, but never fear, reflect I will. It's worked so well so far!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Happy New Year Lori!
Those pretzels look spectacular~ Thanks for sharing the recipe. I look forward to reading about your 2011 adventures, may they all be positive ones....ok maybe all is unrealistic- 99% ?!