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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Peppermint Bark Pretzels

A sweet and salty combo, spiked with a hint of peppermint! These Peppermint Bark Pretzels are incredibly easy to make and beyond delicious. Share at a party or potluck and they will disappear quick!


Peppermint Bark Pretzels


Since fall began, I've been talking about making Peppermint Bark. Guess what, I STILL HAVEN'T MADE ANY! This upsets me, however, these Peppermint Bark Pretzels were a spur-of-the-moment, off-the-cuff, impromptu (lots of words that all mean the same thing) magic happening. We had pretzels to use and I wanted something minty. Voila!

Peppermint Bark Pretzels


Let me break down what happened in my kitchen last weekend. I baked. For 10+ hours straight. I wanted a baking day with my mom and sister, and boy, did I get one. We made countless dozens of cookies. Three batches (one batch made approx. 30 cookies) of peanut butter cookies, three batches of White Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies (coming soon!), these Peppermint Bark Pretzels and I'm pretty sure one other thing, but I just can't remember what it was.

By 11:00 p.m. I was exhausted, but that exhaustion turned into excitement as I brought in these pretzels. I let them sit outside in the cold, Kansas air to chill because my fridge was full. Don't judge. Bugs are dead by now, they were fine.

Originally we thought we would just chocolate coat the pretzels, but, pshhh, what fun is that?! I decided to pump them up with some peppermint, throw on some white chocolate (like I literally threw it on there, with a fork, and landed some on my wall, stove, counter, floor...), then sprinkled crushed candy canes on top. Hello, delicious.

Peppermint Bark Pretzels


If you can use a microwave, you can make these pretzels. I prefer to use a double-boiler, but I would be lying if I said I have never microwaved my chocolate. Here's a few tips for making this recipe:
  • Instead of using a double boiler, you can melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Simply place chocolate, peppermint extract (to the semi-sweet only!) and vegetable oil in bowl, and heat on high for 45 seconds. Stir, then heat for 15 seconds. Repeat the stirring and 15 second increments until chocolate is thoroughly melted.
  • If you don't want your peppermint bark to be overly minty, you can omit the peppermint extract, or reduce it. I like mint so I added this in for an extra kick! 
  • To get a pretty effect, use a fork to fling the chocolate onto your pretzels. Be prepared for a little mess. You can also simply place the chocolate in a bowl with a pour spout and drizzle that way. I'm a child and like to play with my food so I opted for fork-flinging.
  • Instead of using chocolate baking bars, I have used semi-sweet and white chocolate chips. While they are not ideal for melting, they work just fine for drizzling too. I also recommend trying other high-quality baking bars.
  • Once cooled, you can break the bark into any size pieces you'd like. I use the parchment or wax paper beneath the bark to cover my hands and just start breaking off pieces. 
I hope you enjoy these yummy snacks/dessert. Make up a batch to share with co-workers, at a party or potluck, or to hoard while you binge eat on the couch and watch TV. Sweet and salty snacks are perfect for binge eating...

Peppermint Bark Pretzels


Peppermint Bark Pretzels

Printer Friendly Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes
Chill time:  15 minutes + 1 hour
Yield: 15 servings

Ingredients:
1 (16 oz.) bag of Gold Rold Tiny Twists Pretzels
3 (4 oz.) bars of Baker's brand Semi-Sweet Chocolate*
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract*
3 (4 oz.) bars of Baker's brand White Chocolate*
1 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided
1 cup crushed candy cane pieces

Instructions:
Step 1: Line three baking sheets with wax or parchment paper. Lay the entire bag of pretzels out, in one layer, on the baking sheets.

Step 2: Break your chocolate into large pieces. In a double boiler* melt your semi-sweet chocolate with 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Stir occasionally to break up pieces and speed up melting. Once fully melted, add the peppermint extract. Use a fork or spoon to drizzle chocolate (thoroughly) onto the pretzels. It doesn't have to be perfect. Get artistic with it. Fling it however you think looks best. Use all of your chocolate. You want most of the pretzel well coated in chocolate. Place each baking sheet in the fridge or freezer to harden while you complete the others.

Step 3: Rinse and wipe your double boiler clean, and repeat the melting process with the white chocolate and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Use a fork or knife to drizzle pretty lines all over your pretzels, one sheet at a time. Once you finish one sheet of pretzels, pause to sprinkle tops with crushed candy cane. This ensures your chocolate doesn't dry before you top with candy cane. Place the baking sheets back into your fridge or freezer for one hour to completely chill and harden. Using the paper to protect your hands, break apart the pretzels (can be done either one by one, or into larger abstract pieces) and store in the fridge, in an airtight container.
*Instead of using a double boiler, you can melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Simply place chocolate, peppermint extract (to the semi-sweet only!) and vegetable oil in bowl, and heat on high for 45 seconds. Stir, then heat for 15 seconds. Repeat the stirring and 15 second increments until chocolate is thoroughly melted.
*If you don't want your peppermint bark to be overly minty, you can omit the peppermint extract. I like mint so I added this in for an extra kick!
*Instead of using chocolate baking bars, I have used semi-sweet and white chocolate chips. While they are not ideal for melting, they work just fine for drizzling too. I also recommend trying other high-quality baking bars.

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