Festive Pretzel Wands

Every Christmas I am drawn to all of the festive magazines on the rack with tons of food gift ideas and recipes…I feel like they really aren’t much different than the other 11 issues throughout the year, but there’s something about the Christmas cookies on the cover that makes me want to dig in (to the magazine, and the cookies).

A couple years ago I purchased one of these oh-so-special magazines, and started making these Pretzel Wands. They were pretty much a hit and every year folks that I work with start asking about them around the first of December. They do take a little time to make, but they’re so good that I give in every. single. time.
I’ve made them the traditional way with nuts, but I’ve also rolled them in mini chocolate chips (delicious). There are so many possibilities. Have fun!

 

Triple Treat Pretzel Wands
From Better Homes and Gardens – Food Gifts Magazine
 
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups chopped mixed nuts
1 14-oz. package (about 50) vanilla caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons whipping cream, half-and-half, or light cream
18 large pretzel rods
2 oz. vanilla-flavor candy coating
1 teaspoon shortening
2 oz. chocolate-flavor candy coating
Directions:
1. Butter a large baking sheet (or spread out wax paper and skip the baking sheet); set aside. Spread nuts in an even layer on a plate; set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, stir caramels and whipping cream over medium-low heat until caramels are melted. Reduce heat to low.
3. Hold each pretzel rod by one end over the pan and spoon hot caramel mixture evenly over three-fourths of the pretzel; shake off excess (sometimes I lightly ‘scrape’ the caramel off). Roll the pretzel rod in nuts, turning to coat all sides. Place rods on prepared baking sheet (or wax paper) and let stand about 30 minutes or until caramel is set.
4. In a small saucepan, melt vanilla-flavor candy coating and 1/2 teaspoon of the shortening. In another small saucepan, do the same with the chocolate-flavor candy coating. Or melt the chocolate in the microwave according to package directions. Spoon each candy coating into small resealable plastic bags and cut off a corner of each bag to create a very small hole.

5. Drizzle the candy coating over the pretzel rods. Let stand for 30 minutes or until firm.

Linking up with the Winthrop Chronicles.

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