Extreme Makeover Pretzels

Whether you are a vegan stuck at an airport in Nebraska, driving the lone stretch of highway 5 between Northern and Southern California, or visiting Grandma in a small town in rural Illinois, what would you do without pretzels?

Almost always vegan, almost always available, pretzels have saved many a vegan from starvation and hypoglycemia. But, let’s face it, an empty stomach is the only reason to eat them. Pretzels may tame your growling belly, but with virtually no taste, choking them down is like eating salted cardboard. It’s better than dying, but not by much. That is, unless, you coat them in chocolate.

Dip a boring, unassuming pretzel in a bath of melted chocolate, and it will emerge reborn and utterly delicious, a culinary Extreme Makeover.  Sprinkle with a few grains of coarse sea salt, crushed candy canes or sprinkles, then drizzle lightly with white chocolate, and va va voom – you simply won’t believe your taste buds. When sweet meets salty, it’s simply magical. Make some chocolate covered pretzels this holiday season for yourself or as a gift for friends and family, and you’ll believe in miracles!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (12 oz) vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tb. plus 1 tsp. vegan shortening (divided)
  • 1 bag (8 oz.) vegan pretzels (whatever pretzel size & shape you prefer)
  • Coarse sea salt

Optional:

  • Assorted vegan sprinkles
  • 1 cup vegan white chocolate chips
  • 5 crushed vegan candy canes or peppermint candies

To Prepare:

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave (in a microwave-safe bowl, heat until the chocolate begins to melt – about 30 seconds -  then remove from microwave and stir continuously until heat is evenly distributed and all the chips have melted).
  3. Add 1 Tb. of shortening and stir until thoroughly blended.
  4. If dipping pretzel rods, hold a rod by one end and dip it in the chocolate, leaving an inch or two uncovered. If you are dipping pretzel twists, drop the whole pretzel in the chocolate and submerge it slightly. Use a fork to pull the pretzel out of the chocolate. Shake the chocolate-dipped pretzel several times to remove excess chocolate, and place it on the prepared baking sheet, arranging in rows.
  5. Sprinkle each pretzel lightly with coarse sea salt (no more than 2 grains per inch).
  6. If you are using crushed candy canes or sprinkles, apply next, but not to all the rods. Create a variety: leave some plain. Make some with just sprinkles, and others with just crushed candy canes.
  7. Place the pretzels in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set the chocolate.
  8. Place the pretzels in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set the chocolate.Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate per directions for melting chocolate above, adding 1 tsp. of shortening after melting.
  9. Fill a cake decorating bag set with small tip with melted white chocolate and drizzle quickly over the rods, going from one end of the pan to the other end, back and forth. If you do not have a cake decorating bag, you can use a plastic baggie with a tiny hole cut into one end. However, wait for it to cool substantially before placing it in the bag so that chemicals in the plastic are not released into your white chocolate by the heat.
  10. Briefly return the candy to the refrigerator to set the white chocolate before serving.

For a PDF of the recipe, click here.

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