'Tis the season to pay way too much for stuff. Much as I love Williams-Sonoma, they do get a good bit of heat this time of year for their high-priced food gifts. Last year, I made a homemade version of their marshmallow snowman stirrers.
I could make a dozen for the cost of four. And you can make seven or eight times the number of handmade Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark pretzels for the same cost as the store-bought version. Omit the peppermint extract and you'll save even more.
And since these treats taste so good and are such a great homemade gift idea, you'll want to make seven or eight times the number. They have just the right balance of salty and sweet, smooth and crunchy, and a lovely, chocolate-y minty flavor that isn't overpowering. I could actually eat seven or eight times the number myself.
For packaging as a holiday gift, find some inexpensive tins and line them with wax paper. Or package them in mason jars. Or fill an oversized mug with the treats alongside some hot cocoa mix. Or just skip gift giving and eat them.
To easily pipe the chocolates, I melt the chocolate first in the microwave and then pour into disposable decorating bags. Disposable decorating bags are inexpensive and a fantastic tool to have around, especially for working with chocolate.
You can find them in the baking aisle of the craft store. You may also substitute a freezer-safe ziploc bag (because the freezer ones are a bit thicker) and use the corner to pipe, although I find the decorating bags much more user-friendly.
Aside from the time it takes for the chocolate to set, homemade Peppermint Bark pretzels take only about 15 minutes to make. Any gift this good I can whip out in 15 minutes during the busiest time of the year goes right to the top of my list.
- 5 peppermint candies
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 20 miniature pretzel twists, salted
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- disposable decorating bags
- Line a baking tray with wax paper and set aside. Place unwrapped candies in a zip-top bag. With a mallet or hammer, crush the candy and set it aside.
- Place the dark chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds at 70 percent power. Stir and continue to microwave at 15 second intervals until the chips are almost melted. Stir the chips using residual heat to completely melt the chips. Stir in the peppermint extract. Scrape the chocolate into a disposable decorating bag, twist the top and snip 3/8-inch from the tip.
- Pipe 1 1/2-inch circles of chocolate on the prepared baking tray. Place a pretzel on top.
- While piping the circles, microwave the white chocolate chips as you did the dark chocolate chips, and transfer the chocolate into a disposable decorating bag. Snip 1/4-inch from the tip. Pipe back and forth on each pretzel. Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy.
- Let the chocolate bark pretzels set at room temperature for two hours or in the refrigerator for one hour.
- Burger King Has Chicken Tenders for the First Time Ever
- What PDA Is OK Today — and What Isn’t
- What Every Woman Over 50 Should Know About Her Health
- The 25 Most Popular Halloween Candies in America
- 260-Layer Cake Breaks Guinness World Record