Do you want to bring a baked good to a neighbor or teacher?
Or, do you just plain want to eat something that’s salty and sweet at the same time?
Well, hang on tight.
This post has about five different things you can make for pennies, and very little time.
We’re going to be doing some melting of chocolate and candy melts. You can do this one of two ways:
1: Pyrex in the microwave
2: a double boiler on the stove top.
If you don’t have fancy pans, don’t worry. I use my Corning ware Casserole pans. The point of a double boiler is just to put indirect heat on the chocolate. Having enough water in the bottom portion is key.
For melting, most of the time I use one of two things:
Chocolate Chips – yum.
I like Ghirardelli the best, but Spartan gets the job done just as well.
Wilton Candy Melts – Available at almost any store (Meijer, Michaels, Hobby Lobby). These are the best for bringing some color into the mix!
Ok, let’s get cooking!
#1. Dipped Mini Twists
These are easy cheesy. I grabbed some Meijer brand mini twists, melted a few different colors of Candy Melts and dipped to my heart’s content.
Below are a few pretzels that I dipped for a fall festival. I love how you can mix and match colors to match the season!
#2. Gourmet Pretzel Rods
These are pretty much the same as the mini twists, except I used Meijer brand Pretzel Rods. I used chocolate chips and white candy melts.
You can also take it to the next level and roll the pretzels in nuts, coconut, sprinkles, crushed cookies (i.e. Oreos), etc. Really, the sky is the limit in things to roll these in.
Put a few of these rods in a long candy bag, tie it with some fun ribbon, and you’ve got a great gift idea!
#3. Chocolate Mint Ritz Crackers
Yes, you read that correctly. I used the Dark Chocolate Mint Candy Melt (pictured above) and dipped Ritz Crackers in the double boiler.
I actually saw this idea on the Martha Stewart Show a few years ago, and thought they sounded splendidly easy. I’ve been making quick batches each year, and have received RAVE reviews on them.
If you want to take it to the next level, you can drizzle some color on top like I did in the second row. I actually had extra white left over from the Pretzel rods, so I took what I had left and poured it in a Ziploc baggie. Then, I cut a tiny hole in a corner and let the drizzle fall wherever it wanted to. It was fun!
#4 Pretzel Ring Kisses
These bring in a little extra fun. Again, I hit the Meijer Pretzel aisle (can you tell these were 10 for $10 not long ago?!?!), and got the Pretzel rings. Then, you need Hershey kisses (I used milk chocolate and the peppermint stripe) and a bag of M&M’s (Christmas colors, of course).
Preheat your oven to 375.
Unwrap and put some kisses on a cookie sheet. Place one pretzel ring around each kiss.
Place them in the oven for about 5-10 minutes. When you see the chocolate start to melt (It will look like its sweating), pull out the sheet and place on M&M on top and smoosh the point down a bit.
#5. Reindeer Cookies
Yes, this is the grand finale.
I originally saw this idea in a Taste of Home Cookbook dated 2000. I had to share it with you guys.
These cookies are yummy good, and get RAVE reviews…but are a tad more time consuming than the others.
Then, of course, I used the Mini Pretzel Twists, Christmas M&M’s and some chocolate chips.
I made a batch using the recipe on the back of the bag. Then, I took the entire batch and made a roll, wrapped it in Saran Wrap and refrigerated the log for one hour.
Then, take a sharp knife and cut cookie slices approximately 1/2 ” thick.
Lay the circles flat on a cookie sheet, and pinch the sides in.
Add pretzel twists as antlers
Two chocolate chips as eyes.
Note: When you add these, its helpful to put the tips of the chocolate chips pointing in the same direction. Otherwise, it almost looks as if your reindeer have crossed eyes.
Red M&M’s as the nose.
Cinnamon Imperials work just as well here, but I prefer chocolate.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, and let sit on the cookie sheet for about a minute before placing on the cooking rack.