Remember when the BOY found me wandering the halls at Target with bags of chocolate looking like a girl who had just been dumped?!
I was stocking up on candies for my homemade holiday goodies. Despite all of the baking going on over the past few weeks, I had more treats to make. Pretzel rings and barks are always a favorite to make AND to eat. What can I say??? I just can’t get enough!!! Get ready for more sweet recipes!!!
These are super easy and always a huge hit!
Ingredients: circle pretzels, Rolos, pecans
Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Peel all of the Rolos. Place pretzels on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Place the Rolos on top of the pretzel and bake for 3-4 minutes until soft. Remove baking sheet and immediately push pecan down onto pretzel. Refrigerate until chocolate hardens. Store in airtight container. ***I keep mine in the freezer.
Chocolate Pretzel Rings
What makes these so fun is all of the tasty options you can make. The hard thing…deciding which Hershey’s Kisses (there are more and more each year) you want to pair with your favorite M&M’s.
This year, I made the follow combinations:
Dark Chocolate Kisses + Mint M&M’s
Milk Chocolate Kisses + Coconut M&M’s
Candy Cane Kisses + Plain M&M’s
It’s truly a pain to unwrap all of these kisses, so if you have an extra set of hands in the house, I suggest getting some help.
I love how cute these turn out! And BTW, the coconut M&M’s were a nice tropical addition this year.
Chocolate Pretzel Rings
Ingredients: circle pretzels, Hershey’s kisses, and M&M’s (get creative with your flavors)
Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pretzels on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Unwrap kisses and place them on top of pretzels. Bake for 4-5 minutes until chocolate is soft. (***NOTE: Milk chocolate will take longer to melt while white chocolate will melt quickly). Remove from oven and immediately place M&M on top of chocolate. Refrigerate until set. Store in airtight container. Can be stored in the freezer.
Of the barks, brittles, and toffees, barks have always been my favorite to make. A note on bark making…I tried using a few different brands of chocolate this year, including your basic chocolate chips. In my opinion, chocolate chips are not good for barks. They melt well, but I did not like the consistency of the final product. I prefer Baker’s brand chocolate or Ghirardelli (which I don’t buy often because it is expensive). Almond bark is another alternative, but remember that the white is vanilla flavored and not white chocolate. This is more of a candy coating than actual chocolate, but still yummy! I did try the Trader Joe’s Pound Plus dark chocolate bar, which I had heard great things about, and was pleased with the way the bark turned out.
Do you have a favorite melting chocolate that you prefer to use?
This year, I made a few different bark combinations. Some I found recipes for and others are just my creations (based mostly on what I have leftover in the kitchen). Most of these recipes are fairly simple and following the follow this equation. I use the microwave to melt my chocolate which tends to work out well for me. I spread the melted chocolate across a cookie sheet covered in parchment or wax paper. Then cover with toppings pushing them firmly into the chocolate. Refrigerate or freeze until chocolate is set and then break into pieces. Bark easily stores in a freezer bag in the freezer. Enjoy!
Chocolate Nutter Butter Bark
Ingredients: milk chocolate and crushed Nutter Butter cookies
Peanuts and Pretzels Dark Chocolate
From The Wannabe Chef
I was unable to find gluten-free pretzels so I just used the regular kind.
*FYI…this was the bark that I melted chocolate chips to make, and turned out less solid than the others.
Holiday Oreo Bark
Ingredients: vanilla bark and crushed mint and holiday red Oreos
Vanilla Peanut Butter Bark
This one is a little different. Melt half of your vanilla flavoring with 2/3 cup peanut butter and the other half with just vanilla bark. Spread the vanilla layer down and freeze for ~5 minutes while you are melting your peanut butter mixture. Then spread peanut butter mixture on top of vanilla mixture. Use knife to swirl. Because I had some in the house, I sprinkled the top with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and peanuts. Love the sweet vanilla and peanut butter flavor!
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cherry Bark
with Sea Salt
Ingredients: dark chocolate, pistachios, dried cherries, and sea salt
So what did I do with all of these delicious tasting treats??? Besides make a huge mess of my kitchen…
They became homemade gifts for my friends at work! And one extra bag for the mailman!
What is your favorite homemade holiday gift?
Any suggestions for new bark flavors to try?