Chocolate Pretzel Bites

pretzel bites

Usually my first post on the first day of the year is my family’s New Year’s Eve dinner party in our house but I was too frazzled with preparations that I wasn’t able to take enough pictures so I’m just sharing one of the desserts I made.

We received a gift basket for Christmas that contained this package of pretzels. Since no one wanted to eat this I researched online to see how I could use it in a recipe. You can buy this at Santi’s.
Pauly pretzels

The net came up with several variations of this simple chocolate treat made with Hershey’s Kisses, M&Ms and pretzels. I decided to use Dark Hershey’s Kisses. The most tedious part of this recipe was unwrapping the Kisses. A small bag of Kisses contained 50 pieces only so I still have plenty of pretzels and M&Ms left to make another batch.
pretzel bites-001

Lay the pretzel pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat. Top each pretzel with a chocolate Kiss.
pretzel bites-002

Bake for 3 minutes until it softens.
pretzel bites-003

Top each one with an M&M and push down on the chocolate. Place it in the refrigerator to harden. Obviously try not to use the brown M&Ms since it blends in with the chocolate.
pretzel bites-004

After a few minutes in room temperature the chocolate Kisses become softer. The kids just loved these bite sized treats. There’s crunch and salt from the pretzels combined with smooth creamy chocolate and more crunch from the M&Ms.
pretzel bites
Chocolate Pretzel Bites

Another treat I made was for the adults. I never knew candied ginger was so easy to make until I saw Alton Brown make it on his show. This is also good added to hot tea for a sweet and spicy kick.
candied ginger
Candied Ginger

From my super cutie niece and my equally adorable dog, Chino, I wish everyone a Happy New Year!!!
P1090476

Chocolate Pretzel Bites
Hershey’s Kisses (any variant)
M&M candies (any variant)
Pretzels

Place pretzels on a baking sheet. Top each pretzel with 1 chocolate Kiss. Bake in the oven heated at 200F for 2-3 minutes until soft but not melted. Immediately press an M&M on top of each Hershey’s Kiss and let it cool in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.

Candied Ginger 
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2008

Nonstick spray
1 pound fresh ginger root
5 cups water
Approximately 1 pound granulated sugar

Spray a cooling rack with nonstick spray and set it in a half sheet pan lined with parchment.

Peel the ginger root and slice into 1/8-inch thick slices using a mandoline. Place into a 4-quart saucepan with the water and set over medium-high heat. Cover and cook for 35 minutes or until the ginger is tender.

Transfer the ginger to a colander to drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Weigh the ginger and measure out an equal amount of sugar. Return the ginger and 1/4 cup water to the pan and add the sugar. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar syrup looks dry, has almost evaporated and begins to recrystallize, approximately 20 minutes. Transfer the ginger immediately to the cooling rack and spread to separate the individual pieces. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Save the sugar that drops beneath the cooling rack and use to top ginger snaps, sprinkled over ice cream or to sweeten coffee.

 

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