Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Trashy Recipe Recommendation: Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods

Fifteen years ago, I could be found waking up on New Year’s Day, praying that the random dude in bed next to me hadn’t passed me some nasty STD—or, if he had, that it was at least one that could be handled with a strong dose of antibiotics.

This year, the hubs informed me that we’d been invited to a kid-friendly New Year’s Eve party.

“Kid-friendly?”  I recoiled.  “What the hell is all that noise?”

“Kid-friendly for everyone else,” my husband clarified.  “Your job is to secure the babysitter.”

I figured that since I’m a mature adult who hasn’t woken up next to any random strangers in several years (or yesterday…whatever), I would also do the mature adult thing and bring a treat to share.  I knew just the treat, too, since my boys and I had just made them during our annual Christmas pretzel party with their friends.  (No shit. I really do have a pretzel party at my house as one of my favorite Christmas traditions with my kids, but I don’t like to talk about crap like that a lot because it makes me sound like a good parent.  *Shudder*)

Prior to this year’s pretzel party, my husband had claimed that he wasn't feeling well, and he and I had debated whether or not he was truly sick because I’ll let you in on a little secret:  He plays sick sometimes to get out of doing shit.

When my boys’ friends arrived, then, my husband stepped out of our bedroom for about five minutes.  He looked at one of my kindergartener’s friends.

“Hi,” he said.  “I’m the dad of the house. I’m sorry I can’t come and hang out with you guys, but I’m sick.”

“No you’re not, Dad,” my kindergartener said.  “You just don’t want to be around anyone.”

My husband shot me a look.  “This is your fault, you know,” he said. “They hear everything you say.”

I narrowed my eyes at my husband.  “Well, do you want to be around everyone?  Especially a bunch of little kids with slobbery chocolate fingers?” 

My husband blinked.  Shrugged.  “No,” he said.  Then he turned and shuffled back down the hall to his cave.

Dammit.  I kind of think he won.

Anyway, since chocolate-dipped pretzel rods are so easy and fun (and messy—fair warning) to make, I figured I’d enlist my boys’ help once again to make them for the New Year’s Eve party that the hubs and I are attending.

Let me just put it out there, though:  Kids are disgusting.  Kids and cooking are even more disgusting.  They slop the chocolate all over their hands, pick their noses, lick their fingers (sometimes in that order), and sneeze into the damned bowls of chocolate before giving up and just double-dipping the shit out of the pretzels and melted chocolate and eating most of them.

But the recipients of the treats don’t know that…so have fun.

Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods
You’ll need:
3 bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 bags of pretzel rods (the long, thick kind; not the short, skinny sticks)  (That’s what she said)
A shitload of sprinkles—I like to have about 3 different shakers per kid

Pour about 1 ½ bag of chocolate chips into one large microwave-safe “dipping bowl” and 1 ½ bag into another.  Melt the chocolate chips by microwaving them 30-40 seconds at a time and then mixing, doing this until the consistency is right for dipping.  I once heard that you should add a tablespoon of shortening to the chocolate before melting it, but the year I did that, it neither looked nor tasted any different than the years I did not, so I just eliminate that step. 

Prepare some makeshift cooling racks for the pretzel rods to cool and harden by placing wax paper onto baking sheets or plates. This is where you’ll set the pretzel rods after they’re dipped and sprinkled.

Since the pretzel rods are long, I break them in half before dipping them into the chocolate; that way you get more chocolate coverage on the rods.  Otherwise you might only get chocolate on the tip.  

(I will NOT add "that's what she said" to any part of the above paragraph no matter how much I want to because this is more of a kid-friendly recipe and I'm trying to be classy.  You're welc.)

Have the kids dip ONE END of a pretzel rod into the chocolate and then sprinkle the shit out of it. When finished with one, place it onto the makeshift cooling racks and then make another! 

Be prepared to finish the job, because the kids will get sick of dipping pretzels about halfway through the second bag...as if the pretzel rods have somehow suddenly learned to dip themselves or mama doesn't have a party to get to.  Little shits.

Happy New Year!

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