Listen up lovers of salty-sweet treats! Candy Corn Pretzels are for you!
I am really looking forward to Halloween. I love that there is a day when everyone is celebrated for trying on a new identity and indulging in a bit of magic and mystery. Choosing a costume is a high point of fall for kids from about age 4 until, well I'm not sure when the excitement diminishes. I'll have to get back to you on that one.
For several years, my grandma sewed Halloween costumes for my sister and I. Her generosity meant two things, first, it meant we got to go to the fabric store and stare at the pattern catalogs. We flipped back and forth weighing all the options. The page turning started as soon as the fall catalogues appeared, idly at first then with growing urgency as the deadline to choose approached. Which brings me to the second part, grandma sewing our costumes meant we had to make a final decision about 6 weeks before Halloween. She needed time to gather the materials and actually sew the garments but it did mean we were left out of the lunch table costume brainstorming that peaks about 3 weeks before the 31st.
Our oldest was not quite 3 the first year we took him trick-or-treating. It didn't matter that we only visited five houses the evening was magical for all of us. Though I'm sure he has no memory of knocking on the first door, Mike and I agree it was one of the highlights of his toddler years.
His costume was simple, I created a no frills farmer ensemble from a pair of 2nd hand overalls, a red flannel shirt, his favorite rubber boots, and a straw hat. The hat was sized to fit a much older child, thus, it tipped down over his face more than often than sat on his head - the effect was adorable.
That Halloween night we took him around the neighborhood to no more than half a dozen houses. At the first house - our next door neighbor - we stood on the sidewalk and let him climb the stairs all on his own. He had practiced the official Halloween exchange but we weren't sure what would happen. We didn't need to worry a bit, the kid was a natural! He called out his, "trick-or-treat” greeting clear as a bell, accepted the candy offered, and followed up with an exuberant, "thank you very much!” Watching the scene unfold, I was as excited as my son. When he turned around his eyes were wide as saucers. He knew he had just been let in on one of the greatest secrets of the universe and his mind was blown.
The next year he had a better grasp on what was coming. We were slightly more ambitious in the costume department and he was able to visit considerably more houses. He started asking the next day when he could go trick-or-treating again, and kept asking for the following 12 months. It has been so much fun listening to him plan costumes not only for himself but for his brother, parents, and even members of our extended family. I am happy to embrace any holiday that inspires this much creative thinking.
When I started thinking about Halloween recipes I wanted to channel some of that costume creativity. I was looking for something simple, a little silly, and in keeping with the idea of trying on a new identity. It took a bit of brainstorming before, I realized these white chocolate candy corn pretzels fit the bill perfectly. In my mind the combination of salty and sweet in a snack is a winner every time.
They take a bit of time to make but you only need a few tools and the steps are very simple. In fact, there are pretty much just two steps but you repeat them three times. By the time you get to the final step you'll be on your way to perfecting the technique. Picture a few of these in a little cellophane bag ready to give to friends, neighbors, or party guests.
I am still working on finding a costume for myself but, there is no doubt about it, these dressed-up as candy corn pretzels are ready for Halloween.
White Chocolate Covered Candy Corn Pretzels
- 8 ounce Ghirardhelli White Chocolate Melting Wafers
- 24 pretzel thins original salted flavor
- yellow food color
- orange food color
- Place 1 or 2 wire cooling wracks over a cookie sheet or cutting board.
- Place 3 oz (approximately ½ cup) of melting wafers in a microwave safe bowl - glass of ceramic works best. Microwave on full power for 45 seconds, stir and continue microwaving in 15 second intervals until the chocolate has become smooth and liquid.
- Spoon the melted chocolate over ⅓ of each pretzel - work from side-to-side. If the chocolate turns into more of a spread than a liquid, return it to the microwave for another 10 seconds or until it is liquid again. When all the pretzels are coated make sure they chocolate has hardened to the touch before proceeding. It should only take a few minutes in a cool room. You may pop them in the freezer if needed.
- Repeat the melting process with 2.5 oz of chocolate (approximately ⅓ cup). When melted add a few drops of orange gel food dye (remember: you can add more but you can not take color away), stir and add additional drops until the chocolate reaches the desired color strength.
- Coat the next ⅓ of the pretzels overlapping the first coat just slightly. Again allow the chocolate to harden to the touch before proceeding.
- In a clean bowl melt the remaining chocolate and color with yellow food dye as before. Coat the remaining ⅓ of each pretzel. Allow the chocolate to harden before serving or storing in a cool dry place.