Today I’m sharing my easy technique for making gorgeous, professional-looking chocolate covered pretzels. Add your favorite toppings like sprinkles, crushed candies, or nuts!
Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
Pretty much anything can be improved with a chocolate coating, pretzels being no exception. A salty-sweet classic, chocolate covered pretzels pop up most often during the holidays, but these are great and easy to make year-round.
What we love about this recipe:
- Simple technique: Other existing chocolate pretzel recipes use techniques that are either too simple and leave you with streaky, chalky chocolate coating, or others are overly complex and require candy thermometers and more patience than most of us have for this simple treat. Mine strikes a careful balance; we melt the chocolate carefully and “faux” temper it, giving us shiny glossy results without too much fuss.
- Versatile. Can be used for mini pretzels or pretzel rods. Customizable with different colored sprinkles, crushed candies, or toffee bits (or really nearly anything you’d like!).
- Perfect for the holidays! Great for gracing your Christmas dessert table or packing into tins for easy homemade gifts.
- Long shelf life: they’ll keep for a few months in the fridge or freezer!
A Carefully-Balanced Technique
These are not a particularly complicated treat to make; melting the chocolate is the most complicated part!
I use a chocolate-melting method similar to the one I use for my chocolate covered strawberries. If you’re looking to truly temper your chocolate (more on this below) follow the steps in my hot chocolate bomb recipe for melting the chocolate. Today I’m skipping the candy thermometer, so we’re not actually tempering the chocolate. Regardless, you’re still less likely to end up with a streaky coating with this method (and even if you do, it’ll still taste good!!).
What You Need
Chocolate dipped pretzels couldn’t be more simple–all you really need is chocolate and pretzels!
- Chocolate. Stick with high quality milk, dark, or semisweet chocolate bars or couverture chocolate (pictured above). I don’t prefer to use chocolate chips–I talk more about this in the FAQ section below.
- Pretzels. I use mini pretzels here, but you could use regular-sized pretzels or pretzel rods, if you like!
- Toppings. Sprinkles, crushed nuts, crushed candies, or a drizzle of white chocolate/colorful candy melts are all great options here! You can also skip the toppings and leave your pretzels plain.
SAM’S TIP: Make your pretzels festive by sprinkling crushed candy cane pieces over the tops while the chocolate is still warm. This’ll give you a bit of a peppermint bark vibe.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Chocolate Covered Pretzels
- Add all but 2 tablespoons of your chocolate to a medium-sized heatproof bowl, then set this aside.
- Bring a small saucepan filled with 1-2 inches of water to a simmer over medium heat, then place your bowl overtop (the bottom of the bowl should hover above the water).
- Stir constantly as the chocolate melts, and once fully melted, remove the bowl from the heat.
- Stir in your reserved chocolate until it is completely melted and smooth.
- Dip your pretzels in the melted chocolate, then place on a cooling rack or wax paper lined baking sheet, adding any decorations while the chocolate is still wet.
- Let the chocolate harden before enjoying.
SAM’S TIP: If you lack patience (I’m with you!), you can place your pretzels in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
How Important is it to Temper Chocolate?
“Tempering” chocolate refers to a specific method for heating and then cooling your chocolate. Good chocolatiers temper their chocolate in order to to ensure a smooth, glossy finish and firm texture that snaps neatly in your mouth and melts uniformly. If you’ve ever melted chocolate to find it streaky or chalky in appearance, this is because your chocolate wasn’t tempered properly and it “bloomed” meaning the cocoa butter separated from the chocolate (see photo below for an example). It’s important to note that this does not affect the taste, but I think we can agree it just doesn’t look as pretty!
Tempering can, however, be a bit complicated and fussy. It demands precise, exact temperature control that varies depending on your type of chocolate. Specialized equipment (marble slab, chocolate temperer, thermometer, etc.) is recommended, and it’s honestly just time consuming and requires constant monitoring.
That’s… a lot (especially considering un-tempered chocolate tastes just as good!) so I take a balanced approach that I call faux-tempering. It’s more simple than true tempering and isn’t guaranteed to give you perfectly tempered results, but it works most of the time and isn’t much more involved than melting in the microwave.
The technique is detailed in the recipe below, but essentially we slowly melt the chocolate in a double boiler then add chopped chocolate at the very end to drop the temperature into the tempered temperature range. It’s not foolproof, but it works very well for me!
Frequently Asked Questions
I find that chocolate chips melt into too thick of a texture for dipping. If you really want to use them, you can, but it may be helpful to melt a teaspoon of coconut oil or shortening into the chocolate to thin it enough for easy dipping.
You could, just know white chocolate isn’t a “true” chocolate and doesn’t melt quite the same as the other chocolates listed. It usually melts to a much thicker consistency than classic chocolate, which can make it messy for dipping, so I would recommend thinning it with a half teaspoon or more of melted coconut oil or shortening.
Yes! Just make sure to freeze them in an airtight, freezer-safe container. They will last for several months this way.
You can melt chocolate in the microwave, but I recommend doing so in short intervals and still reserving chocolate to add in the end (similar to how described in my recipe). I have personally found I’m more likely to end up with streaky chocolate bloom this way, though.
These pretzels would make a fun homemade gift–perfect for the holidays!
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
- 5 cups (200 g) pretzel minis
- 12 oz milk semisweet, or dark chocolate bar, finely chopped (divided)
- Optional: white chocolate for drizzling sprinkles, toffee bits, or crushed nuts.
- Double boiler
- Fork or frying spider
- Fill a small saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and find a medium-sized heatproof bowl that fits over the saucepan without touching the water. (Alternatively, use a double boiler).
- Remove the bowl from your saucepan and add chocolate, reserving approximately 2 Tablespoons for adding later.12 oz milk
- Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, place bowl of chocolate over the saucepan.
- Stir constantly until chocolate is melted. Once smooth, remove the bowl from the heat and add the reserved chocolate. Stir until all chocolate is melted and smooth. (this helps to keep your chocolate from becoming streaky).
- Dip pretzels into chocolate, completely covering, and then transfer to a cooling rack or wax paper lined baking sheet (space pretzels so they’re not touching).5 cups (200 g) pretzel minis
- Optional – drizzle with melted white chocolate or sprinkle with sprinkles, toffee bits, crushed nuts, etc. while chocolate is still wet.Optional: white chocolate for drizzling
- Allow chocolate to harden completely before serving. You can speed up the process by placing the pretzels in the refrigerator.
ChocolateI prefer to use quality chocolate bars for this recipe (I like Lindt or Ghirardelli). I don’t prefer chocolate chips as they can melt too thick.
Pretzel RodsTo easily dip pretzel rods, pour the chocolate into a tall glass and dip the rods into the glass.
StoringStore in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Chocolate covered pretzels may also be frozen for several months.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.