Dipped Pretzel Rods

One of my favorite things to decorate and give away at the holidays is dipped pretzel rods. They’re easy, relatively inexpensive, and universally loved by kids and adults alike. One of the greatest things is that you can customize them according to tastes and holidays–in October, I made dark chocolate/white chocolate magic wands dipped in colored sprinkles. For this go-around, I was inspired by everyone’s caramel apple suggestions and REALLY wanted to do caramel, white chocolate, and cinnamon sugar for the pretzels. Here is what I discovered:

1) Tasty as homemade caramel is, it’s too thick, rich, and chewy to work on pretzels. You wind up with a mouthful of stickiness that’s too hard to eat. Just buy a bag of Kraft caramels and don’t beat yourself up about it. Also, homemade caramel is too thick on the pretzels. And they kept snapping in half after the caramel hardened. It just did not work for me on so many levels.
2) The cinnamon sugar, while great in theory, was too sweet on the pretzels. Also, it wasn’t very pretty. I’ve toyed with the idea of mixing cinnamon (no sugar) in with the white chocolate before drizzling it on the pretzels. Someone do me a favor and try that and let me know how it goes! 🙂
3) You can do this however the heck you want. Try caramel. Chocolate. White chocolate. Sprinkles. Crushed candy canes. Get creative and festive and have fun!
This isn’t so much a recipe as it is an idea, so I’ll just give you some helpful tips I’ve discovered along the way.
Walmart pretzel rods are the worst. I guarantee, at least 1/2 the bag will be broken when you buy it. Rold Gold pretzels look pretty in the bag, but the snappage factor is pretty high. I actually have found that Kroger pretzels are perfect for dipping! Who knew…
–If dipping in chocolate, melt 1 c. chocolate chips (or white chocolate chips) with 1-2 tsp. SHORTENING or vegetable oil (never, ever butter or olive oil; it will end in disaster) in the microwave, stirring at 30 second intervals. For drizzling, dip a fork in melted chocolate and drizzle as desired. Almond bark and Chocolate bark works great too.
–Keep the layers thin. It’s tempting to load those puppies up, but pretzels are pretty fragile and you still want to be able to taste the pretzel underneath everything else.

–You want to dip the base layer about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way down the pretzel. To make any dipping easy, you can either melt the chocolate (or caramel…or whatever) on the stove top and transfer it to a mug or just melt it directly in the mug in the microwave. Then you can hold the pretzel in one hand and the mug handle in the other and maneuver it however you need to to coat the pretzel.–After dipping, allow the excess to drip back into the mug. You can also roll the pretzel rod between your hands to spin the excess back into the mug.

–After dipping or decorating each layer, you don’t want to ruin your pretty creation, so you can either allow them to harden with each end of the pretzel on a wide-mouthed bowl or you can use a cooling rack. Just be sure and spray whatever you use with non-stick cooking spray.

–Try to be patient and let the layers cool completely before dipping or drizzling. This is especially important if you’re using two different kinds of chocolate. Otherwise, they’ll melt right into each other and that ain’t pretty.

After these had completely hardened, I placed them in cellophane treat bags and tied each one with holiday ribbon (9″ of ribbon each, if you’re super curious) and delivered the lot in a holiday gift bag.

You can get creative for just about any holiday- like Halloween!
woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. AJ–Nah, oil or shortening just makes it melt and drizzle smoothly, but it will get nice and solid after a little while. In fact, that's all almond bark is–white chocolate with oil or shortening added to it to help it melt.

    Hope that helps! 🙂

  2. please please- I have not been able to get white chocolate chips to melt for me! I would love to make these with white choc chips, but can't! Doesn't adding shortening or oil like you mentioned keep it from hardening again?

  3. I have made these for a few years as well and you know what makes it prettier? Use a squeeze bottle (like the ones for dying hair?), put the melted chocolate in that & then drizzle that over the dark chocolate. Using a fork to drizzle sometimes clumps, the bottle helps keep it consistent. Also, don't use caramels…you can buy a brick of caramel that is used for wrapping around pretzel rods. I twist that around the rod, then dip the chocolate. It makes it super yummy with the thick twist of caramel. Also, using the mercken milk choc wafers (buy them at a bulk store) are a lot tastier & you don't have to use shortening with it. It melts really nicely & they come in all kinds of colours!

  4. Sara–I'd probably say 1 week, maybe 2 tops, just because the "handle" of the pretzel might start getting stale.

    Hope that helps! 🙂

  5. hey ladies! if anyone is around checking this old post i have a question!

    how far in advance do you think you could make these? if i did them and packaged them in the cellophane bags i'm thinking a couple weeks right?


  6. Great tips, thank you! I made these today with my daughter for the first time and she loved them! We even found “pretzel bags” at our local craft store, by Wilton (company that makes all the cake/candy supplies). 20 bags for like $2.50.

  7. Hey….I love pretzels. I really love the gold rush ones that I would buy at the chocolate factory there in Boise. They were by far my favorite….homemade caramel and all the nuts and goodies….YUMMY!!!

    I will have to give these a try

  8. Oh your pretzels look fantastic! I’m actually making some tomorrow for my son’s class and a party this weekend…they are the best and you can do so much to make them festive! Love your packaging!

    Thanks for the add on Foodbuzz!

  9. I bought pretzel rods tonight on my way home after seeing this – I HAVE to make them!

  10. Mmmm, these look yummy! I also want to try some with dark chocolate and peppermint (crushed candy canes). Your packaging looks wonderful!

  11. Aw, you guys make it so hard to decide what to make! I just want to try everything. I have cookie dough chilling in the fridge right now. I can’t wait to try the brownies, popcorn, pretzel rods, and many, many others. Keep them coming!

  12. I do love a good pretzel dipped in white chocolate and sprinkles, makes my holidays bright. Thanks for all your ideas ladies.

  13. I have made these and they are super easy and look super good! I have used Snyders brand of pretzels and they did the job. Also I have dipped them in chocolate and rolled them in crushed candy bars. I had forgotten about these. Thanks for the reminder.

    By the way I did your orange roll filling and glaze with my own roll recipe and it was the hit of Thanksgiving. Thanks for earning me the title “roll making guru.”

  14. This came at the most perfect time. I am planning on making these next week and you answered my questions. Thanks so much!

  15. Ahhh, Kate. How am I going to fit into my jeans with you and Sara around? Someone showed my how to take caramel and roll it into a “snake” shape, then twirl it around and around the pretzel (sort of like a ringlet surrounding the pretzel,start at the top, work down, words escape me) before dipping it in the chocolate.

  16. Those look great! And probably much easier to chew than the homemade carmel ones. Thanks for trying them out on me though – they were still delicious!

  17. Yum! This is bringing back memories of college when one of my roommates would make these by the hundreds and then hide them. Then the rest of us would find them and sneak into them every day. Hahaha.

    LOVE the polka-dot ribbon too, so cute!

    Oh, and I mix cinnamon into my white chocolate or almond bark before drizzling on cinnamon caramel corn, so I bet it would be awesome on these!

  18. Our sales rep JUST came into the office and brought chocolate-dipped pretzels. I had mine finished before she left, and I was thinking about stealing my husband’s pretzel, but I guess that would be wrong. Now that you’ve posted this, I can go make more my own self!

  19. I’ve never dipped them myself but I LOVE to eat them! I’m looking for a bunch of things to put together for our neighbors and I think this is going to be one of them! Thanks!!

  20. Wow, thanks for sharing such a lovely treat! And great tips – definitely will keep those in mind.

    It looks scrumptious and so pretty!

  21. Yum, yum, yum! These look wonderful! Wish I was your neighbor! Those caramel bits were a brillant idea! I just wish they were easier to find where I live. One of my blog readers shared with me that you cna order them in bulk from Amazon! Love them – make things so much easier.

    Thanks for sharing!

  22. Nice! I’ve done rice krispy treats dipped in white chocolate before…that’s a huge hit!

  23. This is an amazing idea! I am def going to have to do this for the folks at work. They are all eataholics.. so it will go over well!

  24. My husband and I do hundreds (literally!) of these every year. We give them to friends/neighbors/coworkers/church friends you name it… We actually buy our rods from Sams club, they have smaller rods, about 8″ long. and they never break, and they fit inside a regular size cello bag. We buy Peter’s Caramel in the 5lb block and melt it as we go. Can you imagine unwrapping 5lbs of Kraft!! We toast pecans, and after we dip the rods in the caramel, we roll them in the chopped, toasted nuts. After we dip it all in chocolate for a turtle pretzel. I just bought my supplies this week, so we’ll be making them soon. I’ll post on my blog when everything is done. They really are a hit! Great timing for this post. I’m going to try your peppermint brownies this weekend!

      1. gygi.com! I am actually going to have a coupon code for you guys coming up. If you need it before you see it on the blog- let me know via email and I’ll shoot it your way!

    1. I absolutely love this and it gave me an idea, u could do this for any holiday….. For example, valentines day…. White choc dipped with red decor or Easter ……. White choc dipped with pastel colored choc drizzled on…. Possibilities are endless…. Thanks for posting ; }