Recipe modified by Gretchen Wilson – Christmas 2009
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Recipe originally published in Kraft Foods Magazine, Holiday 2009.
I can never make enough Christmas cookies. I love having a HUGE variety. I always plan big and buy everything I need. Unfortunately for me, I usually get exhausted about half way through the process. It isn’t that I hate it or I don’t want to continue, I just get tired and seem to run out of time. Therefore, I’m usually looking for very simple recipes that involve melting, mixing, cooking… the basics. My husband loves chocolate, so I thought I’d give this recipe a try. He loves it and requested it again Christmas 2010. It will be a permanent fixture on my cookie list.
My finished product:
Picture published with recipe:
It was incredibly easy and looks exactly like the photos of Kraft’s website. Of course, it tastes good too, so it is a winner all the way around.
for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System
Mess: NADA – Melting is done without a double-boiler and all the mixing takes place in a single bowl. Not even the pan gets messy since it is done on waxed paper/parchment paper.
Start-to-Finish Time: ABOUT 2 HOURS – Don’t let this time confuse the fact that you’ll only have about 15 minutes of working on this recipe with the rest of the time being left to harden in the refrigerator. Basically what I’m saying is that this is a mix and forget about it, but don’t leave it too close to serving time to make it.
Prep Work: ALL FINGERS STILL HERE – You crush the pretzels in a baggie and use either a manual or electric mini-chop to finish the nuts. That’s all she wrote, folks.
Ease of Recipe: COOK IT IN MY SLEEP – If you had to use a double boiler to melt the chocolate, I could see this being a little more up on the difficulty scale, but since you can do it in the microwave, this is as simple as it gets.
Overall: SORRY HONEY, NO LEFTOVERS – They were requested by all my Christmas cookie recipients and stalked by my husband. I actually had to hide some in my refrigerated hiding place so that I could eat some at a later date. Definitely a keeper.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 10 (one piece per person)
- Calories 230
- Total Fat 14g (Saturated Fat 7g)
- Cholesterol 0mg
- Sodium 50mg
- Total Carbohydrate 22g
- Fiber 4g
- Sugars 13g
- Protein 3g
I would probably give the candy a little more chilling time or put it in the freezer, but the prep time is very close to being spot on. You can absolutely get more than 10 servings out of this. Honestly, I filled 6 cookie boxes and still had plenty left over to snack on.
Changes denoted by red text
1 cup chopped pretzels
1/3 cup chopped toasted PLANTERS Pecans
1½ package (12 squares) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
Pretzels – The first time I made this candy, I used mini-pretzel rods. I found them to not crush as easily, so the second time, I used mini-knots. They crushed perfectly and didn’t have any splinters. DO NOT use the large pretzel rods. You’ll end up crushing them into dust trying to get the perfect pieces.
Toasted Pecans – Using a small skillet, toast the pecans on medium heat stirring with a wooden spoon. Chop AFTER you have toasted them.
Large resealable bag
Large microwave-safe bowl
Spoon - mixing
Mini-chop – You can find these relatively inexpensive at your local retailer. If the electric ones are out of your budget (around $20), you can buy a manual chopper in the kitchen gadget section.
Waxed Paper – I ran out of waxed paper after the first batch and used parchment paper for the second. Worked fine!
(1) Before melting the chocolate, make sure the pretzels are crushed and the pecans are toasted and chopped. Although you should already have your ingredients prepped (see my rules to cooking/baking) it is an absolute MUST for this recipe. The chocolate will begin to harden almost immediately and make it a pain to spread evenly.
(2) Stir pretzels and nuts into chocolate; spread onto waxed paper-covered baking sheet using a plastic spatula. If you try to do it with the mixing spoon, it will stick and be uneven. A plastic baking spatula works best.
(3) Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces. If you need it in a hurry, put it in the freezer. Also, try to handle the candy as little as possible. The heat from your hands will melt it. To be safe, I usually throw the broken candy pieces back into the refrigerator before serving.