This is such an easy go to treat if you need something in under an hour that looks like it took a lot longer. I am all about simple, so everything I used comes from one store and is premade.
Here is the cast. I bought everything as Orson Gygi. If you've never been there and like cooking at all, it's heaven. For this project I bought a 5 lb block of caramel and a 5 lb bag of chocolate apeels. I always have this stuff on hand. They also have many different sprinkles to choose from, something for every holiday!
Melt the caramel. I used about 1/4 of the block; this made 31 pretzels. Store the remaining caramel in an air tight bag or container. This will prevent it from hardening. Start your microwave on full power for 60 seconds. After that go to half power for 60 second intervals. You want the caramel to be smooth and a bit runny; about 150 degrees.
I always use this Pyrex measuring bowl because it has a pouring spout. Put the pretzel rod in the caramel and spoon the caramel over it. Leave about 1-1.5 inches plain and don't worry about covering the bottom side. The reason for the spout is I drag the rod over the spout kind of turning it to get the extra off the sides and bottom. This gives the finished product a cleaner look, instead of the globby look.
Got a pretzel that has a broken end? That's OK, just stick that end in the caramel. Some rods will be broken almost in half. These are the perfect size for kids.
Lay them out on parchment paper to cool.
After chocolate has been melted it may turn white when it sets up. The reasons for this can be that the chocolate was heated too quickly, heated too hot or cooled too quickly. Chocolate apeels are great because they are already tempered. I use a double boiler for melting chocolate but it can be done in the microwave. Turn the power down to half and stir a lot. Start at 60 seconds and go to 30-45 second intervals. I keep a candy thermometer in the chocolate to keep it from going over 115 degrees.
Hold it over the bowl of chocolate and kind of swirl it around. This helps the excess come off smoothly. When doing this, think of Hot Dog on a Stick. Have you ever watched them make a corn dog? They swirl it around to get the extra batter off. Be gentle with this step. It is no fun to be almost finished and have the end of the pretzel break off!
Add your sprinkles. I dipped 5 in chocolate and then added the sprinkles so the chocolate would not harden before the sprinkles were on. I love the pink hearts!
Package and enjoy! Don't you think everything looks great in a cellophane bag with a ribbon! Who wouldn't enjoy this left on their doorstep on Valentines Day?