Get festive with these Homemade Chocolate Dipped Pretzels! Try my less-mess method for gourmet looking pretzels with easy cleanup. They make the cutest sweet & salty edible gift, plus I’ve included three fun decorating ideas to try!
Creative homemade gifts that are easy to make AND affordable can be hard to find. But these Homemade Chocolate Dipped Pretzels are just that. So simple and fun to make for both kids and adults, not to mention delicious for everyone!
One batch of these pretzels can make eight goodie bags of beautiful festive treats to share with your friends! Or, just keep them for yourself – no judgement here! They also make a fabulous snack for the whole house, so don’t worry about leftovers.
In this post, you’ll find all my tips and tricks for dipping those pretzels into chocolate and making them look like a gourmet snack you can gift to friends and family. Plus, the Less-Mess Method makes the whole process a breeze! Dip it, don’t cover it.
Total Time: ~1 hour
Prep: Make-Ahead Friendly
What are the ingredients in these Homemade Chocolate Dipped Pretzels?
This treat is so simple to make, but I do have some specific recommendations for ingredients to use. Here’s a little info about each ingredient and where to find it at the grocery store:
- Old Tyme pretzels – At grocery stores in my area, the brand Snyder’s makes the Old Tyme pretzels I used for this recipe. In the past, I’ve always used pretzel rods for dipping, but these worked out just as good! Find these by the chips and regular pretzels in the snack aisle.
- semi-sweet chocolate – Your best bet is going to be the 4 ounce Ghirardelli premium chocolate baking bars. Super easy to chop and they melt so well! These can be found near the chocolate chips in the baking aisle.
- white melting wafers – White chocolate is notoriously difficult to melt, probably because it’s not real chocolate! Since we’re looking for something that melts easily, I prefer to use the white melting wafers for this. It’s a vanilla flavored wafer that melts easily and compliments chocolate really well.
- sprinkles – I love using tiny sugar crystal sprinkles for this! Wilton makes a set with gold and white, which I used for most of these pretzels. Red or green is also a super festive option!
What kind of chocolate should you use for melting?
I recommend using Ghirardelli premium semi-sweet baking bars to melt for this recipe. This chocolate is reliable, easy to melt, and coats treats beautifully without going through the process of tempering.
For the ‘white chocolate’, I like to use Ghirardelli white melting wafers, which of course are not chocolate at all, but actually a vanilla flavored confection. However, they melt just like chocolate and look beautiful swirled with the semi-sweet bars.
How do you make these chocolate dipped pretzels?
Okay, dipping a pretzel into melted chocolate is not that complicated, but there’s still a few tips I can share that’ll make the whole thing go a lot smoother when you try to do this in your kitchen. Plus, I’ve got some decorating ideas for you to try!
Start by lining two rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper. This makes cleanup a breeze, and the chocolate won’t stick to the parchment. Open the bag of pretzels and separate the whole pretzels from the broken pieces.
Of course both whole or broken are perfectly edible, but I like to make the whole pretzels pretty for gifts, and keep the broken pretzels for myself! I’ll also use the leftover chocolate for those broken ones too. You should get about 40 whole pretzels from the one pound bag.
Arrange the whole pretzels on the sheet pans. Set out your sprinkles and any other toppings as well. It’s good to have toppings ready so you can add them before the chocolate sets.
Use either the double boiler or microwave method to melt 2 bars of the chopped semi-sweet chocolate, stirring until completely smooth. Save the rest of the chocolate to stir in later as you cover pretzels and the level of chocolate reduces.
Prep a second bowl for the white wafers, starting with about 4 ounces. You can melt those later when you need them, after dipping in the first layer of chocolate. I use the double boiler method, since I don’t have a microwave. I’ll keep a pot of water on low and alternate the bowls of chocolate on top to keep them both melted.
When you’re ready to start decorating, pick a spot on the pretzels and remember to pick up each one in that same location. This creates an identical, gourmet look. You can see in the photos I’ve made my holding spot in the bottom right, so the pretzel is upright when you hold it.
One by one, dip each pretzel in the semi-sweet chocolate, swish it back and forth to fully coat it in chocolate, then shake the pretzel off somewhat vigorously to remove as much excess chocolate as possible. Place the pretzel back on to the lined sheet pan to set. You can use a spoon to help get chocolate in all crevices of the pretzel.
If you’re doing a specific decoration such as a drizzle, add the sprinkles after that step. Check out each of my three decorating ideas below: drizzle, double dip, and swirl! Add sprinkles as the last step before the chocolate sets completely.
After decorating, let the pretzels set for at least one hour, or until the chocolate is completely dry. While I’m waiting for the chocolate to set, I like to dip any broken pretzels in leftover chocolate and keep those for myself 😉
The Less-Mess Dipping Method
The Less-Mess Method is a way to cover pretzels in chocolate without getting the chocolate everywhere! Here are the main components of the Less-Mess Method for chocolate pretzels:
- Use parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheets. The parchment paper makes cleanup easy, while the rimmed baking sheet gives you a huge working surface to hold the pretzels and helps catch all the extra sprinkles that fall off the pretzels.
- Leave a small part of the pretzel uncovered. This serves as a finger-sized chocolate-free handle for you to hold while dipping, but also for the eater to have less mess too. Hold the same spot on every pretzel for more professional looking identical finished pretzels.
- Shake off as much excess chocolate as possible. Continue shaking excess chocolate off the pretzel for far longer than you think you need to. Keep shaking until chocolate stops coming off. This will help keep any extra chocolate from pooling at the base of the pretzel while it sets.
Three ways to decorate Homemade Chocolate Dipped Pretzels:
While you can decorate these pretzels however you want, I thought I’d share three different ways to craft beautiful, gourmet looking pretzels.
After dipping the pretzel in the first melted chocolate, use a piping bag to drizzle on some of the contrasting color. You don’t have to wait until the first layer dries. This is a quick and easy decoration method! You could easily do all the pretzels this way very quickly if you want.
The Double Dip
Dip your pretzels in the first melted chocolate and let them set completely. If needed, you can put them in the fridge to speed this up, or just work on other pretzels and come back.
Once the first layer of chocolate is completely dry, do one quick dip each way and then remove the pretzel from the chocolate ASAP. It’s important to dip quickly, or the chocolate in the bowl will melt the first layer of chocolate on the pretzel.
If they start to mix as they drip off the pretzel, let the mixxy excess drip somewhere other than the bowl so that the colors don’t mix.
Do this as the last decorating method, since you’ll be mixing the colors of chocolate. Add spots of the lighter chocolate to the darker chocolate and use a toothpick to swirl them together.
Dip the pretzel into the swirl chocolate only once or twice, being careful not to mix them together too much. You can also spoon different colors of chocolate on to the pretzel to achieve the look you want.
Best tips for making Homemade Chocolate Dipped Pretzels:
Here are some of my tips for helping these pretzels turn out awesome in your own kitchen:
- Be careful with the chocolate – don’t scorch it, and don’t get any water in it. Review this guide on the various ways to melt chocolate.
- White chocolate can be finicky to melt or may seize up, so I recommend using Ghirardelli white melting wafers. Obviously not real chocolate but works great for this!
- When dipping the pretzels, shake off as much chocolate as possible! This helps keep extra chocolate from pooling at the base of the pretzels.
Ways to customize these treats:
Here are a few ways to customize and get even more creative with these Homemade Chocolate Dipped Pretzels:
- add chopped nuts on the dipped pretzels instead of sprinkles
- decorate for other holidays or occasions with different sprinkles or adding food dye to the melted white wafers
- add crushed graham crackers and mini marshmallows
- add crushed candy canes or other crushed candy
How for in advance can you make these homemade dipped pretzels?
Once you open the bag of pretzels and expose them to air, they do start to become stale. Keeping them packaged helps expand their life. I would recommend enjoying these chocolate dipped pretzels within 1 week of making them.
How to turn these Homemade Chocolate Dipped Pretzels into a gift:
These Homemade Chocolate Dipped Pretzels make a simple but impressive edible holiday gift. I think the best way to give these out is package them in holiday treat bags (affiliate link!).
In these photos, I’ve packaged 5 chocolate dipped pretzels in each bag, which means that one batch of pretzels could give you 8 servings of this treat.
You could also serve these pretzels on a holiday snack platter or dessert tray. Honestly, they would work for any party or occasion!
How to use leftover chocolate and broken pretzels:
Once all of your whole pretzels are chocolate dipped and beautiful, take those leftover broken pretzels and dip them in the leftover chocolate. These ones are for me!
How to store Homemade Chocolate Dipped Pretzels:
Store these Homemade Chocolate Dipped Pretzels in a sealed container or treat bag and enjoy within 1 week of making them.
Get festive with these Homemade Chocolate Dipped Pretzels! Try my less-mess method for gourmet looking pretzels with easy cleanup. They make a perfect sweet & salty edible gift, plus I’ve included three fun decorating ideas to try!
- 1 (16-ounce) bag Snyder’s Old Tyme pretzels or pretzel rods
- 12 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ~4 ounces white melting wafers
- sprinkles: white, gold, red, green, your choice!
- Lay out pretzels: Line two rimmed half sheet pans with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Open the bag of pretzels and separate the whole pretzels from the broken pieces, arranging the whole pretzels on the sheet pans. Set the broken pieces aside for eating later. I got 40 whole pretzels in my last bag. Set out your sprinkles and any other toppings as well.
- Melt the chocolate: Use either the double boiler or microwave method (30 second intervals, stirring in between) to melt 2 bars of the chopped chocolate, stirring until completely smooth. Save the rest of the chocolate to stir in later as the level of chocolate reduces. Prep a second bowl for the white wafers, starting with about 4 ounces (you can wait to melt these until you first need them). I like to keep a pot of water on low and alternate the bowls of chocolate on top to keep them both melted.
- Dip and decorate: Pick a spot on the pretzels and be sure to pick up each one in that same location for an identical, gourmet look. One by one, dip each pretzel in the semi-sweet chocolate and swish it back and forth. Use a spoon to help get chocolate in all crevices of the pretzel if needed. Once it’s covered, shake the pretzel continuously to remove as much excess chocolate as possible, then place it back on to the lined sheet pan to set. Add sprinkles as the last step before the chocolate sets completely. Add more chopped chocolate to the pot and stir it in to melt as needed. Here are 3 decoration ideas with specific instructions:
- Drizzle: After dipping the pretzel in the first melted chocolate, use a piping bag to drizzle on some of the contrasting color. You don’t have to wait until the first layer dries. This is a quick and easy decoration method!
- Double dip: Dip your pretzels in the first melted chocolate and let them set completely (you can put them in the fridge to speed this up, or just work on other pretzels and come back). Once the first layer is completely dry, do one dip each way and then quickly remove the pretzel. It’s important to dip quickly, or the chocolate in the bowl will melt the first layer of chocolate on the pretzel.
- Swirl: Do this as the last decorating method, since you are mixing chocolates. Add spots of the lighter chocolate to the darker chocolate and use a toothpick to swirl them together. Dip the pretzel into the swirl chocolate only once or twice, being careful not to mix them together too much. You can also spoon different colors of chocolate on to the pretzel to achieve the look.
- Store & gift: After decorating, let the pretzels set for at least one hour, or until the chocolate is completely dry. During this time, I like to dip any broken pretzels in leftover chocolate and keep those for myself. Transfer the pretzels to a sealed container. Keep on the counter and enjoy within one week. For gifting, add 5 pretzels to each gift bag to make 8 bags total.
Chocolate: Look for the Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate bars for baking, which are 4 ounces each. They’re easy to chop and melt really well. I also prefer to use the Ghirardelli white baking wafers, as white chocolate chips can be finicky and hard to melt.
Pretzels: I prefer to use pretzel rods or the Old Tyme style pretzels (thick braid) because they’re bigger and easier to dip. However, any kind of pretzel can be dipped in chocolate.