Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Random Recipe Wednesday: Butterfly Pretzels

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely ready for spring.  The sun and chirping birds have caught on, but somehow the temperature missed the memo.  Perhaps we can make some spring treats as an extra hint.  Dear weather, dipped pretzels are not just for Christmas.  Please join us in a delightful celebration called spring.  We'll provide treats, all you need to bring are warmer temperatures.

Don't worry I'm not (that) crazy, I actually made these butterfly dipped pretzels to go along with our Easter evening snack spread.  They're simple to make, though a bit time consuming.  I was already flitting from project to project in the kitchen so why not throw in one more, right?

You should know by now that I like to play in the kitchen.  I wasn't quite sure how these would work, but decided I had nothing to lose by trying.  The first few were flat then I decided to prop up the wings.  I used a slightly melted chocolate star in the center to hold up each pretzel. (Kisses should work too....awww, butterfly kisses).

While this worked for the most part, it was a little tricky to get the chocolate to just the right consistency   It has to be soft enough to insert the pretzels but not so soft that they tip over.  After a few fallen wings I dug through the pantry to see what else I could use.  Mini marshmallows proved to be just the right thing to prop up the wings while the chocolate sets.

In the meantime you can go back to the rest of Easter dinner prep.  After the wings have set, remove the marshmallows and dip each side in candy coating.  I found it easiest to turn the butterfly upside down and dunk in the coating while holding the base.  Decorate with sprinkles or Easter candy then continue where you left off on your other projects.  After numerous other distractions the butterflies should be dry enough to take too many pictures.

 Oh, but wait, what if you made some dragonflies too?  Clearly that's the next logical thing on your list the day before company is coming.  At least it was a pleasant distraction even if it can't speed up the arrival of spring.  This is another one of those Random Recipe Wednesday's without much of a recipe.  Hopefully you get the basic idea from my instructions below.

Butterfly Pretzels

small chocolate candies such as chocolate stars (or additional candy coating)
small twist pretzels
stick pretzels
mini marshmallows
vanilla-flavored candy coating
sprinkles and/or colored candies

You'll have to play around a bit depending on the brand of chocolate you use, but here are the times and temperatures I used with these chocolate stars. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place chocolate stars on parchment, leaving enough space between chocolates for 2 pretzel twists.  Break pretzels stick in half and gather 2 pretzel twists, 2 mini marshmallows and 1/2 pretzel stick for each chocolate star on your tray.
* Bake stars 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until chocolate is soft.  Remove from oven and press 1/2 a pretzel stick into the center of each chocolate.  Insert a pretzel twist on each side, propping them up with mini marshmallows.
* When set, remove marshmallows.  Melt candy coating according to package instructions.  Dip each wing into coating and return butterfly to parchment.  Decorate with sprinkles and colored candies.  Cool until set.
* For dragonflies place about 1/4 tsp candy coating on parchment.  Arrange 2 stick pretzels and 2 pretzel twists to form a dragonfly shape. Add more candy coating where pretzels join.  Let harden before dipping wings  in candy coating and decorating.

Food for Thought: "If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies." -unknown

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