Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods are a sweet and salty treat that is easily customizable for any holiday or occasion and fun for kids to help make too! These Christmas chocolate covered pretzel rods are going to be packaged up and shared as gifts with my girls' school friends this year!

If you love making homemade edible gifts for the holidays, be sure not to miss any of my easy Christmas candy recipes! I'm sure you will love my Christmas Pretzel Hugs or Easy Homemade Peppermint Bark!

row of festive looking chocolate covered pretzels

I am obsessed with pretzels and chocolate! That salty-sweet yumminess is one of the best flavor combinations ever, and another chocolate pretzel treat we like to make during the holidays are these easy pretzel hugs.

Chocolate covered pretzels rods are a great idea for any holiday, not just Christmas. All it takes are holiday-themed sprinkles or colorful candy melts and you've got a perfectly cute and delicious treat appropriate for Valentine's Day or Halloween or the 4th of July!

You can even call them chocolate covered pretzel "wands" for Halloween or "sparklers" for the 4th of July!

a parchment lined baking sheet with chocolate coated pretzel rods covered in sprinkles and other goodies

What Type of Chocolate to Use for Chocolate Covered Pretzels

For something like chocolate covered pretzels, you can use almost any kind of chocolate or chocolate-like products that are available such as colored candy melts or almond bark.

I might have gone with red or green candy melts for these Christmas chocolate covered pretzels if I didn't already have pounds (literally bricks and bags) of semisweet and white chocolate on hand that was passed on to me by my mother-in-law who had it leftover from a previous candy-making endeavor and wasn't planning on using it.

Pounds of leftover chocolate you say? Yes I can definitely find a use for that!

While candy melts work great for these treats, my honest preference is to use real, actual chocolate as the dipping base and then maybe use colored candy melts to drizzle over top.

When a treat is as simple as just pretzels and melted chocolate, I like to get the best quality chocolate I can find for a decent price. I almost always source my chocolate from Trader Joe's, which sells big bars of it for a very reasonable price.

But you can buy any size bars of chocolate from your favorite grocery store or even order chocolate on Amazon.

The only thing I do NOT like to use for chocolate covered pretzel rods are chocolate chips, which have ingredients added that prevent them from melting the same as a bar of chocolate or candy melts.

It's doable and I've used the trick of melting them with a little shortening, but I don't like it as well as the other options mentioned above. Melted chocolate chips also don't set up as hard as real chocolate either, which can also be problematic and just doesn't result in as good of a finished product for these treats.

Christmas chocolate covered pretzel rods dipped in both semisweet and white chocolate, then covered with mini M&M's, sprinkles. and crushed candy cane bits!

Melting Chocolate in a Crock Pot

I love melting chocolate in a crock pot because I can melt different types of chocolate at the same time. Plus, it stays melted while I'm working with it. The trickiest part is making sure not to get any water in any of the jars of chocolate, since it will cause the chocolate to seize up.

Melting chocolate in a crock pot or slow cooker is easy and keeps the chocolate melted and easy to work with for a long time!

First, fill clean, tall, heat-safe jars with chopped chocolate or candy melts. Then set them into the crock pot and carefully fill the crock pot with hot water until it's about halfway up the sides of the jars.

Turn the crock pot on high and let the chocolate sit for about 30 minutes without covering. You can use a long handled spoon to stir the chocolate as it melts.

I kept adding chopped chocolate to the already melted chocolate since a full jar of solid chopped chocolate only turns out to be half-full once the chocolate is melted.

Once the chocolate is melted, turn the temperature on the crock pot down to low or warm. If the water stays too hot and you are working with white chocolate, it can actually cause the chocolate to seize.

You can speed up the process by melting the chocolate in the double boiler or with short 20 seconds bursts of heat in the microwave and then just transferring to the crock pot filled partway with hot water to keep the chocolate warm while working with it.

I've done this with white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and semisweet chocolate, and I've heard that you can also melt peanut butter chips this way and use those as a coating too.

You can either leave the jars in the slow cooker and dip that way, or remove the jars as you need them and wipe them off with a towel so you don't drip water. Just make sure not to get any water in your other jars of chocolate if you are taking a jar out to work with it!

The biggest downside to this approach is that you will end up with jars that are partially filled with melted chocolate but not enough to dip more pretzels.

If you plan ahead, you can just pour any remaining melted chocolate over nuts or drizzle over popcorn or use it coat regular-size pretzels knots.

To clean the jars, just use a rubber spatula to get most of the chocolate out and then stick them in the dishwasher.

baking sheet with chocolate covered pretzels

How to Make Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

There isn't much technique to this activity, but your success can hinge on using a tall enough container for dipping the pretzel rods. You want something tall and narrow like a glass cup or straight-sided mason jar, rather than a bowl.

The only problem with this approach is that if you are dipping lots and lots of pretzels, the level of the chocolate will go down fairly quickly.

I found it was easiest for melt enough chocolate to fill up one jar, then have more melted chocolate on hand to refill the jar as needed as the level went down. Hence, the multiple jars of the same types of chocolate in the pictures of the crock pot below.

While we worked with one jar, the other held chopped chocolate that was in the process of melting down. Be sure to shake excess chocolate off each pretzel before transferring them to a parchment lined baking sheet.

Dipping pretzel rods in chocolate melted in a slow cooker for a fun Christmas treat that's perfect for the kids to make!

This is actually the most tedious part of the process and the one I had to help my 3 year old with since she couldn't quite get enough of the chocolate off to prevent puddles from forming around the pretzel rods once they were laid flat on the sheet for decorating.

My 6 year old got the hang of it quickly though!

Adding sprinkles to chocolate covered pretzel rods.
slow cooker with chocolate in mason jars and girl decorating chocolate covered pretzels
Sprinkling mini M&M's over a white chocolate covered pretzel rod.

The pretzels set up just fine at room temperature, although to speed up the process and clear some space since we were making A LOT of chocolate covered pretzel rods to give as gifts, I moved trays out to our cold garage while we worked, which made them set up even faster.

chocolate covered pretzels decorated and on a baking sheet

How to Store Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Since we were planning to give these away as gifts for my daughters' first grade and preschool classes and were going out of town for a wedding the weekend before, we had to make them a few days in advance of their parties.

Like any pretzels, if left out very long, chocolate covered pretzels can become stale. But storing or packaging them can help prevent or at least delay that from happening to your beautifully decorated chocolate covered pretzel rods.

The easiest way is to store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Provided everything is fresh to begin with and the container is clean, dry, and has a tight seal, partially covered pretzel rods like the ones we made can stay fresh for about 2-3 weeks.

If you are doing regular knotted pretzels and covering them entirely in chocolate, they will last even longer!

chocolate covered pretzels decorated differently and festively

If you want an even more in depth look at how to properly temper chocolate (which I don't typically bother to do when making chocolate covered pretzel rods, although it certainly wouldn't hurt!), then check out this post about making chocolate covered strawberries.

More Easy, Tasty Treats for the Holidays!

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Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

4.92 from 25 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 45 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 36 pretzels
Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods are a sweet and salty treat that is easily customizable for any holiday or occasion and fun for kids to help make too! Perfect for Christmas, Valentine's Day, the 4th of July, Halloween, or almost any occasion!

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounces pretzel rods
  • 16 ounces chopped milk, semisweet, dark or white chocolate or candy melts
  • Sprinkles, mini M&M's, coconut, toffee bits, chopped nuts, etc.

Instructions
 

  • Melt the chocolate by filling clean, tall heat safe jars with chopped chocolate or candy melts.  Set them into the crock pot and carefully fill the crock pot with hot water until it's about halfway up the sides of the jars, being careful not to get any water into the jars with the chocolate at any time.
  • Set the crock pot temperature to high and let the chocolate sit for about 30 minutes without covering. Use a long handled spoon to stir the chocolate as it melts.
  • Once the chocolate is melted, turn the temperature on the crock pot down to low or warm. 
  • Dip pretzel rods into the melted chocolate, shaking off any excess chocolate before transferring them to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with whatever toppings you desire before the chocolate has a chance to set, then let the chocolate fully harden before storing in an airtight container.

Notes

You can also speed up the process by melting the chocolate in the double boiler or with short 20 seconds bursts of heat in the microwave and then just transferring to the crock pot filled partway with hot water to keep the chocolate warm while working with it.

Nutrition

Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Cue the angels -- those look fabulous! What a fun project for the kids, too! We always make homemade food gifts for family and friends. This would be perfect for that!

  2. 5 stars
    How dang cute. The children and the rods! This is so simple so very festive. My bog kids would love to so this too. Delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    I love the shots of your girls helping - that's me in the kitchen but with my two boys. I also love chocolate covered pretzels!

    1. You know, I have never frozen these because they always get eaten so fast! I would say they probably do okay, except pretzels will sometimes go stale and I would worry about that happening here. So I'm not sure. Sorry! Let me know if you try it!

  4. I am making chocolate covered pretzels for my daughter's baby shower. I plan tu o package them individually as part of the favors. How do I know when i should put them in the cellophane bags? Also, can iI sprinkle shots on them as i lay them on the parchment paper?
    Thank you-Bonnie

    1. You can put them into cellophane bags as soon as they are set up, which shouldn't take too long. Mine are usually set within about half an hour. And yes, you can add sprinkles just as soon as they are dipped while the chocolate is still wet.

  5. my thought is this for what it is worth(less). I like all sides of pretz. rods covered with the add ons. So, after chocolate covers the pretz. Sprinlke the add ons and then stand in an upright using your squares in the cooling rack.
    Use care so they all do not touch.

  6. Hi. I have made these upon request, but only with candy melts (pretty, but gross). I LOOOOVE chocolate pretzels and want to make them myself. I see at the end you say you don't bother to temper your chocolate. thats my big question, if I need to temper or not. is there any reason you don't bother to? I just don't want them to melt in the bags. thank you so much for you help!!

    1. No real reason other than being lazy! I've never had a problem with these melting because they haven't been tempered. I mostly temper for the shine and when I'm just planning to cover the chocolate with sprinkles and decorations, it seems unnecessary. But if you are comfortable with tempering chocolate and have the time to do so, it definitely wouldn't hurt!

  7. Question: Do you hold the pretzel rod, shake off the excess chocolate and sprinkle both sides with candies while holding it or do you lay them on your parchment paper and sprinkle just the top side.

    1. I've done it both ways, so it's totally personal preference. I don't mind having one side go undecorated, but some people really want sprinkles all the way around.

  8. I made dipped pretzel twist for thanksgiving potluck. I used white, dark, and semi sweet chocolate chips. It's what I had on hand and I did add a tablespoon of shortening. Slowly melted in double boiler. They turned out good. I decorated them with drizzle and sprinkles and didnt come home with any of them. If you have to use chocolate chips you can. Mine set up just fine no problems. I put them in the fridge while I worked with the next chocolate. I will splurge for a better chocolate next time i make them, but in a pinch chocolate chips will work. they turned out good.

    1. I just used the leftover melted chocolate and heated it up again, if necessary, then transferred it to a plastic baggie and snipped off one corner, then drizzled it over the pretzel rods.

  9. Hi! I was wondering if you have any idea how many pretzel rods you covered with 16oz of chocolate? Trying to plan to make these with a large group and need a ballpark on how much to get! 

    1. Hmm, it seems like you can roughly plan on around 1 ounce of chocolate per pretzel rod if you are covering them most of the way up the stick.

  10. I have always dipped my pretzel rods in melted carmel first. Let it set up overnight. Then dip in chocolate and roll immediately in almost anything that can be chopped, grated,dusted or sprinkled on. . Even crunched up flavorful cereals. I usually make aprox 450 for Christmas. It is a wonderful time together with 2 Pastors daughters, ages, 4, 7, 11, 12,

  11. LOVe this, thank you.  Mine turned out great and looked so pretty. I package them four or five per cellophane gift bag And sealed the bags tightly. Several days later, I found that all my chocolate had bloomed.

    Does anyone know why or what to do next time so this does not happen?

    1. That happens when the chocolate isn't completely in temper. The easiest way to avoid this is by melting 2/3 to 3/4 of your chocolate, then adding the remaining chocolate and stirring until it melts. The slow cooling process that happens brings the crystalline structure of the chocolate back into temper so it shouldn't bloom.

  12. These look amazing. Plan to make them for an upcoming birthday party. What pretzel rods do you recommend? Any one brand over the other.

    1. What a fun birthday party idea! We always use Snyder's pretzel rods. I like the flavor and feel like they always hold up better than other brands. Great question!

  13. hi!
    how long will they stay fresh? If I make them, put them in cellophane bags and tie with ribbon - how far in advance can I make them?
    Thanks!