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Quite possibly the easiest holiday treat ever, these yummy, poppable Christmas Pretzel Hugs are so simple to make and require only 3 ingredients: pretzels, Hershey’s hugs, and M&M’s.
If you love making homemade edible gifts for the holidays, be sure not to miss any of my easy Christmas candy recipes! We love making English Toffee and Old-Fashioned Homemade Peanut Brittle to take around to the neighbors with these pretzel hugs!
We love, love, love chocolate covered pretzels over here. That salty sweet combo is irresistible and completely addicting! Weirdly, while pretzels generally aren’t my snack of choice, add some chocolate and I’m a goner!
So even though these pretzel hugs (aka Christmas pretzels, Christmas hugs, etc.) are possibly the most basic treat ever and probably nobody needs the recipe, I wanted to share them anyway.
Really these fun and festive pretzel hugs are perfectly customizable for any holiday celebration from Christmas (red and green M&M’s) to Easter (pastel M&M’s), Valentine’s Day (reds, pinks & whites), or the 4th of July (red, white, and blue – natch), and anything in between.
They make the easiest, most perfect neighbor or teacher gift.
My 7 & 4 year old girls love making these Christmas treats because they can do the whole thing from start to finish on their own with the sole exception of having me stick these in the oven and pull them out when the hugs are soft and starting to melt.
We like to use Snyder’s Snaps, which are checkerboard shape square pretzels, for our pretzel hugs. But traditional mini twists work fine too.
How do you make a Christmas pretzel hug?
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
- Arrange pretzels on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet for easy cleanup. I fit 70 pretzel snaps on a baking sheet.
- Top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey’s Hug candy.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven for 4-6 minutes, just until the candy starts to melt. They should look shiny and soft, but you don’t want to go too far or they will liquify and you will have a mess!
- Remove from oven and let sit for 1 minute (they continue to soften inside while they sit). Then press an M&M into the center of each hug. If the hug is still too firm, pop the baking sheet back in the oven for another 1-2 minutes, then try again.
- Let the candy set until hardened again before serving. They will do this at room temperature, but you can speed up the process by sticking the baking sheet in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container.
Pretzel Hug Variations
- Skip the M&M and top the melted hug with a second pretzel to make a pretzel hug sandwich for a greater crunchy, salty to sweet ratio.
- Swap out the Hershey’s hugs for rolos – those caramel filled candies. They work the same way and give that added caramel element.
- Use pecans instead of M&M’s for a nutty version. This is especially yummy if you are using rolos in place of hugs.
Tips for Christmas Pretzel Hugs
- I like using my silpat liners better than parchment paper for these. They are more grippy on the pretzels so they don’t slide all over when I’m transferring to the oven.
- Don’t let the hugs get too melted in the oven. Leave them for 4 minutes, then test one by placing an M&M on top and seeing if you can squish the hug down. Pop the pan of candies back into the oven for additional time if they aren’t melted enough to spread when you press the M&M into them.
- Let the pretzel hugs set up completely before transferring to an airtight container or packing for gift-giving, otherwise they will squish and get messy.
More Christmas Candies to Make
- Old-Fashioned Divinity
- Peanut Brittle
- Best Butter Almond English Toffee
- Rocky Road Fudge
- Caramel Apples
- Peanut Clusters from An Affair from the Heart
- 70 Snyder's snaps pretzels
- 70 Hershey's Hugs, unwrapped (not quite 1 full 12 oz. package)
- 70 Christmas M&M's
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
- Arrange pretzels on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet for easy cleanup. Top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey’s Hug candy.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven for 4-6 minutes, just until the candy starts to melt.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 1 minute. Press an M&M into the center of each hug. If the hug is still too firm, pop the baking sheet back in the oven for another 1-2 minutes, then try again.
- Let the candy set until hardened again before serving. They will do this at room temperature, but you can speed up the process by sticking the baking sheet in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Store in an airtight container.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 31 Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 17mg Carbohydrates: 4g Sugar: 3g
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