Monday, December 20, 2010

White Chocolate and Peppermint Covered Pretzels in the Crockpot

I found this recipe and am eager to try it.

Here is how I do it (Read recipe entirely through before starting!):
2 (16 ounce) packages of vanilla bark coating
1 (12 ounce) bag of white chocolate chips
1 (6 ounce) package white chocolate baking squares
3 Tablespoons of shortening
1 (16 ounce) package of pretzel twists, broken or chopped into smaller pieces
1 (8 ounce) package of animal crackers, broken or chopped into smaller pieces
3/4 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candy
1/2 teaspoon of pure peppermint extract
In a 6 quart slow cooker add vanilla bark coating, white chocolate chips, white chocolate baking squares and shortening. Place a paper towel under the lid and cook on low for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Remove the lid, making sure that no condensation gets into the crock pot (water is the enemy when dealing with white chocolate) and stir the mixture until smooth. Add the pretzels, animal crackers and peppermint candy. Stir to incorporate. Turn the heat off and add the peppermint extract (if you have a removable crock take it out and place it on a pot holder or heat proof surface, this would be best). Stir to thoroughly incorporate. By the teaspoon full, put a dollop of the mixture into miniature muffin or cupcake liners. This is easier to do if you put the liners into a muffin tin while the first four ingredients are melting. Put them in a cool draft free place to set up. If you are in a hurry you can put them into the fridge or freezer to set up.

If white chocolate is clumping (or seizing) do not add water. Add shortening to the mixture one teaspoon at a time until it smooths back out. It will look real shiny.
It is important to add the peppermint extract at the very last minute, not while the heat is still on.
If you don't have muffin or cupcake liners, you can dollop spoonfuls onto a piece of waxed paper that has been placed on a cookie sheet or cutting board.
Let the candy set up completely before trying to taste test. Hot candy can easily burn you and possibly leave bad damage to your tongue, mouth or skin.
If you're going to let your children help (especially if they're small) the best thing for them to do is dump in the pretzels, animal crackers and peppermint candy. They can also help line the muffin tin with liners and of course help package them once they're cooled. This will insure that they are not in any position to get burned by the hot candy.

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