12large classic pretzels2approximately 2 and ½" in diameter
sprinklesnuts, additional melted chocolate, or assorted decorations, if using
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place the chopped chocolate3 into a small heat proof bowl. Heat in the microwave on MEDIUM for 20-30 seconds, remove, and stir very well. Heat in 10-15 second increments, on MEDIUM, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is completely smooth. You may also place the chocolate in a double boiler or in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth.
Place a pretzel into the chocolate and, using a fork, cover the pretzel completely in chocolate. Lift pretzel out of the bowl and gently tap the fork on the lip of the bowl to remove excess chocolate.
Place the pretzel on the prepared baking sheet and cover with sprinkles4 (or other decoration, if using). If you'd like to decorate the pretzel with drizzled chocolate, wait until pretzels are completely set before melting new chocolate and decorating.
When you are finished dipping your pretzels or you have filled a baking sheet, allow pretzels to sit at room temperature until completely set. Once chocolate is completely set, cover pretzels tightly and store at room temperature.
Chocolate:do not use chocolate chips for these pretzels. They contain stabilizers that prevent them from melting down smoothly. You may use milk, dark, semi-sweet, or white chocolate for these pretzels. You can tint your white chocolate with food coloring if you want it a specific color (my favorite is gel coloring). If you prefer to use candy melts/melting wafers, do not mix these with any kind of chocolate. The ingredients in the melts/wafers will prevent it from bonding to chocolate.
Pretzels: you can also use small pretzels (1 inch) or pretzel rods (any length). Four ounces of chocolate will cover approximately 12 large pretzels, 24 small pretzels, and 12 rods.
Heating chocolate: it is important to do the melting process slowly in order to keep the finish of the cooled chocolate coating smooth and uniform in color. Take care to heat slowly and stir a lot to distribute heat evenly and often.
Decorating pretzels: please read the post above for important, relevant information about timing, size of sprinkles, and working in stations.