My favorite part of the holidays is definitely the baking. Okay, I love the eating, too, but first there has to be baking! My kids have become very handy in the kitchen and during the chaos of the holidays, baking with your children is a great way to slow down and reconnect. We make a ton of candy during Christmas to share with family, friends, neighbors and teachers. Even the bus driver gets a special gift to help show him how much I appreciate his patience! This weekend my children and I embarked on a new challenge: We created Reindeer Antlers using stick pretzels, Dove chocolate, and holiday M&M’s.
Melting Dove Chocolate for Dipping
The best way to melt chocolate is to put it in a double boiler but if you don’t have a double boiler and don’t have a lot of extra space to store one they are easy to recreate with a pot of simmering water that has a glass or stainless steel bowl sitting over it. Make sure to keep the heat on low and only put a few inches of water in the bottom of the pan. You want a very low simmer so that the steam is what melts the chocolate, not the actual hot water.
We used a combination of DOVE® 71% Cacao Dark Chocolate and DOVE® PROMISES® Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate for this recipe. Of course, my kids and I had to nibble on some while we worked. Part of the fun of baking is eating all the ingredients along the way! The Dove dark chocolate was rich and sweet and it was hard to stop nibbling so we would have enough to dip with! Once the DOVE® PROMISES® are unwrapped and the DOVE® 71% Cacao Dark Chocolate bar broken into pieces just put them in the pan. It didn’t take long to get it to melt at all. Use a wooden spoon and stir frequently to move things along!
Once the chocolate is melted you just need to line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and start dipping your pretzel sticks. You (and your children) will probably get a tad bit messing during this step but that is half the fun! I actually found it easier to wash a pair of tweezers to dip the pretzels with. Yes, wash them well before you use them (and after!) but it made gripping chocolaty pretzels very easy! When your pretzels are dipped just lay them into a reindeer antler formation on the parchment paper. While the chocolate is still warm, gently place some holiday M&M’s on top. I let the chocolate set for a few minutes first. This way, the M&M’s don’t go sliding off the pretzels. I used a combination of sizes for this craft….some mini’s for the antler decor and a regular sized M&M for the ‘nose’ at the bottom. The hardest part of this project is to NOT eat your reindeer antlers before they are done setting up. Be patient, it will be worth it!
During the chaos of the holidays, remember to take time out of your busy schedule to spend time with your children. Whether it is wrapping gifts, baking cookies or candy, or attending church together it is important to slow down this month and remember to be thankful for our blessings. If you want to try the recipe that I made above, just print the recipe card below! I found the Dove Chocolate that I used in my recipe in Walgreens but it is carried in many major grocery stores and retail locations.
Click to sweeten the holidays with Silky Smooth Dove Chocolate
- 1 3/4 cups DOVE® Chocolate
- 3/4 cup M&M’S® Brand MINIS®
- 1 bag pretzel sticks, broken into various sized pieces
- Reynolds® Parchment Paper
- Remove 3/4 cup red and green M&M’S® Brand MINIS® and set aside for decoration.
- Line a baking sheet with Reynolds® Parchment Paper.
- Melt the DOVE® Chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water. Stir the mixture as it melts. When mixture is shiny and smooth, turn off the heat.
- Once all the chocolate is melted, dip the pretzel pieces one at a time and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet into an antler shape. Place the M&M’S® Brand MINIS® on each antler as it is finished.
- Repeat this same process until all the antlers are finished.
- Let the chocolate cool completely and get firm. You can refrigerate to firm the chocolate more quickly.
- Once firm, remove them from the Reynolds® Parchment Paper.
- If desired, wrap each one in a sheet of cellophane, tied with a ribbon or simply put them on a cookie plate.
- Tip: Add red M&M’S® Brand MINIS® to form the red nose.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Mars via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Mars