Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th & How to Make Sparkler Pretzel Rods

Happy 4th of July Everyone!
Do you have any special plans today?  BBQ-ing?  Camping?  Spending time with Family or Friends?  Do you do your own fireworks or go to a large fireworks display?
We love Independence Day here.  I grew up looking forward to this wonderful holiday.  As a kid, just the idea of setting off fireworks (which then were much crazier than they are now) was enough to make the holiday fun, but you add in all the yummy food, staying up late and hanging out with friends and you have a recipe for a kids paradise.  Of course, once I got older, I learned about the Reason that we celebrate.  This just made it better.  To celebrate why we are a country and how we got our independence.  I love my country and the freedoms that we have. 
So, our plans this year - pretty laid back for us.  We supported some of our favorite non-profits by purchasing fireworks from them.  We only wish that we could help more great charities this way.  We will be BBQing beef ribs, plus eating artichokes, watermelon, strawberries and my Sparkler Pretzel Rods (see below).  I kids will probably do some swim time and run around with their friends.  Come evening, I am sure that the "kids" will not wait for dark to start setting off snacks, eyeballs, crack the whips, sparklers and more, and then when it gets dark, we will do our big fountains.  Around 9:30, our local park does a big fireworks display that we can see in the sky from our street (yes, we get the best of both worlds).

So, I mentioned Sparkler Pretzel Rods.  Even though we weren't doing anything special, I couldn't help but make something cool.  I found this idea on the Martha Stewart website and I wanted to try it out.  It was super easy.
Pretzel Rods
Chocolate Chips
Various red, white and blue sprinkles (I had 6 different kinds that I tried, light blue sugar crystals, bright blue sugar crystals, white non-pareils, white sugar crystals, red, white & blue non-pareils, and red, white and blue mix)
Place chocolate in either a double boiler if you have one or like I did - a glass measuring cup inside of a pan of water on the stove.  Melt the chocolate until smooth. 
Dip one end of the pretzel rod in the chocolate.  If it is not deep to come up high enough on your rod, use a pastry brush or even a spatula to get the chocolate up higher. 
As soon as it is covered to your liking, cover in one kind of sprinkle.  I found that some of these sprinkle, I could roll the chocolate in and others I had to use my hand to sprinkle the topping down over the rod.  Lay out on parchment paper to harden.  Continue dipping and adding different sprinkles. 
Enjoy!  Yummy!

I am off to enjoy my celebration.  Have a happy (and safe) holiday!


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