These Firecracker Pretzel Rods are dipped in melted candy and covered with red, white, and blue sprinkles. They are an awesome sweet and salty treat for the 4th of July, and super simple to make!
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Firecracker Pretzel Rods
If you love the sweet/salty flavor combo, you are going to love this snack. I tried my first candy-coated pretzel many years ago when on holiday in the USA – I thought it sounded like such a weird thing to do – but I was wrong!
I don’t know what it is about the combination of salty and sweet, but it is so good! But then, now that I think about it, I have always loved getting a mix of sweet and salt popcorn at the movies. And I like peanut butter and jelly…. and cheese and pineapple on sticks… and hamburgers, fries, and milkshakes… and halloumi cheese with figs… so it should have been obvious!
Since I just blew my own mind with foods I like that have a sweet/salty combo (that I hadn’t put two-and-two together on before), I had to find out why people enjoy these flavours! According to this article I found, “[…]the taste of something sweet and/or salty is often a sign of food rich in nutrients, signaling to our bodies and our minds that we should consume[…]” So there you go!
Just three ingredients are needed in this recipe – pretzel rods, candy melts, and sprinkles – and they take no time at all to make!
When I go on vacation to the USA, I always stock up on my favourite American food products and ingredients! While I can get some of them here in the UK either in the World Foods aisle in the supermarket, or online; the price is often really high. When I use American ingredients in recipes that I share there, I always aim to suggest British alternatives.
For my UK readers: Pretzel rods are longer and chunkier than pretzel sticks – and the latter seems to be the kind that I see in our supermarkets. The brand that I bring home from the USA is called Snyder’s of Hanover, and they sell a range of pretzel products, which I have seen on Amazon UK. However, pretzel rods do not seem to be one of them, which is super annoying! You could check out stores like Aldi or Lidl which might carry larger pretzel sticks. Or if you can’t find pretzels in rod or stick form, just use this method on regular shaped pretzels! Or even plain breadsticks (just don’t use garlic or cheese ones because I can’t imagine that would be a good combo!!)
Candy melts can be melted in the microwave or a double boiler; but if you plan on making a lot of treats with candy melts, then a candy melting pot is going to make things a whole lot easier. Try this one if you’re in the UK, as the Wilton one is not available on Amazon.co.uk.
How do I make Firecracker Pretzel Rods?
All you have to do is melt the candy melts, dip the pretzel rods in, lay on wax paper, and sprinkle with sprinkles. Leave to dry, and you’re done!
Melting Tips for Candy Melts
You can melt candy melts/candy wafers in the microwave or a double boiler, or if you plan on making lots of candy covered treats in the future, I recommend investing in a Wilton candy melting pot as treat-making life is then so much easier!
If you use the Wilton Candy Melting Pot, you can check out Wilton’s demo video on YouTube which is really helpful. They also give tips on how to melt candy melts in the microwave, as well as using the double boiler method.
The two most important things are
- Do not overheat – use an even melting temperature
- Do not add water – it makes the candy seize up and become unusable. Make sure the equipment used is completely dry, and avoid using utensils that retain moisture like a wooden spoon.
If you find that the candy is too thick, add vegetable shortening or (solid) coconut oil in 1 teaspoon increments, up to 1 tablespoon, and stir well.
Another reminder – do not add water. The very first time I used candy melts I managed to get water in the bowl and it was ruined. Learn from my mistakes! Additionally, do not use vegetable oil, butter, milk, or any other liquids as this will also make the candy seize up.
If you are using your microwave, test melt a small amount of candy melts first, to see how it works. You may need to adjust the temperature and time to suit your machine. Heat in 15-30 second increments, stirring the candy melts each time. They may not look melted, but they might have started melting from the inside. Stirring helps to distribute the heat.
You want to cover the pretzel rods about halfway, and I think it’s easiest if you can do that in one dunking. My tip is to use a taller container – like a mug or glass jug – rather than a bowl. That way you can dip the pretzels into the melted candy, and voila, candy-coated pretzel rods! Or you can use a spoon to help you to cover. Tap off any dipping excess candy. (Speaking of excess candy, any that is leftover can be transferred to an airtight container, and you can remelt it for another recipe.)
After you dunk each pretzel, place them on a tray that has been lined with wax paper or greaseproof paper, and sprinkle with red, white, and blue sprinkles. Your candy dipped pretzel rods now have a patriotic touch!
Once decorated, your patriotic pretzel rods just need to be left to dry/set – pop them in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
The final step is to eat and enjoy!
Other ideas! There are so many ways you could decorate pretzel rods! You could use star sprinkles, nonpareils sprinkles, or even sprinkling sugar which was used in the Fireworks Cupcakes. Why not cover some with red or blue candy melts? Or a combo of all three? Dip into blue candy first, leave to dry, then dip into white – again, leave to dry; and finally into the red. Don’t dunk all the way in, you want some of each color to show on the pretzel.
Related Reading: 50+ Amazing Patriotic 4th of July Desserts
- 12 pretzel rods
- 6oz/170g white Candy Melts (about half a bag)
- Red, white, and blue sprinkles
- Line a large tray or baking sheet with wax paper.
- Place candy melts in a microwave safe bowl. Melt on high heat, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted. Do not overheat. If the candy is too thick, add vegetable shortening or coconut oil in 1 teaspoon increments, up to 1 tablespoon, and stir well. Do not add water.
- Dip pretzels into melted candy, and using a spoon, cover pretzel about halfway with melted candy.
- Hold pretzel longways over the cup or bowl, allowing excess candy to drip off.
- Place on wax paper and top with sprinkles immediately so that they stick.
- Place in refrigerator for about 30-60 minutes to set.
You will also need wax paper or greaseproof paper to place the pretzel rods as they dry.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 96Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself. This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 6/27/2019
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Make It A Meal!
Looking for some mealtime inspiration before you snack on these candy covered pretzel rods? I’ve got you covered!
- Main Dish: Kalua Pork – Hawaiian Style Pulled Pork
- Starch Side Dish: Tropical Rice Salad
- Beverage: Blue Hawaiian (cocktail & mocktail versions provided!)
- Dessert: ‘Ohana Bread Pudding
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