Easily make adorable, inexpensive, tasty holiday treats with this simple Christmas pretzel rods recipe. They’re perfect for holiday parties - as party favors, centerpieces, fun additions to cookie trays, and more - or as homemade gifts to family, friends, neighbors, and teachers.
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These chocolate covered pretzel rods are the perfect addition to the holiday season.
They make great gifts, party favors, centerpieces, fun additions to Christmas cookie trays, and so much more.
We like to make them for an easy, fun, festive treat that we can enjoy all season long.
The best part is that this pretzel rods recipe is completely customizable.
It can be made with any type of chocolate, your favorite toppings and/or choice of sprinkles, and decorated in a variety of ways that all look pretty impressive.
It can also be made and enjoyed any time of year. Simply use different sprinkles and colored candy melts for each season or holiday.
Chocolate Pretzel Rods
These holiday pretzel rods can be dipped in the chocolate of your choice - milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate.
White chocolate-dipped pretzel rods are currently my favorite Christmas treats though. Especially when topped with crushed candy canes.
Some people dip their pretzel rods in melted candy coating, but I prefer to use candy melts as pops of color on my chocolate covered pretzel rods.
Candy melts instead of chocolate just doesn’t taste as good.
Sweet, delicious chocolate on salty pretzel rods is the perfect combination.
I recently discovered Ghirardelli Melting Chocolate Wafers and I will never ever go back to melting chocolate chips or chocolate bars, especially for this Christmas Pretzel Rods recipe.
The chocolate melts so smooth, fast, and easy.
It also sets great AND tastes delicious.
I’m linking to a set of three Ghirardelli Melting Chocolate Wafers bags on Amazon, so you can see what they look like.
BUT, in my experience, they’re cheaper at the grocery store, Walmart, and Target.
If you can’t use Ghirardelli Melting Chocolate Wafers or another brand of chocolate melting wafers, I recommend using a high-quality baking chocolate bar or almond bark for the melted chocolate.
Chocolate chips can work, but they’re more difficult to melt smoothly and don’t set as nicely as the other options.
How to Melt Chocolate
The easiest way to melt chocolate is with a double boiler, including a makeshift one, on the stove.
It’s easier to control the temperature, observe the progress, ensure the chocolate melts evenly, and prevent any overheating.
The steam of the barely simmering water gently melts the chocolate so it doesn’t have a chance to burn.
Some people prefer to melt chocolate in the microwave, but heating it for one second too long or using the wrong bowl (one that retains heat/becomes too hot) could lead to unusable chocolate.
It stresses me out. 😂
The key to all methods of melting chocolate is to watch it though.
To make a double boiler at home, simply place a heat-proof bowl on a small or medium saucepan of barely simmering water.
Below is a photo of what I use to melt chocolate. It's not on the stove because my stove was a mess and has terrible lighting. I usually keep the pan/double boiler over low heat to maintain the barely simmering water.
The bowl should sit on top of the saucepan, above the water.
The water should not touch the bottom of the heat-proof bowl.
Melt the chocolate in the heat-proof bowl (that is on top of the saucepan of simmering water). Stir frequently, with a heat-safe rubber spatula, until melted and smooth.
Make sure the water doesn’t touch the chocolate. If it does, the chocolate will seize.
Another way to melt chocolate is by placing it in a microwave-safe bowl and heating it in increments.
Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir.
Microwave again in 10-second intervals, stirring thoroughly between each one, until most of the chocolate is melted.
Stir again until the chocolate is fully melted.
How to Make Christmas Pretzel Rods
Before melting the chocolate, prepare a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.
You can also place some parchment paper or wax paper on a table, if you do not plan on moving the chocolate covered pretzel rods before they set.
After melting the chocolate, carefully pour the melted chocolate into a narrow, tall glass.
I like to tilt the glass to the side some so the melted chocolate goes up the side. This allows the chocolate to cover more of the dipped pretzel.
Dip a pretzel rod into the glass of chocolate. Twirl to cover all sides with an even layer of chocolate.
Straighten the glass and slowly raise the pretzel rod out of the melted chocolate.
Shake to remove excess chocolate back into the glass.
I like to scrape the flat side of the pretzel rod against the rim of the glass to remove more excess chocolate and prevent pooling around the Christmas pretzel rod before it sets.
If you would prefer to make chocolate covered pretzel rods without a flat side, please skip this step and allow your easy treat to set standing up.
If you don’t mind a flat side, place pretzel rod on the prepared cookie sheet or piece of parchment paper.
Immediately sprinkle toppings on top - holiday sprinkles, mini white chocolate chips, coconut flakes, nuts, crushed candy canes, etc.
You can also sprinkle the toppings while holding the pretzel rod, before placing it on the parchment paper. This usually helps distribute the toppings, especially sprinkles, in a more visually appealing away.
If adding another layer of chocolate or candy melts, including drizzles, please wait until the first layer dries.
Allow the chocolate pretzel rods to fully set and harden.
To speed up this process, you can place the pretzel rod Christmas treats in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
How to Decorate Pretzel Rods for Christmas
These Christmas pretzel sticks can be decorated in so many fun ways!
Sprinkles are the easiest and quickest way to decorate Christmas pretzel rods.
They taste and look great with all the different variations of chocolate.
The key is to sprinkle the sprinkles immediately after dipping the pretzel while the chocolate is still wet.
The sprinkles will stick to the chocolate and stay in place as soon as it sets, which happens fairly quickly.
Some of my favorite Christmas sprinkles to use are these simple Holiday Nonpareils, these classic Confetti Christmas Sprinkles, and these Ultimate Sprinkles Holiday Mixes Christmas Sprinkles in Frozen Jewels.
For my next batch of Christmas Pretzel Rods, I’m going to use these fun Christmas sprinkles.
Adding a colorful drizzle or two to the pretzel rods can look so fancy!
To do this, please wait until the dipped melted chocolate is set.
Then, melt colored candy melts. I like to use the double boiler to do this, but you can use a microwave instead. Just follow the instructions on the candy melts bag.
I had an extremely hard time finding green candy melts. But, red and white candy melts were available at my local grocery store and Walmart. Walmart even has these peppermint candy cane candy melts.
After melting the candy melts, place the melted candy in a piping bag (or a sandwich bag) and cut a small hole at the bottom.
Gently squeeze the bag as you move across the chocolate dipped pretzel rods.
If you want to add sprinkles to the colorful lines, do so right away. It sets pretty quick.
For this Snowman tasty treat, dip the pretzel rod in white chocolate.
After it sets, carefully apply melted chocolate to the back of two candy eyes. Gently press them against the pretzel and hold for a few seconds. They should attach to the pretzel rod.
The nose is an orange Mike and Ike. I played with it to get a carrot shape.
Once again, apply a dab of melted chocolate to the back of the orange candy and carefully press it on the pretzel rod, under the candy eyes.
For the mouth, I used this edible black marker.
The scarf is from a pull 'n' peel cherry twizzler. I simply tied it around the snowman’s neck.
I originally made an adorable hat and scarf out of Airheads. They stuck to EVERYTHING though. The hat also started to cave in around the snowman’s head.
I also made hats out of Reese’s peanut butter cups (see one in the photo below). They were cute, but I liked the snowman better without a hat.
The Snowman’s buttons are three black sprinkles like these black confetti sprinkles. Use a little melted chocolate to adhere each to the pretzel rod.
To make a Reindeer Christmas pretzel rod, dip the rod in melted milk chocolate. Allow to set completely.
I made the antlers separately then attached them to the back of each Reindeer rod with melted chocolate. So far, I haven’t discovered an easier way.
To make the pretzel antlers, carefully break a pretzel twist until it looks like an antler. Do the same with another.
Attach the two pretzel pieces together with a dollop of melted chocolate. I recommend using milk chocolate to do this. I did it with white chocolate and it was super noticeable.
Allow the attached pretzel pieces (antlers) to set completely. You can place them in the fridge to help this process.
Place melted chocolate on the back of two eye candies. Gently press the eyes on the milk chocolate pretzel rod and hold for a few seconds.
The nose is a red M&M. Place some melted chocolate on the back of the M&M (I put it on the M) and carefully press it on the pretzel rod until it stays on its own.
For the little mouth, I used one of these edible markers.
For the bow, I used cherry pull apart twizzlers again. I simply tied one strand into a bow then attached it to the rod with melted chocolate.
I also like to tie the candy string around the neck of the Reindeer to look like a scarf. It’s a tad easier than making the bow.
After the pretzel antlers are set, carefully add melted chocolate to the middle front of them and place the Reindeer pretzel rod on top, positioning it so it looks like a Reindeer with antlers. Hold until set.
I have tried several ways to attach the antlers and have them be sturdy and the Reindeer be flat. Unfortunately, they were more difficult and fragile than this method.
Please be gentle with the Reindeer pretzel rod though, especially when storing. The antlers are fragile.
How long will dipped pretzel rods stay fresh?
One of the best things about this fun recipe is that these sweet and salty pretzel rods last for a long time. Longer than other Christmas treats.
If stored in an airtight container at room temperature, these Christmas pretzel rods will stay fresh for 2-3 weeks.
They can also be put in the freezer (in a freezer-safe, airtight container) for up to six months.
Simply thaw the chocolate-covered pretzel rods at room temperature or in the fridge before enjoying.
One warning though… if you make a Reindeer or Snowman Christmas pretzel rod, the freezer can cause the black dye in the pupil of the candy eye to leak into the white part.
If you look closely at the photos of my Snowman pretzel rods, you can see his pupils expanded into the white.
Homemade Holiday Gifts and Party Favors
These pretzel rod Christmas treats are one of the best homemade holiday gifts and party favors.
After the chocolate covered pretzel rods are fully set, place them in cellophane bags and tie with pretty holiday ribbons.
It’s a simple gift or favor, but it’s beautiful, relatively inexpensive, and thoughtful.
What to do with leftover melted chocolate?
If I have any extra melted chocolate, I like to make chocolate-covered pretzels or chocolate bark.
To make regular chocolate-covered pretzels, dip a pretzel twist into the melted chocolate with a fork.
Shake off any excess chocolate then place on a sheet of parchment paper.
Immediately add holiday sprinkles or crushed candy canes.
To make chocolate bark, just pour the melted chocolate on a cookie sheet that is prepared with parchment paper.
Add any toppings on top and allow to set.
Simply break into pieces with your hands and enjoy.
For more Holiday Fun:
- How to Make DIY Reindeer Candy Canes
- DIY Cinnamon Salt Dough Ornaments (No Applesauce)
- DIY Paw Print Ornaments
- Easy Hot Cocoa Cookies - Made with Hot Chocolate Mix
- Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe - No Chill (Perfect for Cut Out Cookies)
Did you make this Christmas Pretzel Rods Recipe? What was your favorite way to decorate them? Let me know in the comments below.
I’d love to see a photos! Tag @lovemischka on Pinterest, FB, or Insta.
Christmas Pretzel Rods Recipe
- 10 oz Melting Chocolate Wafers
- 16 Pretzel Rods large
- Various Toppings* holiday sprinkles, colored candy melts (for drizzling), crushed candy canes, coconut flakes, crushed nuts
- Prepare a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.
- Carefully melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.**
- Transfer the melted chocolate to a tall, narrow glass.
- Tilt the glass to the side so some of the melted chocolate rises up one side of the glass. This helps to cover more of the pretzel rod, length-wise.
- Dip pretzel rod into the melted chocolate. Twirl to evenly coat the rod in chocolate.
- Straighten the glass and slowly raise the pretzel rod out of the melted chocolate. Shake to remove excess chocolate back into the glass.
- If desired, scrape the back of the pretzel rod against the rim of the glass, allowing more chocolate to drip back into the glass. This helps to prevent pooling when you lay the rod down to set.
- Immediately add any festive sprinkles, crushed candy canes, or other similar toppings.
- Place the Christmas pretzel rod on the prepared baking sheet.
- Allow to set and harden before serving, storing, or moving to the next step.
For colorful drizzles:
- After the chocolate covered pretzels have set, melt colored candy melts in a double boiler or in the microwave. See the back of your bag for instructions.
- Transfer the melted candy coating to a piping bag (or sandwich bag), cut a small hole in the bottom, and drizzle over your Christmas pretzel rods by gently squeezing the bag while moving back and forth over the rods.
- Allow each color or layer to harden before adding another. If you would like to add sprinkles to the drizzle lines, do so immediately after drizzling.
- Allow to set before serving or storing.
- Candy Eyeballs (eyes)
- Mike and Ike Orange Candies (nose)
- Black Edible Marker (smile)
- Twizzlers Pull ’n’ Peel Cherry Flavored Candy (scarf)
- Black Confetti Cake Sprinkles (buttons)
- Tiny Twist Pretzels (antlers)
- Candy Eyeballs (eyes)
- Red M&M’s (nose)
- Black Edible Marker (smile)
- Twizzlers Pull ’n’ Peel Cherry Flavored Candy (bow/scarf)