Friday, December 18, 2009

Templates and treats

First, I'm happy to report that my mom is back at home. She was so ready to get out of the hospital, despite my pointing out the silver lining that at least at the hospital she had an arsenal of nurses and docs to take care of her.

Second, I've installed a new blog template, courtesy of the pre-made designs from Delicious Design Studio! I love it, and it was such a pleasure working with the designer! She made some tweaks for me to the premade template I chose, at no cost! If you like my new look, I highly recommend checking out her stuff. VERY reasonably priced, and she provides a video tutorial to install the template -- easy peasy! (Just do me a favor and don't pick the same template I did, m'kay?)

Moving on...

Two years ago my pal, Jenny introduced me to an amazing holiday treat, which I think she naughtily referred to as "Reindeer Nipples." Last year I decided to make them for myself -- well, for me to give to others -- and as they were such a hit and fun to make, I decided to do it again this year.

Here's how ya do it.

I suggest using round pretzels, which are hard to find, but worth the effort. I got mine from here, and because they only come in 8 lb. increments, I split them with my friend, Jami. (Other friends have had success using square and other pretzels, so don't despair -- you can be creative.)
Pretzel rings

Get some candy melts. I use Wilton.
Candy melts

You can melt the candy melts in a candy-making squeeze bottle, but that caused me too much heartache. So I use these special candy-making plastic bags, which you can pop in the microwave for a minute on defrost. Then I typically squeeze it a bit to distribute any of the unmelted bits, then microwave for another 10 secs or so.
Bags

Get your M&Ms ready to go.
Getting ready

Cut off the tip of the melted candy bag, then start squeezing!
Piping

The bag of melted candy doesn't usually fill an entire tray of pretzels, so when it runs out, I pop the M&Ms in before the candy starts to harden. Voila!
All done!

The great thing about these is that it doesn't take long for the melted candy to harden. So in less than a half hour they're ready to go! Boxed up...
In da box

Pretty!
Wrapped up

They are a perfect combo of salty and sweet, which I love. The lucky recipients are always impressed, too!

I also plan to try making them the way Jami does, with Hershey's Hugs instead of candy melts. So cute!

Jami refers to them as "Pretzel Kisses" and "Reindeer Belly Buttons." I thought they could also pass as "Snowman Warts" or "Elf Zits" -- but that's probably not so appealing, huh?

"364 days... 'til the next Pretzel Day." - Stanley, The Office

18 comments:

  1. :O yumm Nanette! :D

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  2. your blog looks BEAUTIFUL!!

    and those nipple treats (lol) look delicious!! i love your other name suggestions too :)

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  3. I remember these from last year - they are INSANELY delicious, and for a holiday treat, don't feel too filling...so you can have a BUNCH! ;)

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  4. These are sooo good.

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  5. That snack looks delish! I wonder how they'd be with chocolate though...hmmmm....

    Glad to hear your mom is home. Keep your fingers crossed for mine. Things haven't been going so smoothly. : (

    Cute new blog layout! ; )

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  6. Love the new template! And those Elf Zits ;) Yum!

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  7. Someone made these at Bunco last night and I couldn't remember where I had them before. Now I remember plowing through the ones you sent last year :o) I love chocolate and pretzels- even if you called them elf zits or snowman warts, I would still eat them all!

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  8. love the new template!

    and look at you little miss martha stewart!!!

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  9. Very cute! Today, Riley and I are making candy covered pretzels. Maybe next time, we'll use the M&Ms, too.

    Merry Christmas!

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  10. LOVE the new blog design. Am considering using them too!

    Also, wantwantwant some of those treats. Hmmm - must figure out how to distract the kids long enough to procure supplies and make some. Yummy!

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  11. I really dig the name "Reindeer Nipples". :-)

    And they look really good! Although I'm not very skilled when it comes to using those bags to squeeze frosting.

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  12. Love the new template! It looks so great!

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  13. Love the new template! And those treats look good too. I've had something like that with milk chocolate at holiday parties before. Very yum.

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  14. love your new layout, so fun and cute. and those pretzel treats look delicious, love it.

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  15. Catching up on your blog - glad to hear your Mom is home and recovering from her surgery. Hope Brent and Em feel better real soon. Our kiddo has a slight cold, too and it's so hard because there's nothing we can do for him.

    These Reindeer Bellybuttons are adorable - you and your friends are so creative in your baking.

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  16. Love the new template! I can only think of them as nipples. Hee.

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  17. I really need to remember these for next year - I think it'll be nice to have a break from making 9347387 snowflake cookies. :P

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