Candy, Desserts, Recipes

Peppermint Bark Pretzels

Peppermint bark pretzels… a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

In the continuing chronicles of “Sarah makes easy Christmas recipes” we have this winner of a recipe… Peppermint Bark Pretzels. Just like the Sweet and Spicy Pretzel Snack Mix from the other day, this easy recipe comes together in just a few minutes and tastes freakin’ AMAZINGGG. Yup, amazing! It was serious self-control that allowed these little bites to go from baking sheet to gift bag (aren’t they the cutest?! ALDI!) with only sneaking one or two. #scoutshonor

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

If you love the salty-sweet combo, you’ll love these pretzels! They’re probably a little more on the sweet side since I made them with white chocolate AND peppermint candy cane pieces, but the salty pretzel totally came through too.

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

I think chocolate dipped pretzels would be a great easy recipe to make with kids because they’re pretty foolproof and don’t require tons of precision to still taste good. Sometimes melting chocolate can be a little hairy BUT if you use either high quality chocolate OR those handy-dandy trays of almond bark, your results will be much improved. My little kitchen helper didn’t really help with these (he was more interested in running around the house with the spray bottle aimed at our naughty cat who cannot. leave. the. Christmas. tree. alone. to. save. her. life.) but he sure was enthralled with mama taking photos on the porch!

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

If you need a last minute food gift for the teacher/babysitter/coach/neighbor in your life, definitely consider these! We made them for our son’s daycare teachers and paired them with a small gift card and a note. So easy and cute! Hope you enjoy… and MERRY CHRISTMAS, friends!

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

one year ago: Cranberry Dessert Pizza
two years ago: No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars
three years ago: Orange Spritz
four years ago: Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa
five years ago: Cranberry Orange Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Syrup
six years ago: Classic Sugar Cookies
seven years ago: Cranberry Scones

Peppermint Bark Pretzels

  • Servings: 3 cups
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inspired by Yay for Food

ingredients:

  • 11 ounces good quality white chocolate – I used Ghirardelli white chocolate chips
  • 3 cups mini pretzels
  • 3-4 candy canes, crushed – I used a food processor

Directions:

Line a couple baking sheets with wax paper.

Melt white chocolate chips according to package directions (typically, I use the microwave and heat for 30 seconds on 50% power, stir, then heat for 15 second bursts until melted). When chocolate is melted, dip the pretzels in to coat. Allow excess chocolate to fall off, then place on wax paper. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes, and repeat.

I didn’t worry about fully coating the pretzels, and once I got a good rhythm going I was able to dip a handful of pretzels, lay them out, sprinkle with candy cane pieces, and repeat. I had to reheat the chocolate once for a few seconds towards the end.

Since I used a higher quality chocolate and it’s chilly out, I didn’t have to place these in the refrigerator to set but if it’s warmer, that may be necessary. I forsee trying these in the future with other types of chocolate or even drizzling with a different type of chocolate or nuts. Yum! So many possibilities.

 

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Appetizers, Recipes

Sweet and Spicy Pretzel Snack Mix

Sweet and spicy snack mix--a delightful blend of pretzels, honey roasted peanuts, cheese crackers, cereal, and dried cranberries. Everyone will love this addictive snack!

Sweet and spicy snack mix–a delightful blend of pretzels, honey roasted peanuts, cheese crackers, cereal, and dried cranberries. Everyone will love this addictive snack!

Sweet and spicy snack mix--a delightful blend of pretzels, honey roasted peanuts, cheese crackers, cereal, and dried cranberries. Everyone will love this addictive snack!

As much as I would have liked to, this is just not the year to make alllll the Christmas treats. Traveling, sickness, having a toddler, working… spending hours and hours making a bunch of Christmas recipes just wasn’t going to happen this year. And while that IS a bummer, I’m trying to make the best of it and maybe even make some of my faves after Christmas or at other times of the year. One of the ways I decided to “make the best of it” was to use a couple gift-giving occasions to try new recipes! I chose super easy recipes to make this as low-stress as possible.

Sweet and spicy snack mix--a delightful blend of pretzels, honey roasted peanuts, cheese crackers, cereal, and dried cranberries. Everyone will love this addictive snack!

As some of you may know, I’m an academic librarian. We have great student workers in our library, and we like to celebrate them when we can. For their Christmas gift this year, I was tempted to buy some candy and call it a day, but instead I bought a few easy ingredients at Aldi (my new grocery love! Look for more about Aldi in a new meal planning series I’m starting on my blog in 2018!!) to whip up this easy snack mix. It’s similar to Chex Mix, but with a great sweet and spicy kick.

Sweet and spicy snack mix--a delightful blend of pretzels, honey roasted peanuts, cheese crackers, cereal, and dried cranberries. Everyone will love this addictive snack!

My son and I made this together on a rainy Sunday afternoon and it took maybe 10 minutes to mix and measure everything (and that’s with a toddler helping!!). The vast majority of the hour-long prep time is for baking. If you’re packaging this up in cute little treat bags like I did, you’ll need to allow extra time for cooling. But if not, this is a super quick snack that is fun to make and even better to eat. It’s a little weird but I love eating hot snack mix, fresh out of the oven. No idea why, because who eats hot cereal, pretzels, or crackers? Ha. Ben and I were so sad to give almost all of this away but at least it’s easy enough to make another batch. I might have to do that again soon! Enjoy! 🙂

one year ago: Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese
two years ago: Cranberry Crumb Bars
three years ago: Art Smith’s Macaroni and Cheese
four years ago: Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies
five years ago: Streuseled Cran-Apple Sweet Potato Casserole
six years ago: Cranberry-Pineapple Sauce
seven years ago: Peppermint Sugar Cookies

Sweet and Spicy Pretzel Snack Mix

  • Servings: 24 (1-1.5 cup) servings
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adapted from The Lean Green Bean

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounce bag mini pretzels
  • 16 ounces honey roasted peanuts
  • 1 box cheese crackers (like Cheez-Its, approximately 13.7 ounces)
  • 6 cups rice or corn Chex cereal (about half of a 12-13 ounce box)
  • 2 cups Cheerios cereal
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or an extra 4 tablespoons butter)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 cups dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a large roasting pan, combine pretzels, peanuts, cheese crackers, Chex, and Cheerios.

In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, canola oil, and honey. Stir in brown sugar, paprika, cayenne, and garlic powder.

Pour over pretzel mixture, and stir until evenly coated.

Bake for 45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before stirring in dried cranberries.

Cookies! But not just any cookies... these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They're absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!
Cookies, Desserts, Recipes

Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies #Choctoberfest

Cookies! But not just any cookies... these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They're absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!

Cookies! But not just any cookies… these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They’re absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!

Cookies! But not just any cookies... these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They're absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!

Oh guys. I know we’re just chatting through the computer screen right now but I seriously wish I could share a plate of these cookies with you right now. If I had just one word to describe them it would be, without a doubt, irresistible. I mean, just look what happens when a mama lets them cool too close to the edge of the table.

Cookies! But not just any cookies... these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They're absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!

*insert crying/laughing/LOL emoji right here, please*

Cookies! But not just any cookies... these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They're absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!

The little guy doesn’t get too many sweets, but you better believe I just let him go to town on that cookie. He earned it–and it was SO freaking cute to see how excited he got with each chocolately bite. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Cookies! But not just any cookies... these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They're absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!

These cookies are just ridiculously good. Since they’re flourless, they’re loaded with tons of oats, peanut butter, and mix-ins. All of the above makes them crazy chewy and soft. It’s pretty much impossible to walk past a cookie jar full of these babies and not grab one (or three). #provenfact #askmehowiknow

Cookies! But not just any cookies... these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They're absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!

Everyone’s first thought when they see pretzels in baked goods (especially chocolatey ones like these cookies!) is that they’re suddenly a sweet ‘n salty treat. That’s true, but in these cookies, the pretzels almost play a different role… they give the cookies an extra depth of flavor. I would say it’s almost earthy, but who wants earthy cookies? So we’ll just call them good. Very, very, very good. Irresistible, even. Hope you enjoy!

Find more new chocolate recipes at the linky here today.

And don’t forget–there’s one more day to enter this amazing CHOCOLATE filled giveaway! Don’t delay! 🙂

one year ago: Salted Caramel Mocha Overnight Oats
three years ago: Pumpkin Bagels
four years ago: Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal Cookies
five years ago: 30 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup
six years ago: Pumpkin Brownies
seven years ago: Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies

  • Servings: 4 dozen
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from Mama Gourmand

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups lightly crushed pretzels – save some to press on top if desired
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks – save some to press on top if desired
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks – save some to press on top if desired
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips – save some to press on top if desired

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter. Beat in brown sugar and white sugar, mixing for 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, baking soda, corn syrup, and vanilla. With mixer running on low, add oats–mix until fully combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in pretzels, both kinds of chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips–save some to press on top of individual cookies if desired.

At this point, you can shape into 1 1/2-2 tablespoon sized balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets OR you can chill the dough for 15-20 minutes if it’s too hard to work with. I preferred chilling it first. Press excess pretzels, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips on top if desired.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Don’t overbake! The edges of the cookies should be set and the middle should be slightly overdone. They continue to cook on the cookie sheet, so allow to cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Desserts, Other, Recipes

Bunny Bait, or White Chocolate Snack Mix You Can Make All Year

I feel so lame calling this snack mix “Bunny Bait.” What I REALLY want to call it, despite those springtime Easter M&Ms, is Ho Ho Ho Cheerio Mix. Because that’s its real name [for Christmastime]. My mom was given this recipe back in the day with her friend Kim, and it’s been a family favorite ever since. The sweet and salty snack mix is super addictive, so I don’t suggest making a batch unless you have lots of friends and family to share with.

Bunny Bait, or White Chocolate Snack Mix You Can Make All Year Long | thepajamachef.com

Though I want to tell you that the ingredients in this snack mix–Crispix, Cheerios, pretzels, peanuts, and M&Ms are sacred, they really aren’t. Case in point: when I was shopping for ingredients to make this batch, I accidentally grabbed Chex cereal instead of Crispix. I don’t know what I was thinking! But it worked just fine. So feel free to substitute ingredients with what ya got or what you want to use. Cause really, when you pair M&Ms with crunchy cereal and salty pretzels and peanuts [that I left out this time because this batch was a gift for student workers in the library, and I wanted to be sensitive to possible peanut allergies], and top everything with white chocolate, you can’t go wrong. This Bunny Bait or Ho Ho Ho Cheerio Mix or White Chocolate Snack Mix is just divine. It’s perfect for Easter or any holiday, just use the seasonal M&Ms to make it extra festive. Enjoy! 🙂 Happy Easter!

Bunny Bait, or White Chocolate Snack Mix You Can Make All Year| thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Pork Chops with Quinoa, Kale, and Blood Orange
two years ago: Best Burrito Bowls Ever
three years ago: Sausage Egg Apple Strata

Bunny Bait, Ho Ho Ho Cheerio Mix, or White Chocolate Snack Mix You Can Make All Year

  • Servings: 12 cups
  • Print

from my mom’s friend Kim
Ingredients:

  • 6 cups Crispix or Chex Cereal
  • 6 cups Cheerios
  • 2 cups pretzels
  • 2 cups peanuts, optional
  • 2 cups M&Ms [I usually use the smallest “large” bag they sell, about 12 or 13 ounces]
  • 12 ounces white chocolate chips, or 1 package vanilla/almond/white chocolate candy coating –> this works wayyy better than the white chocolate chips and I think it comes in 18 ounce packages
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, optional

Directions:

In the largest bowl or roaster you own, stir together cereals, pretzels, peanuts, and M&Ms. Then melt white chocolate chips or candy coating  in the microwave, heating in 30 second bursts and stirring well in between until melted. This usually takes me about 90 seconds.

Stir oil into white chocolate to help with pouring if you like, then pour white chocolate over cereal mix. Stir together to coat, then spread on wax paper to set.

Linked up with Weekend Potluck.

Appetizers, Recipes

Buffalo Pretzels

So, I was really sad earlier in the week because I thought the Super Bowl was this Sunday and that I wasn’t going to have time to share a couple awesome party recipes with you! Turns out I was mistaken and it is actually a week from Sunday so I am golden! You’d think with a sports fanatic for a husband I’d be up on my sports dates, but that is not always the case. Alas. Like any good food blogger, my only concern with the Super Bowl [or other sporting events like it] is the food. Sometimes that means making elaborate, over the top awesomeness… other times, it means making really simple things that are just so amazing you wonder why you’ve never thought of them before now.

Buffalo Pretzels | The Pajama Chef

These Buffalo Pretzels fall into the latter category. I mean, really… they just look like plain ‘ole boring pretzels. But take one bite and you realize they are actually little bites of spicy goodness… all the flavors of buffalo wings with a fraction of the work and no mess! These pretzels are coated in a ranch dressing-laced buffalo wing sauce [I used bottled, but if you wanna get fancy you could make your own] then baked down, Chex Mix style. After making these pretzels, I have visions of other saucy baked pretzels treats in my future. Sriracha Pretzels? Sweet and Sour Pretzels? Some sort of sweet and spicy ginger pretzels? Oh man, I’m excited now!  [But don’t ask me to google it. I’m sure someone else has already stolen my ideas and I don’t want to be sad, not on a Friday. :)]

Buffalo Pretzels | The Pajama Chef

But anyway… I can’t say enough great things about these Buffalo Pretzels! They are the perfect party snack… simple, quick, addicting, flavorful. Everyone will love them, guaranteed! Plus, you can make ’em in advance, because they last at least a week when stored in a ziploc bag or sealed container… that is, if you can stope eating them! Enjoy! 🙂

Buffalo Pretzels [from A Taste of the Best]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 12 cups pretzels [about 1 1/2 pounds]
  • 9 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 package ranch dressing seasoning [1 ounce]
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Grease two large baking sheets well, or cover with parchment paper.

Place half of the pretzels in a large bowl and set aside. In a measuring cup, whisk together butter, ranch seasoning, celery salt, and buffalo wing sauce. Pour half of the sauce over the pretzels [use the measuring cup to gauge this], then toss to coat. Pour onto one of the prepared baking sheets and spread out evenly, in one layer if possible. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Place pans in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then stir each sheet and switch positions in the oven. Repeat until pretzels have absorbed all of the sauce. For me, this was about 30 minutes of baking total. Original recipe called to bake for 60 minutes, so just follow your instincts with your oven. Cool on baking sheets before transferring to a bowl or storage container.

Time: 35-65 minutes.

Yield: 12 cups pretzels.

Notes: These are not spicy, but they are pretty salty. I think the celery salt could be cut down or eliminated with no real damage to the flavor. I made 4 batches for an event expecting 120 people, and this was more than enough.

This recipe is linked up with: Weekend Potluck.