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Thursday
Jan202011

Chocolate Pretzel Haystacks, Two Ways

Chocolate Pretzel Haystacks

Chocolate craving! Crunchy, sweet/salty-ish would be good, too. Chocolate-check. Pretzels-check. Dried fruit-check. Nuts-check! Count down to snacks in 5..4..3..2..1…

These are so easy, your little kids could make them. I saw a recipe in a magazine and realized--damn, I always forget how simple haystacks are! They make a quick snack, great for after school, or anytime, really. Like I said, easy for the kids, too--and so versatile! I’m going to make more and change them up. I’ll bet you even have the stuff on hand for these.

This one’s not snobby, pretentious, or made with 10 kitchen tools, 13 pans, and 20 techniques. There’s no being stuck up when it comes to haystacks, is there? They’re simple, good old snacky-type snacks. They’re not fancy, and they’re certainly nothing new--but they sure taste great!

So-this snack covers it all: crunchy, sweet, salty, good--and easy! I’ve been snacking on them all week. Really, they’re even sort of good for you--what with the bittersweet chocolate, dried fruit, almonds and low fat pretzels. Nearly guilt-free!

Chocolate Pretzel Haystacks

Chocolate Pretzel Haystacks

Adapted from Family Circle
Makes 2 large sheets full--about 30? (I forgot to count!)

1 1/2 cups dried fruit (I used a gorgeous blend from Trader Joes--Golden Berry Blend: Golden Raisins, Cherries, Cranberries & Blueberries)
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
2 cups broken up thin pretzel sticks
8-10 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (I always use Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips)
Optional: I added about a capful (1/2-3/4 tsp?) of almond extract to the melted chocolate-just stir it in!

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, wax paper, or even foil.

Stir together the dried fruit, almonds, and pretzels. Set aside.

In a medium sized microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips. Heat for one minute to start, them in 15-30 second increments, stirring after each time, till the chips are all melty. Add the extract if you want to.

Stir the fruit/nut/pretzels into the melted chocolate--use a rubber spatula, and fold them all in until completely coated. Using a spoon, drop mounds of the chocolaty/salty/sweet/crunchy goodness on to the lined sheets. I even sprinkled one sheet of haystacks lightly with kosher salt. Optional, but I'll throw it out there for you to decide!

Set aside to let them cool. I didn't need to throw them in the fridge, thank goodness. (Who can fit two full size baking sheets in their fridge? If you can, don't tell me. I don't want to know.) After about 15 minutes, they were fine. Summertime? Yeah...make room in the fridge, please!

Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Pretzel Haystacks

Bonus Recipe!  Which, to be honest, I almost feel silly calling a recipe, because it’s so simple, but if you’re interested… And really, these aren’t at all very good for you. What? Don’t look at me that way. They don’t all have to be good for you--where’s the fun in that?

So--I finished writing this post, or so I thought, then realized I had some good stuff to make another batch of these, and you know, change it up a bit--so I ran (Really, I ran. Knocked a couple dogs out of the way in the process.) into the kitchen and whipped these up in no time at all. (Ok, I didn’t really run. But I walked with purpose.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Haystacks

4 oz Nutter Butter Bites cookies, coarsely broken up
1 1/2 cups peanuts (lightly salted, roasted-but use what you've got)
2 cups broken pretzel sticks
1/2 cup Heath Toffee Bits
11.5 oz bag Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips

Follow the same directions as above!  They remind me of Snickers, sort of. Chocolaty, peanutty--so good!

_______________________________________________________________________________

So, yeah--no food snobbery allowed with these. They are what they are. Bits of good things, all mixed up, and doused in chocolate. Simple. Get an easy candy fix this way. Mix them up-take a trip through your pantry and see what you’ve got. Enjoy!



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Reader Comments (14)

hello! i was just sitting here thinking to myself that i wanted some sort of snacky treat . . . and here you are with this . . . GUESS WHAT?!! I HAVE EVERYTHING TOO!!!!

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSMITH BITES

These sound incredible! I love anything chocolate with salt!

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet

Fun fun fun! And yes, Ghirardelli makes the best chocolate chips. They melt so nicely.

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlisa

I remember making something similar with rice crispies but I guess it's not the same. he saltiness of pretzels probably complements well the chocolate and sweetness. Great snack/dessert.

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfoodwanderings

My mom used to make the butterscotch version with chow mein noodles when I was a kid, memories! They were one of my favorite munchies. I'm putting that dried fruit medley on my TJ's list for my next visit. There is always so much to look at in there I miss stuff!

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterApril in CT

Perfect! Just perfect! I've been dipping pretzels in honey, lately, but these sound soooo much better!

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRJ Flamingo

When ever I dip something in chocolate, like truffles or Clementines, ;) I always have pretzels ready to use up the rest of my melted chocolate. But I have a whole jar of honey roasted peanuts that I should have thrown in with the pretzels too. I guess I need to melt some more chocolate! :)

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermegan

These sound so full of flavors I like together, especially the sweet & salty. stumbled.

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkat

These look great. I love haystacks and have never thought of using pretzels.

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

ooooh, i'm LOVING the bonus recipe--the base one is grand, but with the simple addition of peanut buttery goodness, it can't hold a candle to the variation!

January 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergrace

Those look AMAZING :) Yum!

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

I don't have much of a sweet tooth. That is, until something sweet is combined with something salty. Then I'm all over it. You're right Elle, these are simple but sometimes in life some of the best things are the simplest. Thanks for the reminder :)

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRenee (Kudos Kitchen)

I just came across your blog and this post caught my eye. Chocolate pretzels are my WEAKNESS. I love how this has a bit of fruit in it to take away some of the guilt. This is definitely one I've got to try. I look forward to following your blog!

The first time I had these, they were made with Chinese chow mein noodles. Salty, sweet, good. But pretzels totally work and maybe even better.

January 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Duo Dishes-Chrystal

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