Stay Away From Candy Melts When Making Chocolate-Covered Pretzels

Though chocolate-covered pretzels can be found at any grocery store, there's nothing quite like the homemade version of this sweet and salty treat. Pulling a freshly cooled batch from the fridge and taking that first bite will transport you to snack heaven. The joy of making chocolate-covered pretzels at home is that you can customize them however you'd like: You can choose between milk, dark, or white chocolate, and include sprinkles, nuts, or even a caramel drizzle for flourish. But the first, and perhaps most challenging step involves choosing the appropriate chocolate that will properly coat the pretzels and set.

Your first instinct might be to opt for candy melts, as they are notoriously easy to manipulate for decorating baked goods, per Wilton Blog. After all, they were made to melt quickly and harden without any fuss, creating smooth, clean lines and shapes. Candy melts are a great ingredient for delicate chocolate letters and other fine details, especially those that you don't care to nibble on. However, you might want to consider real chocolate. 

Choose your favorite chocolate

Simply put, candy melts tend not to taste as good as regular chocolate. This is because they aren't actually chocolates at all, but rather a confectionary coating made of palm kernel oil, sugar, and flavoring (via My Sweet Precision). Sure, palm kernel oil does its job: It allows candy melts to be softened directly over heat while maintaining their structure once they come back to room temperature. Regular chocolate is a bit more temperamental, with a base of cocoa butter which is harder to recrystallize after melting. However, it isn't as difficult to work with as you might think.

For an entire chocolate shell — whether it be for pretzels, strawberries, or cake pops — real chocolate is a much better option. Chef Ina Garten tempers chocolate by putting it in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between rounds. This melts your chocolate while ensuring that it hardens once you set it to chill. The best part of using chocolate you actually enjoy is having it with the salty, crunchy pretzel inside. Who said that chocolate-covered pretzels had to be made with drab, artificially sweetened candy melts? You don't have to give up on great chocolate just to enjoy it with pretzels, or anything else for that matter.