As much as I love making things, I’ve never been very talented at making pretty food. I don’t know why, but I have so much trouble getting icing to do what I want. I think part of the problem is that I don’t really know what I’m doing. Beyond the occasional cookies and birthday cakes, my mom never baked much and neither have I. However, I’m starting to realize that there are a lot of tips and tricks and tools that can really help you make beautiful cookies, cakes, and treats – and it’s actually a lot easier than it looks.
The kids and I started by making these colorful white chocolate covered pretzels and I love how they turned out. We all watched the Creativebug tutorial for making these ombre dipped pretzels and cookies and then went crazy making a ton of our own. We had SO much fun! If you’re looking for something to do with the kids over the next week, this is a perfect activity. Plus, you will get some delicious and beautiful pretzels out of it.
Have you heard of Creativebug? It’s a great online website full of amazing video tutorials. A lot of the classes are shorter classes like this one that teach you how to do one specific project. However, a lot of their classes are also series that teach you a skill like watercolor, calligraphy, or printmaking. Last month I made these beaded leather wrap bracelets that I’ve always wanted to learn how to make and I love how they turned out. What’s great is that Creativebug is only $4.95 per month. Plus, for every month you’re a member, you get to download one class to keep forever. Also, right now through the end of the month, Creativebug is offering their biggest promotion of the year – If you buy a 12 month subscription for yourself, you also get a second one to give away as a gift. And what a great gift idea! Especially if you’re looking for a last minute gift, you could even buy print and gift a Creativebug subscription in a matter of minutes on Christmas morning.
So back to the pretzels. I absolutely LOVE the ombre effect that was taught in the class. They actually demonstrate two different techniques for covering pretzels in colorful white chocolate, and we used a little bit of both. We decided to use traditional little pretzels so that we could put them in little plastic bags and give them as gifts. These pretzels would also be a fun snack to take to a Christmas party! I had seen the candy melts on the baking aisle at Michael’s before, and they looked like a lot of fun. However, I thought that they would be super complicated to use and I thought that they were more of a sugary lollipop type consistency. However, they are soft and taste like vanilla flavored white chocolate and are really delicious with the salty pretzels. And of course we had to add some sprinkles!
Also, I didn’t realize that you could simply melt the candy melts in the microwave. Since our pretzels were so small, we were able to use plastic 4 ounce cups instead of the larger dipping containers you can find at the craft store. The candy melts also stayed melty for a lot longer than I thought. The kids also dipped animal crackers. They watched the Creativebug class with me, and then I let them make their pretzels however they wanted. They really enjoyed watching the video tutorial with me, and they were much more excited about following the instructions than if I had just told them what to do.
I made solid colored pretzels topped with matching sugary sprinkles. I made them in pink, blue, and yellow, but I didn’t love the way the yellow turned out. I also make some simple half dipped pretzels with classic rainbow sprinkles. I love how they look together, although the sugary sprinkles are the most delicious! Instead of using parchment paper, I let the kids use disposable plastic plates. You can set the still melty pretzels and cookies directly on the plate and then easily transport it to the fridge to cool. Here are some of the fun creations that Lyla (5 years old) made.
…and here are Benjamin’s fun creations. We really enjoyed spending time together making these! It was even more fun than when we’ve baked cookies in the past, plus I didn’t have to bring out the mixer or even turn on the oven.
…and here are mine. I made them as a set, but I really want to try some other techniques too!
I also made some printable treat bag toppers to go along with your pretzels. I love using treat toppers to make handmade creations seem more professional. There are two sizes, but you could trim the edges of either of them to make them fit different bags. The larger size will fit on top of a typical sandwich/snack bag. You just have to cut out the printable, fold it over in the middle, and then staple it to the top of your plastic bag.
And don’t forget, you can sign up for a two week free trial of Creativebug and you get to download a class to keep forever. I want to try some of these other holiday baking classes and maybe learn how to make beautiful cupcakes. How beautiful are those candy filigree snowflakes?