Perfect combination: Salty and sweet: Pretzels a fun snack and gift idea

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Cinnamon and chocolate pretzels make great snacks. They'd also made wonderful gifts this holiday season.
Cinnamon and chocolate pretzels make great snacks. They'd also made wonderful gifts this holiday season.
Martha Cayton | Special to the Times

I’m sitting at my desk on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, munching chocolate-covered pretzels made by my cousin Martha Cayton.

Martha and her family are big fans of East Carolina University football and often tailgate with homemade goodies from Martha’s kitchen.

Her tailgate menu has included ham and cheese sliders, pimiento cheese sandwiches, deviled eggs, brownies, veggies and dip, and even chicken wings with macaroni and cheese. The pretzels — both cinnamon coated and chocolate-covered or “candied” — were new to this year’s tailgate menu.

The chocolate pretzels are Martha’s favorite; I loved them too. But the cinnamon sugar pretzels are probably my favorite.

The cinnamon recipe is from the blog thegraciouswife.com. There are only four ingredients: butter, granulated sugar, cinnamon and pretzel twists.

The candied pretzels, from Sugar Spun Run blog, are baked in a combination of cocoa powder and sugar, then drizzled with melted dark chocolate melting wafers. Martha said she used Ghiradelli; I love that brand too.

These delicious pretzels would make a nice addition to a holiday party. We also think they would make a nice gift. Just add the pretzels to a cellophane bag and tie with a pretty holiday ribbon.

It’s fine to experiment with different pretzel shapes. We think pretzels in holiday shapes would be a nice touch.

Recipe tips

• The cinnamon pretzel recipe uses a whole bag of pretzels. The chocolate recipe does not. Martha has doubled the chocolate recipe with success, but she doesn’t recommend tripling the recipe.

• Martha didn’t add flaky salt to the chocolate pretzels. “I didn’t have any and didn’t want to buy some to only use 1/4 teaspoon. I think they are salty enough.”

• Martha used zippered bags to mix her pretzels for both recipes. “I also melted the butter in a bowl and then poured it into a huge Ziplock 2.5- or 3-gallon storage bag and then added the pretzels to coat them. After they were coated, I poured the sugar mixture in and kept tossing till it was all coated. I started out with my biggest mixing bowl, but I couldn’t toss them all around good enough to get them coated, so I poured it all in the big bag to finish. The second time I made them, I just started it all in the big bag and it worked great.”