Saturday, September 19, 2009

She's Here!

My sweet baby girl is finally here! She was born on Tuesday and everything went great. She was even two pounds smaller than my little man (who was practically born man-sized) so we are all happy and amazed that the "Dorie diet" worked! I remember reading Jess's post that they thought their new child must be at least half unsalted butter and bittersweet chocolate after all the Dorie treats made and consumed during her pregnancy. I think my little miss is about the same, the other half being Paradise Bakery chocolate chip cookies, watermelon, and caramelized onions (yay for pregnancy cravings! at least I didn't eat those foods all together...)

I have to run and try to sleep while she is sleeping and my husband has my little man, but I felt a little vain just posting a picture and no recipe, so I'm including my favorite caramel wrapped chocolate dipped pretzels. In a last crazy pregnant fit I made these Monday afternoon. They are simple and really visually impressive- not to mention delicious. Please pardon the picture- I took it about 12 hours after I had the baby since I didn't make enough of these "visitor treats" and was worried they were going to be gone before I got a photo at all! We share them with the doctors and nurses and people who came to visit. It was a lot of fun and considering you could make and freeze them in advance, not too much of an endeavor. Unless you're crazy like me and would like to spend your last afternoon before having a baby wrapping caramel and dipping chocolate. :)

A few notes-

I use Peter's Caramel which you can order online. It comes in a 5 pound box and lasts a very long time, staying soft and delicious. It's about $4 or 5 a pound and a little goes a long way. I think the taste and ease of use is worth it, but you could certainly substitute Kraft caramels.

This time I used both white and milk chocolate so people have a choice. The flavor really comes out so I would use Ghiradelli or something else delicious, since you'll really notice it.

For the pink drizzle, I melted white chocolate with a couple of red Wilton candy melts (find those at Michael's or any craft store in the candy making aisle) to attain the pink color. I poured the mixture into a squeeze bottle and stored that in a glass of hot water so it maintained it's temperature while I made all the pretzels.

Kate's Caramel Wrapped Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

1 Bag of Pretzel Rods
1 Pound of Peter's Caramel (or Kraft if you can't find Peter's, but it's worth finding- locally you can get it at Shar's in Gilbert or at ABC Cake Decorating in Phoenix)
2 Cups of Chocolate Chips (or chopped chocolate) plus more for drizzling
2 Tablespoons Crisco (plain shortening, not the evil butter flavored kind, it creeps me out!)
Sprinkles for decorating

Make a double boiler by placing a glass bowl over a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water. Place over medium low heat, watching to make sure the water doesn't touch the glass or condensate into the bowl. Pour in the chocolate, add the Crisco, and stir occasionally until smooth and combined. Reduce heat to low.

Meanwhile, cut the caramel into about one inch cubes. Using your hands, roll each piece into a "snake" like you used to do with play doh. When your caramel is about eight inches long, press the end onto the top of the pretzel and wrap it around the rod, forming a spiral. Leave enough pretzel exposed to dip it later. Set all the wrapped pretzels onto a parchment or Silpat lined cooling rack.

Once the pretzels are all covered, dip into the chocolate, being careful to cover all of the caramel and drip off the excess chocolate. Lay the rod back on the baking sheet and proceed with the rest, working with about 10 at a time. Drizzle with a contrasting color of melted chocolate, if desired, then add sprinkles. Working with a few at a time ensures the chocolate isn't set before you do the decorating. After they are dipped, place the cooling rack in the fridge to set.

When pretzels are set, place in cellophane bags and tie. These keep well for a few days but will last longer than your self control in the freezer.

36 comments:

amanda @ fake ginger said...

Congratulations! She's beautiful!

jillbert said...

She's beautiful! I can't believe that you made those pretzels the day before you had a baby!

Meghan said...

Congratulations!
She is beatiful!!
Looks at those lips & cheeks.
So pinchable. :>)

Hope you got some sleep.

Carrian said...

Congrats!! She is such a doll! I'll have to make some of those yummy pretzels. You are amazing by the way. I can't believe you did all of that the day before she was born!

Gabe's Girl said...

Congratulations! She is perfect.

The Grub Club said...

Congrats on such a beautiful baby girl. I love the bow!

Happiness to you and your family!

♥peachkins♥ said...

Congratulations! She's a princess...

The Bertone's said...

Congrats! She is so cute!

Susan @ SGCC said...

Congratulations! She is gorgeous, and much sweeter than chocolate!

Anonymous said...

Congrats "Strawberry" family! She's beautiful.

Sara said...

Yay, a baby!! Congratulations! Mmmm, pretzels.

Jess said...

Congratulations on your gorgeous little girl! She is lovely.

I was the one with the half-butter-and-sugar baby - the Dorie pregnancy diet definitely worked for me too!

Mary said...

Congratulations! She is beautiful...she looks just like the picture of you on your blog! What a happy day..>I am going to make these pretzels for my sister's baby shower in November..perhaps they are good luck?!

Pamela said...

Oh, Anne! Congratulations! She's simply beautiful. I wish you all the best of everything and happiness always! I'm so impressed that you did the pretzels the day before you delivered Kate. Too much. I've been wanting to try my hand at caramel dipped pretzels, so thanks for this info. Get some rest and take care. Congrats again!

Mary Ann said...

Congrats on the safe arrival of your baby girl! She is beautiful and how thoughtful of you to make a delicious treat for those coming to visit. I have had these type of dipped pretzels before and they are really delicious.

terese said...

Congratulations Ann! She is just beautiful!

Leslie said...

She is so perfect! Congratulations and I hope you can get a little sleep occasionally!

Katrina said...

Yay and congratulations! I knew that was why you didn't post for TWD and was excited to hear!
Sleep, sleep, sleep! Enjoy!

Jules Someone said...

Mazel tov! We'll see you back online after you've slept a bit.

Queen B. said...

OH ANNE, I'M IN TEARS SHE'S SO BEAUTIFUL !!

Jenni said...

She's adorable! Congratulations!

ostwestwind said...

What a beautiful girl, congratulations!

Great teamworke :-)

Ulrike @ K├╝chenlatein

DeltaWhiskey said...

You nut! I can't believe you posted a recipe! She's BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Congratulations Anne! She's adorably delicious!

Stephanie said...

Congratulations! So impressed that you made treats to give to the dr/nurses/visitors!

Peggy said...

CONGRATULATIONS! She is absolutely beautiful.

Cathy said...

Hooray! She is perfect, Anne! I love love love that you were dipping/wrapping pretzels in the hours before her arrival - you are a rock star. Congratulations to you and your family on the arrival of your beautiful baby girl.

theeclecticconnoisseur said...

Congratulations! What a beautiful baby girl! Those pretzels sound fantastic.

Mom2Be said...

congrats! She's gorgeous!

Di said...

Congratulations! What a beautiful picture.

Penny said...

Her little ears and lips are so cute! Congratulations Anne.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

what a gorgeous girl! she's definintely full of sweetness!

barefootbloggers said...

congrats Anne! she's just perfect!

BMK said...

Congrats! What a beautiful baby. I think you definitely qualify for Martha Stewart having made such beautiful thank you gifts for your hospital guests and especially the day before you delivered!

Jacque said...

Oh my goodness, what a beautiful little girl!

Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

First of all, your daughter is too beautiful for words...what gorgeous lips!

Second, thanks for the recipe...I am definitely going to make them.

Lola

THE ACTORS DIET said...

big congratulations!!!