Quick chocolate-dipped caramel pretzels

My sixth-grader has a writing assignment to complete every night, and while I usually give the kid his privacy, one entry recently caught my eye. The topic must have been what your family does to prepare for Christmas, and my kiddo’s response was basically that we were too busy to do anything except put up a tree.

Angel in the Kitchen Logo

Honestly, it made me sad. The hubby and I used to go all out for the holidays. Every room was decked out in Christmas cheer, even the bathrooms. I have boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations, but since we bought the Banner – when the kiddo was 2 – anything “extra” fell by the wayside.

I still love the holidays, even if we don’t have time to put up our outdoor lights or set up our six Christmas villages throughout the house. I try to focus the time I do have on finding that perfect gift for everyone, baking goodies and singing along to Christmas music.

(In fact, the kiddo woke me up from a quick nap a few weeks ago by saying, “I need two things: Cookies, and Christmas music. And you’re just the person to help me with both.”)

I’ve been trying to explain to the kiddo that Christmas is more about the feeling you get than the decorations you put up, so last weekend I was looking for a quick and easy Christmas goodie to make. It was just the two of us, it was snowing and I needed to get my Christmas on.

The kiddo initially was reluctant to help – he was playing computer (and he’s 12) – but I enlisted his extra set of hands to squish together the pretzels in these treats before the caramel cooled. Then he sat and chatted and sang with me while I dipped the candies in chocolate. He also picked up my phone and took some pics of me because he said I always look so happy when I’m fiddling around in the kitchen – and especially when I’m dipping anything in chocolate.

I hope he knows it wasn’t the kitchen or the chocolate that made me happy. It was spending time with my favorite person in the whole world.

Note: You want small pretzels with fewer large gaps for these – like tiny twists. I used holiday-shaped pretzels, which worked well, but be sure to have the matching shapes set aside beforehand.