Maybe these Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Graduates didn’t work as hard as your kid to graduate. But they surely will do the trick to impress your guests at your child’s graduation party.
It’s graduation party time and these adorable Pretzel Pop Graduates would look so cute on your food table, unless of course, your party is outdoors, then they’d pretty much be a melted puddle next to a pretzel rod. Not good.
Usually when I decorate my pretzel pops, like the Personalized Graduation Pretzel Pops I made last year, I use modeling chocolate, but today I used fondant instead.Wilton just came out with their new Decorator Preferred fondant, which I got to work with and taste while visiting their headquarters last month. The fondant has a nice sweet marshmallow flavor and is so easy to sculpt and use to cover cakes, which I’ve done a few times already.
You know I love Wilton products, I use them all the time, and recently I became part of their Sweet Treat Team, so I am being compensated for this post, but I want you to know just how much I love this new fondant. I never thought I’d utter those words.
I would never have even considered using fondant on a pretzel pop before. I just have never been a huge fan of the stuff, but I feel like a convert now.When I cut into a fondant covered cake that I made last week, I didn’t feel the need to rip off the fondant before eating a slice. I’ve always done that. Fondant was like wrapping paper to me. It made for a pretty presentation, but the cake was really the gift.
I still have to say I prefer the taste of modeling chocolate, but do realize that it’s not available to buy ready-made and not everyone wants to make it. Wilton’s fondant can be purchased at craft stores and even at Walmart. So it’s a great alternative and it made for some cute pretzel pop decorations.
Pretzel Pop Graduates
Wilton Black Candy Melts or a combo of Black and Dark Cocoa*
Wilton Decorator Preferred Fondant, black and white
food coloring (to create your preferred skin color and a tie for the diploma)
*I used one 10 ounce bag of Wilton Black Candy Melts plus 6 ounces of Dark Cocoa Candy Melts, mostly because I didn’t have two bags of the black, but also because I really like the two flavors blended together. If you double dip your pretzel rods, you’ll use a little less than 1 ounce per pop, but will have to melt more than that so that you can easily dip your long pretzels.
parchment paper lined baking pans
Wilton fondant roller
Wilton Silicone Baking Mat
Wilton 1 1/2 inch square fondant cutter
Wilton 1 1/2 inch round fondant cutter
1 inch round cutter
Wilton Candy Decorating Pen (black food coloring marker)
optional, clay extruder
TIP to keep the Candy Melts from cracking on your pretzels. Candy melts will shrink as it cools and when it shrinks onto something hard, it usually cracks. If you take the pretzels out of the bag and allow them to sit at room temperature for several hours or overnight they will soften just enough to keep this from happening, but not enough to become stale.
Melt Candy Melts (see Chocolate Making Tips for detailed instructions.)
Pour candy melts into a tall glass.
Dip pretzel rod into candy melts, remove, and shake off excess.
I usually hold my pretzel for a minute to allow the candy coating to begin to set, that way when I set it down on my pan I get a nice shaped pretzel without feet (the blob of chocolate that oozes out from under the pretzel.)
Set on a parchment lined baking sheet. After you’ve dipped about 5 pretzels, put them in the freezer for 4-5 minutes until set.
For a nice thick coating, allow the pretzels to come to room temperature then dip a second time.
Get your fondant ready. You’ll find that you barely even need to knead this fondant. It is soft and pliable and pretty much ready to work.
Like with any fondant, keep it covered when you are not working with it.
Roll some black fondant using a fondant roller. I find rolling fondant out on one of Wilton’s silicone mats works great. I don’t need to use cornstarch or shortening to keep it from sticking.
Cut 1 1/2 inch squares for the tops of the mortarboards (graduation caps,) 3 inch by 1/2 inch strips for the bottom of the caps and cut 1 1/2 inch circles then cut them in half for the sleeves in the graduation gown.NOTE: You want the squares to dry out a bit so that they harden and keep their shape, but the other pieces need to be soft and pliable for use later, so cover them in plastic wrap or put them in a zip top bag.
You can create any skin color you choose. I chose to make a light skin color by adding a small drop of orange coloring to some white fondant. You’ll also need to either color some white fondant using red coloring, or use some red fondant.
Cut 1 1/2 inch squares out of white fondant. I cut off a bit from two edges to make it a bit smaller. Roll up the square into a diploma. Roll a tiny bit of red into long strips and wrap around the diplomas.
Roll out some skin color fondant and cut using 1 inch circles then add eyes and a smile with a Candy Decorating Pen. Allow to dry completely.
Pinch off pieces of the skin color fondant, roll into logs to create arms. Flatten one side to create a hand.
Press some white fondant through a clay extruder fitted with a multi hole attachment or cut or roll thin strips to create the tassels.
Assemble Pretzel Pop Graduates:
Attach one face about 1/4 inch from the top of a pretzel using melted candy melts. Wrap one black fondant strip around the very top of the pretzel and attach it with a bit of candy melts.
Attach the tassel to the middle of a black fondant square using a dab of water.. Roll a small piece of black fondant into a tiny ball and press it in the center of the square covering the ends of the tassels.
Roll one half of a black fondant circle around an arm, creating a cone shaped sleeve. Repeat making two arms per pretzel pop.
Using candy melts as glue, attach the top of the mortarboard to the top of the pretzel, attach the arms and a diploma.
To make girls, press colored fondant through the clay extruder to make hair then attach it under the mortarboard.
Items used to create this project that are available on Amazon.com (commission earned for sales)
If you’d like to have the ultimate guide to working with Candy Clay (modeling chocolate) be sure to get your printed or e-book copy of Candy Clay Creations. This 102 page book is filled with tips and tricks for making and working with candy clay along with 17 step-by-step tutorials for decorating cupcakes, cookies, and more using candy clay. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to make festively decorated treats.
More Graduation Party Food
from Hungry Happenings