I've gone wild decorating these Chocolate Pretzel Jungle Animals. I'll admit that most of my edible craft projects are incredibly fun for me to create, but turning ordinary chocolate dipped pretzel rods into animals, has made me downright giddy.
Earlier this week, I decorated some Farm Animal Pretzels using modeling chocolate, and they were cute, really cute, actually. The designs were pretty simple. With my jungle animals I decided to kick it up a notch and add a bit more detail. I went a little nuts with the elephant, but all that detail was worth it. He is my absolute favorite design, so far, anyway!
My Farm Animal Pretzels were inspired by Crafts by Amanda's adorably decorated craft sticks. Some of these jungle animals, including the zebra, were inspired by Sierra from H is for Homeschooling, who took Amanda's idea and ran with it. She created an entire zoo using popsicle sticks and they are so fun.
I had just finished making the lion and tiger, when my exchange student came home from school. She was excited to try her hand at designing a pretzel animal and she created the giraffe. It's fantastic, isn't it?
Each animal took me between ten to twenty minutes to design and as simple as the hippo looks, it took the most effort. At first, I just couldn't get the nose to look right. I think I finally got it. You can tell just how much I love the elephant based on the number of pictures I took of it.
Jungle Animal Pretzel Pops
Before you begin, you can use candies like Tootsie Rolls, salt water taffy, Laffy Taffy, Airheads, or Starburst Fruit Chews to create the decorations, but with these designs I highly recommend using modeling chocolate (recipe here.). You can make one batch of white modeling chocolate and add coloring for each design.
TIP to keep the chocolate from cracking on your pretzels. Chocolate shrinks 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.
If you are making an entire zoo full of different animals and are using confectionery coating/candy melts, you might want to consider using an electric skillet to keep small bowls of colored candy coating melted. For detailed instructions, see my Chocolate Making Tips page.
Decorate your pretzels using modeling chocolate or assorted candy. You can either pinch off pieces of the modeling chocolate or candy and shape them into ears, spots, manes, noses, trunks, etc. or roll the modeling chocolate or candy out using a rolling pin then cut using small metal cutters or kitchen shears. I did a combination of the techniques. Then use melted chocolate as "glue" to attach the candy to the chocolate dipped pretzels. You can use corn syrup to attach pieces of modeling chocolate to other pieces of modeling chocolate, like when adding the nose to the lion's face.
dip pretzel rod in grey
tusk from white modeling chocolate
dip pretzel in white
mane from black modeling chocolate or Tootsie Rolls or black salt water taffy
dip pretzel in yellow/orange
nose from brown modeling chocolate or chocolate salt water taffy
dip pretzel rod in milk chocolate
nose and fur in ears from tan colored modeling chocolate or caramels
use black food coloring marker to draw on nose and smile
dip pretzel rod in yellow/orange
snout, antlers, and spots from brown modeling chocolate or Tootsie Rolls or chocolate taffy
draw spots on face using a brown food coloring marker
dip pretzel rod in orange
snout from white modeling chocolate or Vanilla Tootsie Rolls or Airheads
nose from black modeling chocolate, chocolate Tootsie Roll or chocolate taffy
draw stripes on face and pretzel using a black food coloring markerHippo:
2 black edible pearls - eyes
head and ears from grey modeling chocolate
nose from light grey modeling chocolate
teeth from white modeling chocolate or Vanilla Tootsie Rolls
make indentations for nose using the back end of a skewer, use the point to make the spots