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Home cooking: Caramel-chocolate pretzel logs

February 19, 2013

Boonsboro cook Marilyn Hembrock has years of experience in making chocolate candies, dating back to before her husband's tour as an Army chaplain in Germany in the 1970s.

Hembrock said German chocolates are different from American chocolates.

"They have (candy bars) like Toblerone, and they have lots of molded chocolates," she said. "They had molded rabbits and they also had molded pigs, which were for one of their celebrations. Different candies for different celebrations."

This month, Hembrock shared her chocolate-making experience with the youth group at Trinity Lutheran Church in Smithsburg. The youth made chocolate treats to raise money for a mission trip to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey.

"I introduced the kids to how to make candies. Especially the chocolates," she said. "Basically, I've taught them how to mold and make chocolate lollipops."

The chocolate festival featured chocolate treats of all sorts — cakes, cookies, candies, and these caramel-chocolate pretzel logs. The teens made them, with assistance from Hembrock.

"Our teens love making these," she said.

The youth are still accepting donations to help with their mission trip. To donate, call Trinity Lutheran Church at 301-824-7460.

— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor





Caramel-chocolate pretzel logs

12 ounces chocolate candy coating

 (see cook's note)

1 to 2 tablespoons shortening, as needed

9- or 10-ounce package caramels (see cook's note)

10-ounce package large pretzel rods

Candy sprinkles

20 to 24 pretzel log wrappers (see cook's note)



Put chocolate candy coating in bowl and melt in microwave or over hot water. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons shortening, if too thick. Keep melted.

Unwrap 20 to 24 caramels and put in microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 20 seconds, then at 10-second intervals until pliable.

Take 1 warmed caramel and roll into a long rope. Wrap around a pretzel log, leaving about one-third log without caramel.

Dip the caramel-wrapped portion of log into melted chocolate or spoon chocolate over the caramel log, letting excess chocolate coating drip into bowl. Place on waxed paper to set. Immediately add sprinkles.

Repeat for remaining caramels and pretzels.

When chocolate is set, remove from the waxed paper, place in a pretzel log wrapper and tie with a bow.

Cook's notes: May use milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate. Hembrock says Kraft or Werther's soft caramels work well for this recipe. Log wrappers can be found at craft stores that sell candy-making supplies.

Yield: 20 to 24

— Courtesy of Marilyn Hembrock of Boonsboro. She led the youth group of Trinity Lutheran Church in Smithsburg in making chocolates for a fundraiser earlier this month supporting the youth group's mission trip to New Jersey to help Hurricane Sandy victims. To donate to the youth group, call the church at 301-824-7460

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