2 1/2 (8 ounce) packages semisweet chocolate squares *
12 (8-inch long) baked pretzel rods
Toppings: chopped toasted nuts, chopped dried
fruit, flaked coconut, almond brickle chips, mini
peanut-butter pieces, green and red sprinkles
* Do NOT use semisweet chocolate chips as they will not set up correctly.
Place chocolate in 4-cup measuring cup or large glass bowl. In microwave oven, cook, covered with wax paper, on HIGH 2 to 3 minutes, until almost melted, stirring occasionally until smooth. (Or, in 3-quart saucepan, heat chocolate over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth.)
Meanwhile, place each topping choice on sheet of wax paper.
Holding 1 pretzel rod at a time over melted chocolate, spoon some chocolate over pretzel to coat, leaving about 2 inches uncoated at one end. Immediately sprinkle coated pretzel with choice of topping. Carefully place coated pretzel rods in pie plate or shallow bowl, leaning uncoated portion on edge (try to keep pretzels from touching one another) and refrigerate about 15 minutes to set coating.
Apply a second coating of melted chocolate and choice of topping to each pretzel as above; refrigerate about 15 minutes to set coating. Store at room temperature in tightly covered container, with wax paper between layers, up to 2 weeks.
Each pretzel: About 265 calories, 5 g protein, 37 g carbohydrate, 16 g total fat (9 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium