Happy Valentine's Day!
Hubby and I celebrated early with a little time at the ranch before I go under the knife later this week to correct a torn rotator cuff.
I relaxed on the dock with my favorite canine friend.
Hubby and I walked in the woods.
And God gave a beautiful moonrise over the campfire.
But now, the big day is here. The day we celebrate love. The day flower, chocolate and greeting card sales go through the roof.
I remember hubby's and my first Valentine's Day. It was a fiasco.
"Sure we'll go to dinner," he said.
"Have you made reservations?" His realistic wife lifted a brow.
"We don't need reservations," he responded. "It's only Valentine's Day. It's not the big a deal."
Well, after visiting three restaurants with nothing shorter than an hour wait (he does not like to wait), I told him to just run by the grocery store and we could pick up a couple of those surf and turf packages they had on sale and I'd fix dinner at home.
Yeah, you guessed it. They were sold out.
That was the year my husband learned that Valentine's really is a big deal to lots and lots of people. It was also the year I determined we would never attempt to go out again on that day. Instead, I would make something special at home.
I mean, why run to the store when you can show your loved one(s) how special they are by making them some delectable homemade treats, filled with love?
I make these Pretzel Turtles at Christmas, but they are perfect for any time you want a special chocolate treat. And yes, they are easy.
Here's what you'll need:
- Pretzel Squares (if you can't find the squares, you can use the mini twists)
- Pecan halves
- Individually wrapped soft caramels, unwrapped (the only soft caramels I could find were Werther's)
- Chocolate for melting (I've used the milk chocolate chips here, but I've also used the 60% cocoa chips in the past and they're just as yummy)
I'm sure you noticed that I didn't give amounts on anything. That's because you can make as many or as few as you like, just be sure you have equal amounts of pretzels, pecan halves and caramels.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Lightly toast your pecan halves either in a skillet on the stove or in the oven. Roughly 4-6 minutes, but be sure to toss them a time or two and watch them so they don't burn.
Set aside to cool.
On a lined baking sheet (I used a silicone mat, but you can also use parchment paper), lay out your pretzels and top each with a caramel.
Bake 3-5 minutes, until caramel is soft, but not oozing.
Immediately press a pecan half into each melted caramel.
While those are cooling, melt your chocolate. I put mine in a measuring cup then microwave it in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until smooth. You can also melt them on the stove top with a double boiler or nonstick pan over low heat.
Okay, now that the pecan-topped caramels are cool, remove them from the pan. Spoon a 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon of melted chocolate onto the silicone/parchment then carefully drop a pecan-topped pretzel into the middle like so.
Continue until all pretzels are nestled in chocolate.
Cool completely before serving.
These really are to-die-for. They're sweet, they're salty, they're chocolately, crispy and gooey.
You could place a few in a cellophane bag and tie with a pretty ribbon or simply serve them on a pretty plate. Trust me, your loved one(s) won't care once they bite into these delicious treats.
Now it's your turn.
Do you have a crazy Valentine's story?
Do you even celebrate Valentine's or simply think of it as another day?
Mindy Obenhaus lives in Texas with her husband and kids. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com.