We call these "reindeer" because (a) they do look kind of like Rudolph, and (b) it's simpler than "chocolate-peanut-M&M-pretzels." But that's basically all they are. They are delicious, and a great quick mouthful of wonderful. They package well for gifts (we typically put them in the cellophane treat bags that can be found at Walmart), or can fill out a tray for a party. (That is, if they last until the party! Ours always go fast.)
Here's what you need:
1 16oz. bag of small twist pretzels*
2 11oz. bags of Hershey's Dark Chocolate Kisses
2-3 12.6oz. bags of Peanut M&Ms†
1. Preheat your oven to 200°.
2. Unwrap the Hershey's Kisses.
3. Separate red and green M&Ms (optional; see note †).
4. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (I strongly recommend a true cookie sheet, not a "jelly-roll" pan — you'll see why in step 9.)
5. Lay out pretzels covering the entire sheet of parchment paper‡; it's okay to put them really close (give just a little margin, though). You'll find it easier later if you turn all of the pretzels so that they are oriented the same way.
6. Place one unwrapped Hershey's Kiss on each pretzel in the "bottom" part of the twist — the teardrop-shaped part — so that the tip of the Kiss is pointing toward the center. (See photo.)
7. Put the sheet of pretzels+Kisses in your pre-heated oven, just long enough to soften the chocolate thoroughly but not to the point of melting — 6–7 minutes is ideal in a 200° oven. (Be careful, too, of scalding the chocolate, which imparts a bitter taste.)
8. Place one M&M in the center of each softened Kiss. Go ahead and smash it down a good bit; this will set the M&M into the chocolate more firmly, and also cause the chocolate to spread around the pretzel better — all of which makes them stay together better after they set.
9. Slide the parchment paper off of the cookie sheet onto a table or counter. This step is technically optional, but doing so will allow them to cool and set faster, and free up your cookie sheet for another batch!
10. Allow them to cool and set until the chocolate is solid again.
Molly discovered these at a preschool holiday party. At that point, she was still a pretty picky eater (especially when it came to sweets), but when she tried these she said, "those are good!" I knew that I had to try them if she thought they were that good, and she was right!
The mom who brought them claimed she just threw them together; she wasn't planning on using the Dark Chocolate Kisses, but the store was out of milk chocolate ones. (What a happy accident!) Molly and I bought the stuff to make more on the way home from the party, and we've made multiple batches every year since.
* We prefer Rold Gold Tiny Twists; the flavor in them matches better with the sweet chocolate than Snyder's.
† If you're a Rudolph purist, get the holiday colors (red and green) and pick out all of the green ones — and in that case you'll need three bags. If you don't care about greens, reds, yellows, and browns, you can probably get by on just two bags.
‡ DON'T use wax paper; you'll never get all of it peeled off of the bottoms of the softened chocolate!