Hye Thyme Cafe: Salty Kisses and a Lesson Learned

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Salty Kisses and a Lesson Learned

Salty Kisses : Hye Thyme Cafe

This is for all two of you who have never seen or eaten these perfect little morsels. I'm sure most of you have either had them or made them yourself. They are typically known as Chocolate-Covered Pretzels, Pretzel Hugs, or Hershey's Kiss Pretzels, but because they strike that perfect balance of sweet and salty, I like to call them Salty Kisses.

One of the items requested for our holiday dessert spread this year was Peanut Blossoms, so having extra Kisses on hand, I decided to use them up on a batch of Salty Kisses. For the cookies, I had used a bag of Hugs, the white and milk chocolate swirled Kisses, and a bag of Caramel Kisses.  

The lesson learned came when using the Caramel Kisses on the cookies. The chocolate is too thin and the caramel too soft, so they were too melty and oozy to top the cookies right away. I ended up cramming a second kiss over the melted one. Even having done that didn't dissuade me from attempting them with the pretzels. Sadly (for everyone else), not even freezing them helped (didn't stop me from eating them), so those did not make it to the dessert table. If you want the caramel, stick with Rolos! That's another common variation - a Rolo melted on top of a pretzel with a pecan half pressed into it is a Rolo Turtle.

Wondering why the photo doesn't match the text? I had used up leftover Kisses to make the pretzels, which then left me with extra pretzels, so I hit up the post-Christmas sales and looked for more kisses, but all they had left were Cookies 'n' Creme and Almond. I was hesitant about the Cookies 'n' Creme, but those were great too! And the bonus with those is that because they're sweeter, you're not tempted to eat as many!! As for the Almond Kisses, I was thinking they had little bits of almond throughout, but there was actually a good-sized chunk in the middle of each as well, so it added a new level of crunch.

You can use any shape small pretzel you like - circles, twists, snaps (look like a little grate). The circles come out looking like a bulls-eye, especially if you top them with an M&M or other candy. The twists are the more traditional and fill in nicely, but I prefer the ratio of pretzel to chocolate using the snaps.

Hershey Kisses (any but caramel)
Mini Pretzels (any shape but rods or nuggets)
M&M's or other candy toppers (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 250
  2. Line baking sheet with foil or parchment
  3. Spread tray with a layer of pretzels, avoiding any broken pieces
  4. Top each with a Kiss (if using multiple varieties, might want to do separate trays in case they melt at different rates)
  5. Bake for about 8" until nice and melty - if you take a peek and just the tip is melting, give it another minute or two until is sort of starts to fall in on itself
  6. Remove from oven and use the back of a spoon to either press down to spread the chocolate into the open spaces, or spread to create a swirl effect
  7. If desired, top each with an additional candy decoration
  8. Leave on trays to cool

Salty Kisses : Hye Thyme Cafe

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