1Prepare a large baking sheet by covering it with wax paper (or parchment paper).
Melt chocolate and shortening together by using a double boiler with the water at a gentle simmer. Stir chocolate while it’s melting and remove from heat once all the chocolate is melted (you can use a microwave to melt the chocolate, see Tips section below).
Using a fork, dip each pretzel one at a time into the melted chocolate. You can completely cover the pretzel or just dip 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up, leaving some of the pretzel exposed.
Once the pretzel has been dipped in chocolate, lay it on a cookie sheet to set. If you wish to add sprinkles for garnish, now’s the time to do it while the chocolate is still wet (you can dip around 6 at a time before sprinkling in batches).
Allow to set for about one hour before packing away for storage. Keep in an airtight container with a piece of wax paper between layers of dipped pretzels. Will keep for about two weeks in a cool, dark place (they do not need to be refrigerated).
2For topping sprinkles, try candy sprinkles, shredded coconut, crushed peanuts or almonds, crushed peppermints or candy canes, crushed cookies. You can either sprinkle toppings or dip the pretzels into a dish filled with toppings to get them coated really well. Store at room temperature for up to two weeks in an airtight container. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can melt chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals–just make sure to stir frequently until chocolate is fully melted (do not overcook or the chocolate will be bitter). Try dark chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch chips for coating the pretzels–or do a combo of two by dipping in one flavor then once cooled, drizzle another flavor for a decorative effect (and a flavor twist). To preserve as much of the chocolate as possible (and keep things neat), allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the pot before moving the dipped pretzel onto the baking sheet. You can dip pretzel sticks instead of regular shaped pretzels, do a double dip with these (letting the first chocolate layer fully set before dipping the next chocolate layer about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up).