How-to Make a Chocolate New Year's Hourglass

Place waxed paper over tube end of each funnel; seal with masking tape. Spoon white confectionery coating into funnels and spread with spatula, forming an even layer on all surfaces. Invert funnels over a bowl and table gently to release excess coating. Turn upright and balance funnels in cups or glasses. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. Repeat coating and chilling process twice (tube ends should be completely filled after all layers are complete). After the third layer, chill for 15 minutes or until completely set.

Remove tape and waxed paper from tube ends. Gently push shell away from the tube end toward the cone. Holding the outside of the funnel with one hand and the inside with the other, twist shell a quarter turn to release the funnel. Place cone side down on waxed paper. With sharp knife, cut ends to within 1/4 inch of cone and discard; set cones aside.

Draw two 6-inch circles on a piece of waxed paper and place on a greased baking sheet. Evenly spread thick milk chocolate coating over each circle. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. Remove waxed paper; return circles to wax paper and set aside. Dip pretzels into milk chocolate coating and place on waxed paper to set. Drizzle with white coating.

If desired: place doily on serving plate. Place one chocolate circle on doily, smooth side up. Brush the edges of one cone with white coating and attach to chocolate circle. Brush a small amount of white coating on the tube end of one funnel; attach tube ends of both funnels together. Hold for 1 minute; let set. Brush edges of second cone with coating and place second chocolate circle on top, rough side up; let set. With a sharp knife, cut pretzels to fit between the circles, about 6-1/4 inches. Brush milk chocolate coating on pretzel ends and attach to each side of hourglass. Garnish top and plate with curls and shavings if desired.