You'll give a few fun new twists to “sweets for my sweet” when you weave this good-enough-to-eat basket. It’s made from chocolate. In time for Valentine’s Day, Crafting Traditions home economists quickly pulled together this container using easy-to-create chocolate “clay” that’s completely edible. And not only is it a cinch to finish, it’s long-lasting, too. You can store your basket safely in a sealed plastic bag for a month or more—if you can find a way to keep it away from nibblers! Crafterthoughts… You can embellish your basket even further by making a bit of extra “clay” from white chocolate, rolling out a length and forming it into a bow to attach to the basket. Here’s another tasty idea—weave smaller baskets from thinner ropes to use as individual place markers for a party. Don’t contain this kitchen craft only to February 14—it’s a treat to make anytime of year.
Total TimePrep: 1 hour + chilling
- Materials needed:
- Thirteen 3-inch pretzel sticks
- Flexible plastic cover to a 16-ounce container (such as sour cream), about 4-1/2 inches diameter x 1/4 inch deep
- Paper towels
- Wire rack
- 1-quart bowl
- Waxed paper
- Chocolate clay:
- 10 ounces dark, milk or white chocolate candy coating, melted
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- Combine candy coating and corn syrup just until blended. Spread onto a sheet of waxed paper to 3/8-in. thickness (about an 8-in. square).
- Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 2-3 hours or until dry to the touch. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap; let stand overnight. Use immediately or store up to 2 weeks.
- Building the Base
- 1. Dip pretzels completely in melted chocolate candy coating or chocolate chips. Place on a wire rack and chill for 10 minutes. Reserve remaining chocolate. (Pretzels may be prepared a day ahead.) Be certain plastic cover is clean and dry. Place two dampened paper towels in the bottom of the bowl and position cover on the towels(to hold it in place). Place ends of the chocolate-coated pretzels around outer edge of cover, resting the other ends against the side of the bowl to form the supports for the basket sides (photo 1). Spoon or pour melted chocolate into cover (photo 1) until it is 1/8 in. from the top; reserve remaining chocolate. Be certain chocolate surrounds all pretzel sticks. Chill until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the bowl. Carefully loosen the edges of the plastic
- cover and remove. Set base on waxed paper.
- Make three ropes about 20 in. long; braid and set aside. Remelt
- remaining chocolate and place a drop on the top of pretzels. Lay braided ropes on top (photo 3), blending the ends to create a finished edge. If pretzels break, “reglue” with melted chocolate; chill until set.
- Beginning to Weave
- 2. Knead a 1-inch ball of Chocolate Clay until pliable but not soft and roll into 1/4-in.-thick ropes. Beginning on the inside of a pretzel, loosely weave rope around pretzels (photo 2).
- Repeat, adding the next rope by overlapping slightly and pressing
- ends together. Continue to weave between pretzels until the top of
- the pretzels is reached, ending the last rope on the inside of a pretzel.
- Finishing the Basket
- 3. Make three ropes about 20 in. long; braid and set aside. Remelt remaining chocolate and place a drop on the top of pretzels. Lay braided ropes on top (photo 3), blending the ends to create a finished edge. If pretzels break, “reglue” with melted chocolate; chill until set.
Editor's Note: Chocolate confectionery coating is found in baking sections of most grocery stores. It is sometimes labeled “almond bark” or “candy coating” and is often sold in bulk (1 to 1-1/2 pounds). You can also substitute 1-3/4 cups semisweet or milk chocolate chips. Finished size: Basket is about 7 inches wide x 3-1/2 inches deep.