One of the simplest things I made to include in my holiday gift packages was chocolate covered pretzels. The saltiness of the pretzels is wonderful with the chocolate. You can use the regular sized pretzels, or for more deluxe gifts, use the jumbo ones. I made approximately 50 chocolate covered pretzels using the amount of chocolate indicated below. You could probably get more than 50 intact pretzels out of a store-bought bag, but 50 was more than enough for what I needed.
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp shortening (i.e. Crisco)
1 bag of pretzels
Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler. If you do not have one, melt them in your microwave on high heat for 1 minute, at 30 seconds intervals, stirring well between each interval. If the chocolate is not completely melted, continue heating it in your microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring well between each interval, and being careful not to burn the chocolate.
Dip each pretzel completely in the chocolate, carefully shaking off the excess. (I find that using a fork or chopsticks works really well.) Place each chocolate covered pretzel on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Refrigerate until set.
Yield: 50 pretzels