I have exciting news, I’m sharing a fun recipe that includes using Halloween candy to create mini pretzel dough pumpkins. Just think, the toasty outer shell of a soft pretzel — with a sweet morsel of chocolate inside. You’ll also find some FREE “Boo It Forward” printables to help you create a “Boo Kit” for friends and neighbors – a fun way to make new friends this fall!
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Every year our family loves to visit a local apple farm to select the seasons’ best apples straight from the orchard. In addition to apples, we love to visit the pumpkin patch and pick out some pumpkins. So for our family, pumpkins and apples go together and symbolize some of our favorite things about fall.
I wanted to create a gift for neighbors and friends that captures apples and pumpkins in a way that’s easy to make and fun to enjoy eating. I created some mini pretzel dough pumpkins using pretzel dough and MARS M&M’s® candies. By filling each pumpkin with candy, recipients are in for a chocolatey treat. Soft Pretzels and chocolate – two of my favorite things to eat — rolled into one.
As I was shopping for candies to fill my pumpkins, I learned about the “Boo It Forward” Halloween campaign sponsored by MARS M&M’s® and Wrigley’s® soft drinks like 7UP® and Sunkist®.
I’m so excited about “Boo It Forward” because it promotes “Boo’ing” a gift basket forward instead of “Trick or Treating”. What I like most about it, is that it provides an opportunity for my kids to give gifts and candy away instead of expecting something at a neighbor’s door. It turns Halloween on its ear and gives our family a chance to give gifts. What a great way to ring in the fall season and teach my kids about giving at the same time.
Mini Pretzel Dough Pumpkins Fall Recipe
These pretzel dough pumpkins feature all the wonderful things you love about soft pretzels. A soft chewy center surrounded by a toasted golden exterior. Recipients will be surprised when they bite into their pumpkins and find Chocolate M&M’s®, PeanutM&M’s®, SNICKERS®, or TWIX®. It’s ooey-gooey chocolatey goodness surrounded in a toasted soft pretzel shell.
Ingredients for Mini Pretzel Dough Pumpkins Fall Recipe
To create the pretzel dough:
- 1 Large Bag of M&M’s® Chocolate Favorites Fun Size candies including Chocolate M&M’s®, PeanutM&M’s®, SNICKERS®, or TWIX®. For a limited time, you can download a coupon to Save $2.00 on TWO (2) bags of Mars® Candy.
- 2 1/4 Cups of Flour
- 1 1/4 Teaspoons of Dry Active Yeast
- 1 1/2 cups of Sunkist® Orange. For a limited time, you can download a coupon to Save $2.00 on on ONE (1) 6 pk 8oz Cans.
- 1/2 Teaspoon Orange food coloring
- 1 Can of orange food spray paint
- 1 Non-stick cooking spray can to coat mixing bowl after dough is mixed
- 4 Tablespoons of baking soda
- 4 Cups hot tap water
Materials to pack the “Boo It Forward” Baskets as featured:
- 2 Woven wood baskets
- 2 Stuffed Owls
- “You’ve been Boo’d” card and sign from the MARS M&M’s® candies website here: MARS Boo It Forward
- 1 7UP® 8oz 6pk (Halloween Can)
- 1 Sunkist® 8oz 6pk (Halloween Can)
- 1 Bag of at least 4 apples – freshly picked from an orchard or the grocery store
- 1 Caramel Apple baking kit
- Parchment paper
- Extra popsicle sticks
- Sprinkles to decorate your caramel apples
- A few sprigs of fake (or real) fall leaves and berries
Directions to create Mini Pretzel Dough Pumpkins Fall Recipe
- Pre-heat oven. Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick cooking spray for baking.
- Activate the Dry Yeast – To activate the Dry Yeast, sprinkle the yeast onto the 1 1/2 cups of Sunkist® Orange and allow it to sit for five minutes. After five minutes, stir in the yeast until it is evenly distributed in the Sunkist® Orange. If you like a brighter orange, add the food coloring to the liquid mix (food coloring is optional – the Sunkist® Orange already has an orange color).
- Mix the Dough – Add the yeast/soda mixture to the flour and stir. Once combined, take the dough out of the bowl and knead it on a clean countertop until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky. Form the dough into a ball and place it back inside a greased mixing bowl and cover with saran wrap to “rest” for 1/2 an hour.
- Roll the Dough – This recipe makes 4 mini pumpkins. Divide the dough into four even chunks. Use two hands to roll the dough into balls.
- Add the chocolate MARS M&M’s® candies – Gently create a pocket for the chocolate candy. Use your fingertips to gently press pumpkins’ edges together to create a seal around the candy. Try to roll the pumpkin ball to ensure an even amount of dough around the candy.
- Drench the Pumpkins – In a large pot, add four cups of hot tap water. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot tap water – do not boil. Once mostly dissolved, dunk the mini pumpkins briefly into the baking soda/water mix, one at a time — coating the outside of pretzel dough. You do not want to soak the pretzel dough, you only want to coat the exterior with the baking soda and water mix. Pat any excess wetness with a paper towel.
- Bake the Pumpkins – These bake quickly – you’ll want to stay in the kitchen. Place the pumpkins on a baking sheet or into a pumpkin shaped mold (if you have one). I used a floral silicone baker to create these mini pumpkin shapes. Bake each side (top and bottom) for four to six minutes per side or until the dough is cooked through. Keep an eye on things to ensure the dough does not burn.
- Paint the Pumpkin – To get the nice orange color you see in these photos, I spray painted the exterior of my pumpkins with a food coloring spray paint. I also trimmed the bottoms to create a flat bottom for the pumpkins to stand upright.
- Add a Pumpkin Stem – I used popsicle sticks cut short to add my pumpkin stems. I placed one end in the pumpkin and the other into a TWIX® candy bar. If you use a smaller popsicle stick, it will squeeze into the caramel of the TWIX® candy.
Build your Boo It Forward Basket
I layered the 3 of the 7UP® 8oz mini Halloween cans and 3 of the Sunkist® 8oz mini Halloween cans on the bottoms of each of my baskets. I then added caramel apples (follow package directions for caramel apples), Chocolate Mix Fun Size MARS® candies, stuffed owls, and a “Boo It Forward” card.
Instructions for the “Boo It Forward” card
1. Cut out this “We’ve been BOO’d sign.
2. Fold the “You’ve been BOO’d” greeting card (page 2) and tape openings together.
3. Include the card and sign when gifting BOO bundles.
I also created some owl cards with personalized messages for our Boo Kit recipients. Basket assembly is very easy and it’s the perfect project to ask kids to pull together. A great way to teach kids to “pay it forward” with a fall-inspired gift.
Where to find MARS M&Ms® candies and Wrigley® Soft Drinks
You can find everything featured here at Walmart including the stuffed owls and baskets You’ll find MARS® candies on the Halloween/candy aisles and Wrigley® products on the soft drinks aisle.
We gave these special treats to family and friends and everyone loved the chocolate filled mini pretzel dough pumpkins.
How do you plan to “Boo It Forward”?
What are your fall season or Halloween plans? Do you like the idea of “Boo’ing it forward?” Be sure to check out other great BOO Kit ideas. I’d love to hear about who you are BOO’ing this year to celebrate Halloween! Boo’ing is the good-spirited tradition of surprising someone with a bundle of halloween goodies and treats. Please leave a comment below and join the conversation. I love hearing from my readers.