Can’t We All Just Get Along?

So I was wearing orange today to show support for my friend Vicky, who’s helping raise awareness for MS. And the color orange always reminds me of my time as a witness in Federal Court. (I was not wearing orange then.) I was a junior brand manager working on the “M&M’s”® Brand’s lesser-loved stepchildren – Baking Bits, Almond and Peanut Butter. Peanut Butter “M&M’s”® were – and still are – a fantastic product, but it’s hard living in the shadows of successful older siblings. Our ad agency account team used to call me Sue “What about Peanut Butter” because I was constantly advocating for more media support.  The next thing I knew I was in Federal Court, taking the stand to defend the brand’s recently redesigned packaging color. It seems our confectionery archrival (no need to name names) felt they owned the color orange. The case was settled, but the two companies still get ornery over orange to this day.

With St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, I should be talking about green – not orange. So that got me thinking about the Irish flag, which sparked the idea for this recipe symbolizing peace and Pantone harmony.  (I owe my friend Jennifer D. for the idea of using Peanut Butter M&M’s® as a topper for these Hershey’s Kisses treats; truly inspired thinking!)

St. Patrick’s Day Treats

  • Mini pretzels (Snyder’s Snaps are ideal)
  • Hershey’s Kisses
  • M&M’s® Peanut Butter Chocolate Candies

Arrange pretzels on a microwaveable plate.  Unwrap Kisses and place on top of pretzels.

Microwave for about 90 seconds, in 30-second intervals, until Kisses are glossy and the tips collapse when pressed.

Use the Peanut Butter “M&M’s”® to smash down the melted Kisses. (Wait – let’s try that again: Gently press Peanut Butter “M&M’s”® onto the melted Kisses tips until a peaceful union is achieved.) Refrigerate until firm, or eat warm and melty.



No-Bake Pretzel Treats

No time? No problem! In just a few minutes you can whip up a batch of these white chocolate covered pretzels sprinkled with chopped M&M’s® Chocolate Candies. No rolling. No measuring. No baking. No nuts. No sweat. No kidding!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • M&M’s® Milk Chocolate Candies (find red & green by holiday displays)
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • Vegetable oil, such as canola
  • Mini pretzels (I found a big tub of Utz mini holiday shaped pretzels at Wal-Mart)

Place M&M’s® Candies in a large plastic storage bag. Take a moment to appreciate the beautiful glossy shell (which took hours and hours to produce); then, smash them gently, respectfully, with a rolling pin or jar.  You want to break the candies into big, colorful pieces – not pulverize them into a gray dust.  Set out at least 2 baking sheets; line with parchment or wax paper if you’d like to make cleanup a little easier. (Who wouldn’t?)

In medium-large bowl, mix chocolate chips with a splash of vegetable oil and melt in a microwave. Do this in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval until smooth.  (Microwaves heat differently, and you don’t want to overcook the chocolate.) Throw a few handfuls of mini pretzels into the melted chocolate and stir gently to coat. Using a fork, transfer the coated pretzels to baking sheets, arranging in a single layer. Quickly sprinkle with M&M’s® pieces before chocolate sets.  The thicker the coating of white chocolate, the better the M&M’s® pieces will adhere to the pretzels. Repeat as necessary to use up all the white chocolate.

When chocolate has set, transfer coated pretzels to airtight containers. (You can put the baking sheets in the refrigerator to speed up the set time.)