Pretzel Peanut Butter Cups

Pretzel Peanut Butter Cups
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Weather: 28 degrees, gusts of wind and cloudy skies
What I’m listening to: the slosh of the dishwasher

Happy Halloween everyone. I’m returning from two days of “food silence” as our continent was pounded by Hurricane Sandy, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Why food silence? Well, the truth is that I was on Twitter, following the storm, and I was struck by something. There was post after post of flooding, power outages, death tolls, and widespread destruction… all peppered with posts about the best Halloween snacks and to-die-for filet mignon. The food seemed out of place, just noise. Even the political jibber-jabber had quieted down significantly. I mean this as absolutely no offense to my food colleagues who were simply just doing their jobs all over the world. But personally, I wanted to do something different than the everyday thing. I wanted to find a way to demonstrate that I care deeply about what our neighbors are going through, a means of being in solidarity with them, as best as a food blogger in far-off Alaska can manage. So, I chose food silence. I took two unplanned days off of blogging and didn’t post a single thing food-related to any of my social media outlets, but rather used it as a time to check in with my readers and show my support that way. Because, food, for me, is so much more about the people who eat it, the people who make it, the people who inspire it, than it is about the food itself. All that’s to say: you matter.

This recipe has been a long time coming. Since last December, to be exact, when I wrote Happy Accidents in the Kitchen,  my story about how I made dark chocolate peanut butter cups with pretzels via one kitchen mistake after another. And, since today is Halloween, and peanut butter cups are the most popular Halloween candies this year (and arguably all-time), this homemade version is right on target.

For me, the added crunch and saltiness of the pretzels makes these even better than the original famous candy (not to mention how impressive it makes them look). Also, I made half the batch in milk chocolate and the other half in semisweet chocolate. They’re both amazing, the former is the more classic choice, but the latter is perhaps the more trendy option. We have both milk and dark chocolate lovers in our house, so they were all equally devoured. Keep these in mind as food gifts and festive treats as we turn the corner into the holiday season.

Pretzel Peanut Butter Cups

Yield: 24 mini peanut butter cups

IMG 1279 Pretzel Peanut Butter Cups

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients

  • 1/2c creamy peanut butter
  • 2T butter
  • 2T brown sugar
  • 2/3c powdered sugar
  • 2c chocolate chips (I used 1c milk chocolate and another 1c semi-sweet chocolate in two separate batches, for variety)
  • 2T shortening
  • 24 bite-sized pretzels
  • Other items you'll need:
  • mini muffin pan*
  • mini muffin liners

Instructions

  1. Line your muffin pan with muffin liners. Set aside.
  2. To a small saucepan over medium heat, add the peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar, stirring until melted, smooth, and well-combined. Remove from the heat and begin to gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing well until the mixture comes together. Set aside and cool while you continue with the next step.
  3. Melt the chocolate chips and the shortening in a microwave safe dish (I use a glass measuring cup), in 30 second increments, stirring between each go. When smooth, use a teaspoon and spoon chocolate into the bottom of each muffin liner.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop or a teaspoon, get a small amount of the peanut butter mixture and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disc. Place the disc of peanut butter on top of the melted chocolate and press down gently to encourage the chocolate to come up around the sides of the peanut butter.
  5. Spoon more melted chocolate on top of each of the peanut butter discs to cover. Press a pretzel gently into the top of each candy.
  6. Refrigerate about 30 minutes until set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for serving. Or these also keep well in the refrigerator or freezer.

Notes

*You can make full-sized peanut butter cups out of this recipe using a standard-sized muffin tin and muffin liners. This would make 12 full-sized cups.

Also, if you prefer the more free-form look of the ones I made in the Happy Accidents in the Kitchen post, crumble your pretzels and toss them in on top of the peanut butter discs, then top with melted chocolate. I also used a standard-sized muffin pan without liners when I made those. Different look, same flavor.

http://www.alaskafromscratch.com/2012/10/31/pretzel-peanut-butter-cup-recipe/

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19 comments
Dave T
Dave T

I love this blog, very awesome!!  I also love peanut butter and chocolate together!!  Putting a pretzel in there sounds awesome!!  Will have to try this one!  But, I am not a big fan of shortening either!  How would vegetable oil work in place of this??  Has anyone tried this?  If not then I will give it a try and report back to you!!  Love this site

judyrief3115
judyrief3115

I bet the pretzel peanut butter cups would be good with Marshmallow cream in then like Mallo cups

Kathy T
Kathy T

I made these yesterday and my family went crazy over them! They were easy to make and delicious. I will definitely make these around the holidays!

Whisk Together
Whisk Together

When do you put it into the paper liner?  Step 1 says to get the mini muffin pan set up, but I don't see when to put it in there.

danakx
danakx

This turned out to be a perfect election night treat--it was easy enough for my son and two nieces to help make in between coloring in updates on their electoral college maps.  They were especially impressed at the rippled edges which made the treats look just like the real thing :-)

Tanya
Tanya

Looks yummy.  How long will these keep in the freezer?  I am planning ahead for Christmas gifts.

Kasia
Kasia

They look really yummy!

Cynthia
Cynthia

I love that you chose radio silence as support. Living in the Philippines now, this is a weather force I've had to learn reluctantly to live with & my heart was with those suffering through Sandy. Incidentally, The cups look beautiful!

Lokness
Lokness

Love these little pretzel cups. Perfect for trick-or-treaters! I am not a huge fan of peanut butter. Do you think I can use nutella instead? Happy Halloween! 

danakx
danakx

We were trying to decide on a fun treat to make tonight, and these might just hit the spot!  Do you know if it would work to substitute butter for shortening in the melted chocolate portion?  We use butter for everything and don't keep shortening on hand.

ghenne
ghenne

Glorious! These look amazing. I have a new candy coming up on my blog too! Can't wait to make it! Thanks for thinking about us on the East coast. I'm in RI and my little state got slammed.

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

 @Whisk Together Step 1 says to line the muffin pan with liners. The end of Step 3 says to begin spooning chocolate into the muffin liners. Hope this helps answer your question! :)

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

I'm so happy to hear that! What a great family memory. Thank you for letting me know. :)

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

Hi Tanya, I haven't tried freezing these long-term yet, but I do think they should definitely last until Christmas. Let me know how they turn out for you and enjoy! :)

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

Thank you, Cynthia! :) Glad you visited all the way from the Philippines!

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

Butter often causes chocolate to seize, so unfortunately, I wouldn't recommend it for working with chocolate. (I know, I prefer butter for almost everything, too!). You can omit the shortening altogether, which would result in the chocolate being hard to the bite rather than soft... it would be a different texture, but would still work. Hope this helps! Enjoy. :)

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

 @ghenne Thanks! I'll look forward to seeing your candy, too. :) Sorry to hear about RI. Thinking of you. Hugs from AK!

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