Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls


Okay seriously, how is it already the middle of October? I'm not quite sure how that happened. It's crazy! I feel like the time is going so fast! This is the calm before the wonderful storm we all call the holidays. And every year around this time I always try to slow down and savor the fleeting moments of fall. Of course, fall is a relative term since it's still 90 degrees here. Thank goodness for pumpkin spice coffee. At least I can be fall-like in the morning... In the air conditioning....


When I was brainstorming with dessert ideas for this time of year, I found myself wanting something else besides the apple and pumpkin classics. Don't get me wrong, I love me a good apple tart or sweet pumpkin pie but I wanted something a little different. Something chocolate. With peanut butter. Oh, and salty pretzels for crunch. I wanted to something where you don't need a spatula or a knife to serve. That way, you could easily serve them at a party or give them as gifts. Every one could use a delicious recipe like this right on the cusp of holiday season. And let me tell you, these beauties are a HIT! My family and friends go crazy for them and I promise you, yours will too! 

Photos by the wonderful Angela Sackett

Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls

These have all the classic flavors of chocolate peanut butter cups but with the added crunchy texture of salty pretzels. These make great holiday gifts for all your family and friends. But let's be honest, they're great any time of year!

Makes 25-30 treats

Ingredients

1¾ cups gluten-free pretzels*
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons coconut oil, separated
1¾ cups confectioner’s sugar
4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup peanut butter chips

Directions

Place pretzels in a large zip-top bag and use a wooden spoon or spatula to crush the pretzels into small pieces but not crumbs. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter and 3 tablespoons coconut oil until smooth. Add the sugar in 2 parts, stirring to combine. It takes a little force. You can also use your hands to knead it together until it becomes smooth. Fold in the crushed pretzels. Use a melon baller or teaspoon measure to scoop the mixture. Roll each scoop in your hands and shape into balls. Place each on a baking sheet or large plate lined with parchment paper. Keep in the freezer until slightly firm, about 25-30 minutes.

Fill a small saucepan with a little water and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate chips into a small, heat-proof bowl and place on top of the saucepan until the chocolate is melted, stirring often, about 3-5 minutes. Let it cool slightly. Remove peanut butter balls from the freezer and dip each into the cooled chocolate. Allow excess to drip off (using a fork helps). Place on a different parchment-lined pan or plate. If they get too soft to work with, place the peanut butter balls back in the freezer to harden slightly, then dip in chocolate. Let them stand at room temperature for 1 hour or until just slightly set.

Place the peanut butter chips and the remaining 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in a small, heat-proof bowl. Place over a saucepan with simmering water until melted and smooth, stirring often, about 3-5 minutes. Use a spoon to lightly drizzle over the chocolate. Let them sit overnight to set, or you can place them in the fridge for at least 15 minutes until set and crisp.

Make-Ahead Tip: Make these up to 3 days ahead of time. Just make sure you don’t eat them all before your party!

*I love the Glutino gluten-free pretzels. You can totally substitute regular pretzels if you are not worried about the gluten.

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