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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Chocolate-Coated Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Bites ~ Salty, Chocolaty and Crunchy!

Salty, chocolaty and crunchy, with a surprise of creamy peanut butter, these adorable pretzel bites make an terrific party dessert!  I presented as a Valentine gift this year; however, they'd be well received as a gift any time of the year or as a special treat for your family.  Also, they'd make a wonderful project to do with the children.

Drench these scrumptious pretzel bites with dark or milk chocolate (I prefer dark) and, for a special touch, adorn with your choice of a variety of toppings.  Any way you prefer, you'll love how easy these bites are and they'll love devouring them!

                                            Salty, Chocolaty and Crunchy...
                                           They'll Just Love Them!

As adapted from I Heart Naptime's Chocolate Dipped Reese's Pretzel Bites

Makes 24 Candy Pretzel Bites

  • 24 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped (dark or milk chocolate cups...I used Reese's dark chocolate cups)
  • 48 mini pretzels
  • 1/ea. 12 oz bag (or 2 c.) premium chocolate baking chips* (milk or dark chocolate...I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips)
Toppings (optional)
  • Your choice of sprinkles, chopped nuts, chopped peanut butter cups or drizzled melted chocolate

  1. Preheat the oven to 250º.
  2. Line an approx. 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" jelly roll pan, or shallow baking pan, with parchment paper.
  3. Place 24 pretzels, about 2" apart, onto the lined baking pan and top each with a (face up) peanut butter cup.  Place in the oven and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the peanut butter cups start to melt.
  4. Remove from the oven and, lining up with the bottom pretzel, top each slightly melted peanut butter cup with another pretzel and gently press down.* 
  5. Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until set.  Remove from the freezer and set aside, allowing to come to room temperature before the dipping process.*
  6. Melt the chocolate baking chips: For this project, I prefer melting the chocolate in a double boiler over very low heat and (especially during cold weather) holding for dipping off the stove over a bowl or pan of just warm water.  (It's critical to avoid getting any water or steam whatsoever in the chocolate.)  However, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave, if you prefer, per package directions.  Click here for a good tutorial from King Arthur Flour for melting, tempering and holding chocolate for dipping.
  7. Using kitchen tongs (ideally with small, silicone tips) dip each pretzel bite into the melted chocolate and tap on the edge of the bowl or pan to remove any excess chocolate.  (You can dip the entire pretzel bite or just half of the bite, leaving some pretzel exposed.)   Place back onto the baking pan, lined with fresh parchment paper,* and sprinkle lightly with any toppings you prefer.  To harden, put in the freezer for approximately 15 minutes, or in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes.
  • I lined the baking pan with fresh parchment paper in each step.
  • A minimum of 12 oz. (or 2 c.) chocolate chips stays melted longer.  You'll actually use closer to 1 c. of chips for this recipe, so you'll have leftover chocolate (use for dipping potato chips or extra pretzels, etc.).
  • I experimented with dipping the entire pretzel bites into melted white chocolate and that did not work for me, as the chocolate on the peanut butter cups blended with the white chocolate coating.  Maybe my white chocolate was too hot, or I didn't work fast enough?  I had better success with dipping the pretzel bites into the dark chocolate, and I see no problem with using milk chocolate.
  • I think milk, dark or white chocolate drizzled onto the pretzel bites as a topping would all work fine.
  • This would be a great project to do with the kids.

Delight a loved one with these fantastic mini desserts as a gift in a pretty, doilie-lined tin, serve at a party or just pamper yourself and enjoy!

Printable Recipe

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