Saturday, November 28, 2009
Oh my goodness... Chocolate. Peanut butter. Pretzels. Imagine all of these ingredients together along with lots of butter and sugar? Heaven in your mouth right? Right! I'm ready to run every single day if it means I can eat these squares whenever I want.
Recently, I've been enjoying an evening snack of pretzels dipped in peanut butter and sprinkled with mini dark chocolate chips. Which got me thinking, there must be some sort of baked good that can incorporate those flavours together? I not only found one, but hit the jackpot!
This isn't a difficult recipe, there are just 3 steps to follow - the first step being the most time-consuming - and the only part that requires use of your oven. Oh - and you do have to chill the squares for at least an hour before you can cut them - so these should be made a little ahead of time... especially since once you cut them up, you probably won't stop eating them (and then fall into a diabetic coma...)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Squares
Pretzel shortbread crust
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c) cold butter, cut into cubes
2 c. salted pretzel crumbs, very coarse (remember to measure once you crumble the pretzels)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Spray a square baking pan with some non-stick spray. Set aside.
In your food processor, pulse everything together - the pretzels shouldn't get too fine - you want to be able to tell that they are in the crust - and your butter needs to be incorporated so that the mixture forms pea sized lumps.
Pour the mixture into your baking pan and press the shortbread firmly into the base (make sure it's level). Bake for 20 minutes (golden brown). Remove from your oven and place on a cooling rack. The base needs to cool for at least 30 minutes.
Peanut Butter Pretzel Filling
18 oz jar of creamy natural peanut butter
2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c.) butter, melted, allow to cool just a little
1 3/4 c. salted pretzel crumbs, very fine (again, measure once you crumble the pretzels)
Start the filling by processing the salted pretzels into a very fine texture (use your food processor).
Now in the bowl of your kitchenaid mixer, combine all the ingredients using your paddle attachment. You can do this by hand too, but the mixer makes it easier considering how thick the peanut butter can get.
Place the filling on top of the pretzel crust - I dumped the peanut butter filling and then lightly moistened my hands to spread it evenly and smoothly on top of the base. Be careful, the shortbread is delicate, try not to break it while you are spreading the filling on top.
Once your two bottoms layers are in place, start on the chocolate topping.
11.5 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. heavy cream
Place your chocolate chips in a mixing bowl. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat up the cream. Stir it so that it doesn't burn the base of the pot, and take it off the heat just before it begins to simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and whisk away... you want the chocolate to melt and the mixture to get shiny and smooth.
Top the peanut butter filling with the chocolate. Use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly over the base. Chill in your fridge for at least an hour (the chocolate needs to set before you can cut into it).
I got 20 generous squares out of this batch... very generous. And very delish. I promise, everyone who can eat peanuts will be loving them and you for making them!