02 October 2009

Weekend Treat--Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls

One day last week, I was craving some kind of confection made from pretzels, peanut butter, and chocolate. I knew exactly what I wanted--those crispy chocolate covered peanut butter balls that are usually made with crisped rice cereal, but I wanted to substitute the cereal for some salty pretzels. I set out searching for a recipe, and found none. There were a few that came close, but none that were exactly what I was looking for. So I decided to make my own recipe. I am sooo glad I did, because these chocolate peanut butter pretzel balls are exactly what I imagined.

Hmm. They need a better name. "Chocolate peanut butter pretzel balls" is too long. I asked my husband if he had ideas for another name. Big mistake. He suggested I call them "Chocolate Salty Balls," and then laughed hysterically like only a 30 year old teenage boy can. If you have any other, more appropriate suggestions, please let me know. :)

Update: I've made these even easier, in bar form! Check out my Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls
1 1/2 C pretzels
1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Crush pretzels into small bits. (I tried this first by bashing the pretzels in a baggie. Then I tried chopping them in a food processor. The results were mostly the same, though I felt I had more control with the baggie method.)
  • In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and salt. Stir until all ingredients are completely blended and smooth.
  • Add pretzel bits to peanut butter mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Add powdered sugar and, again, mix thoroughly. It should look like this:
  • Prepare a chilling tray--a dinner plate covered with waxed paper works well.
  • Take about a teaspoon of the peanut butter pretzel mixture into your fingers and gently pat it into a ball with your fingertips. (The powdered sugar will make the peanut butter less sticky, but it's still too sticky to roll well, hence the patting.)
  • If the peanut butter starts sticking to your fingers, your fingers are too warm. Run your fingers under cold water for a minute to chill them, and begin rolling again.
  • Place the peanut butter balls onto the plate. When you have rolled all the balls, place the entire plate into the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • After the peanut butter balls have chilled, prepare your chocolate. Pour the chocolate chips into a small microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. If needed, microwave for another 10 seconds and stir again. Continue until the chips are completely melted, which means they stir easily into smooth, fluid chocolate with no lumps.
  • Place one peanut butter ball into the melted chocolate and gently roll it around with a fork until completely coated. Remove from the bowl with the fork and place back on the waxed paper plate. Repeat for all other balls.
  • Once all the peanut butter balls are coated in chocolate, return the plate to the refrigerator and chill another 30 minutes.
When they're done, they should look like this:
This recipe makes approximately 22 balls. It is very easy to double, triple, quadruple this recipe. But unless I can count on sharing these with several people, I stick to small batches. :)

Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. I would guess these would keep fine in the refrigerator for several days, but they never last more than two days in my house, and that's with restraint.