This looked a sure-fire idea when I saw it in the January issue of Living magazine. There’s no way a mix of salty pretzels, creamy, fresh peanut butter, and rich, melted chocolate could go wrong. The one-page article was about fresh hard pretzels sold at farmers’ markets. I’d never seen pretzels at our local markets, but I definitely would have bought them if I had. I checked with my friend Kristi, from Austin Farm to Table, who visited several farmers’ markets in different parts of the country last year, and she had only seen pretzels at a market in New York. I’m curious if anyone else gets to buy locally made pretzels at farmers’ markets, or if it’s just the lucky people of New York? Well, regardless of where you get the pretzels, and I found some very good ones at the grocery store, these candies are still going to be outstanding. They’re simple to make and highly addictive.
So, I bought some big, crunchy pretzels and proceeded to smash them which just seemed wrong even though it was necessary here. The crushed pretzel bits were combined with creamy, natural peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, and a little room-temperature butter. All of that was stirred together, and then one inch balls were formed and set on a tray. The tray was placed in the freezer for 30 minutes to let the peanut butter become firm. Then, it was chocolate dipping time. I used milk chocolate, but you could use whatever you prefer. I like El Rey milk chocolate which has a slightly higher cacao percentage than others. After dipping each candy piece and before the chocolate completely set, I sprinkled sea salt on top.
I’ve been craving peanut butter lately anyway, but still, these candies were especially delicious. The little chunks of pretzel encased in mounds of peanut butter inside a chocolate coating were snacking bliss. I should probably conduct some experiments with almond, cashew, and pecan butter just to determine if any one of those is better than peanut butter. And, if I locate any locally made hard pretzels, I’ll try those too.