Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bark

Somethings are complicated. Relationships, taxes, trying to read my student loan statements, boys, European clothing sizes when you live in the U.S., hormones. The list is really endless. But then, Somethings are easy. Like the combination of chocolate, peanut butter, and pretzels. So let's focus on those things, throw them together, and make something simple.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bark

  • 2 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 handful broken up pretzel pieces
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a piece of parchment paper. Set aside.

In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil. Pour melted chocolate onto the center of the parchment-lined baking sheet and spread out slightly until chocolate is about a 1/4 inch thick.

In saucepan over medium heat, heat peanut butter until it warms and thins out. Stir continuously so it doesn't burn. Pour the warmed peanut butter into the center of the melted chocolate and swirl them together with a fork. Top the crushed pretzels over the top of the chocolate/peanut butter, and press down very slightly. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours and once set, break into pieces. 

That's really it. Somethings are just simple and great. So when things get crazy and complicated (which is secretly how I love my life to be) make something easy and enjoy a moment of simplicity. 

DIY: Chocolate Covered Pretzel Valentine in a Jar

Because Tim and I's anniversary is so close to Valentine's Day, we don't usually exchange anything too big or elaborate on February 14. But, I wanted to make a little something special for us to enjoy and I thought chocolate covered pretzel would fit the bill perfectly. Easy to make, and can be stacked in a mason jar for a cute and practical gift. And I was able to use up a bit of the craft odds and ends I have laying around. 

This is one of those projects that can be changed and customized by whatever you have on hand. For mine, I used some scrap fabric, a mason jar, washi tape, assorted ribbons, a leftover pom pom, and some cardstock and a sharpie for the tag. Also, something sweet and chocolately to fill your jar with!

Pretzel Valentine Jar 2.jpg

Clean your jar and fill it with some sweet treats. I made some chocolate covered pretzels with heart sprinkles. Very festive. 

Take the center part of the lid and use that to cut your fabric. You'll want it to be a square that's about an inch bigger than the lid. To attach the fabric, place the center circle down, then the fabric, and then the outside rim to hold the fabric in place.

Add your decorations! I wrapped some heart washi tape around the jar, and tied some gold ribbon above that. Then I used some red Christmas ribbon to attach a pom pom and a handwritten tag around the neck of the jar. And that's it! Simple and handmade Valentines.

Recipe Card: Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

T is a complete chocolate lover and chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream, he's in heaven. But I get tired of making the same plain chocolate on chocolate and these cupcakes tend to impress people. They're super easy, not any harder than a basic recipe, and pack a minty punch. Here's the recipe!

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 24 Cupcakes.

1 1/2 c granulated sugar

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 c all-purpose flour

3/4 c cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 c buttermilk (or if using powdered kind, add 4 tbsp powdered buttermilk to dry ingredients after sifting and add 1 c water)

Andes Mints, chopped

1. Combine sugar and butter in mixer and mix until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. (I crack mine into a small dish first to make sure there is nothing wrong with them and keep shells out.)

2. Sift dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder) into a large bowl.

3. Add vanilla extract to sugar/butter mixture.

4. Add dry ingredients and buttermilk into sugar/butter in parts, alternating them but beginning and ending with the dry. Try not to over mix.

5. Fold in the chopped mints.

6. Fill cupcake tray with liners about 1/2-3/4 full and bake for 15 minutes at 350. Test with toothpick when done, should come out clean. Let cool mostly.

7. Frost and eat.

Chocolate Buttercream

Yields enough for about a dozen cupcakes

1 sticks of butter, room temperature

3/4 c of cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 c powdered sugar

milk, several tbsps as needed

1. Combine butter and extract in the mixer.

2. Combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl.

3. Add powdered sugar/cocoa to mixer slowly. After all cups are added, I usually add milk to thin. Do this very slowly so you don't thin it too much.

4. Pipe onto cakes! I used a star tip. 

5. Decorate with little light green pearls or with the Andes mints!

These are a great cupcakes to spice up your chocolate cake route. Chocolate lover will love them, promise!

Recipe Card

So last week, one of my favorite blogs A Beautiful Mess posted this fantastic recipe for potato chip brownies that I was drooling over. Since my favorite medium is cupcakes, I decided to take this idea and turn it into a little personal cake to have for our Fourth of July BBQ. Here's the recipe:

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 24 Cupcakes. (I halfed this recipe to only yield a dozen.)

1 1/2 c granulated sugar

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 c all-purpose flour

3/4 c cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 handfuls of chocolate chips

1 c buttermilk (or if using powdered kind, add 4 tbsp powdered buttermilk to dry ingredients after sifting and add 1 c water)

Potato chips, crushed

1. Combine sugar and butter in mixer and mix until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. ( I crack mine into a small dish first to make sure there is nothing wrong with them and keep shells out.)

2. Sift dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder) into a large bowl.

3. Add vanilla extract to sugar/butter mixture.

4. Add dry ingredients and buttermilk into sugar/butter in parts, alternating them but beginning and ending with the dry. Try not to over mix.

5. Place chocolate chips in a small bowl, add a tbsp of flour, and toss. (This keeps the chocolate chips from sinking in the cake.)

6. Fill cupcake tray with liners about 1/2-3/4 full and bake for 15 minutes at 350. Test with toothpick when done, should come out clean. Let cool mostly.

7. Top with some of the crushed potato chips.

8. Frost and eat. (See buttercream recipe below.)

Chocolate Buttercream

Yields enough for about a dozen cupcakes

1 sticks of butter, room temperature

3/4 c of cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 c powdered sugar

milk, several tbsps as needed

1. Combine butter and extract in the mixer.

2. Combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl.

3. Add powdered sugar/cocoa to mixer slowly. After all cups are added, I usually add milk to thin. Do this very slowly so you don't thin it too much.

4. Pipe onto cakes! I used a star tip this time.

5. So, I topped mine with crushed potato chips and some carmel topping mixed with a little salt (I added the salt to try to cut through the artifical taste of the carmel topping. If I had more time, I may have made some from scratch but I didn't.)

 

Happy Baking!