Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Bites

peanut butter pretzel cup

These are a few of my favorite things.

Peanut butter and chocolate.  Pretzels and sea salt.

Put em all together and you have some rich and addictive tricked-out peanut butter cups.

I used all-natural creamy peanut butter, dark chocolate and salted mini pretzels. Then topped it all off with crunchy flakes of Maldon sea salt.

There’s something about melting chocolate in a double boiler that’s oddly soothing. I loved layering the ingredients and impatiently waiting for the chocolate to harden. It was a nice little way to spend a chilly winter Sunday.

The motivation behind these simple two-bite treats was the Sweet Swap to raise money for ChildFund Australia.

The idea was to share sweets and recipes with fellow Australian food bloggers.  I loved wrapping the peanut butter cups and sending them out in the post like some kind of chocolate fairy – crossing my fingers that they arrived still looking at least a little cute.

I hope my sweet swapping pen pals enjoyed them!

ready to go pb and choc pretzels pb and choc   packagingFood 2013 029

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Bites

From With Style and Grace

Makes about about 24

  • 2 cups dark [or milk chocolate] chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup peanut butter – or nut butter of choice
  • 1 tablespoon powdered/confectioner ‘s sugar
  • mini pretzels
  • sea salt

Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, saucepan or microwave. Once it’s melted down, add coconut oil to thin out. Add more, if needed.

Add about one teaspoon of melted chocolate to the bottom of each paper cup. Tilt the liners so the chocolate evenly coats the bottom and slightly up the sides.

Place the cupcake pan in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to let set.

Meanwhile, mix together peanut butter and powdered sugar. Place peanut butter mixture in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Once both timers have gone off, scoop 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture and place in the center of each chocolate cup. Place pan back in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Remove pan from the freezer and add a mini pretzel on top of the peanut butter.

With the remaining chocolate, cover each cup until covered. Top with sea salt (optional.)

Place baking tin back into the freezer for about 20 minutes.

Store in the fridge.


Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Among the long list of hypothetical situations that can be explored (Mr. F freaking loves a hypothetical, by the way. I think I spent the 2nd and 3rd years of our relationship deflecting 60% of his hypothetical questions.) I would guess that the “desert island” scenario is the most played out.

However. As I do (sometimes) enjoy a made-up and unlikely situation, my favorite to ask other people is among the: “If you could only listen to/read/watch/eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?” variety.

Sometimes I grant numbers from 2-5 to these questions, if picking only one just seems cruel.

But really, it’s a roundabout way of asking for a Top 5 list. And I do love a list.

My answers to these questions have changed many times – except for my Top 2 foods . Those are on lock.

1. Sweet Potatoes

2. Peanut butter

This is the stuff I could live on. If, you know, I found myself in a situation where some unknown deity was granting me these and only these foods for the rest of my life – I would happily make it work (good butter, sea salt, black pepper, maple syrup and maybe some chili flakes included, of course.)

Today, we’re concerned with my second choice. The PB. Even as a kid, I was a purist. No jelly for me on those sandwiches, thanks. Straight peanut butter, all day every day. (There may have actually been an entire year of my hyper-finicky childhood where I ate only PB sandwiches for lunch. Almost proving my theory that I could live on PB alone. But, I digress.)

These peanutty PB cookies have minimal ingredients and no flour – just all-natural peanut butter with a bit sugar for sweetness, a hint of vanilla and a few chocolate chunks bound together by a single egg. Oh and the teeniest sprinkle of sea salt on top, if you’re into that.

The result is a perfect peanut butter cookie – soft and chewy with a crisp edge. This is the kind of cookie that me and my PB-loving gluten-free friends could live on forever.

The ingredients list is super simple. And only one bowl is needed – bonus!


Line ’em up.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
– 1 cup peanut butter (I used all-natural crunchy, but use whatever you’d like)
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1/4 cup white, granulated sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 egg
– 1/3 cup chocolate chunks (I used part of a Cadbury milk chocolate bar chopped into small pieces.)
– a couple pinches of sea salt

Heat oven to 350 F/ 175 C.

Prepare a baking tray with parchment/baking paper

Place peanut butter (at room temperature) and sugars in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat again with the mixer until incorporated.

Fold in the chocolate.

Make 1-inch balls of cookie dough by rolling a small spoonful between the palms of your hands. (Don’t fiddle with them too much.) Place them on the baking sheet an inch apart. Top each cookie with a couple of sea salt flakes.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes. DON’T touch them before that 5 minutes is up, they WILL crumble.

(Sorry, that was harsh, but this 5 minutes is crucial for ensuring that you get soft peanut butter cookies that will stay together like the flour-full ones do.)

Makes approximately 30 cookies.

Peanut Butter and Date Granola

Let’s talk about peer pressure.

I think it gets a bad rap. I’m actually a big fan of peer pressure.

It doesn’t always involve doing something potentially dangerous or bad. Sometimes your friends just persuade you to do something different that turns out to be a great idea.

Like an impromptu road trip to suburban New Jersey. Sure, that doesn’t sounds particularly enticing, but when there’s home cooking, puppies, and sweatpants (NOT velour ones) at the end of that drive, it’s pretty hard to see a downside.

There are only so many times that I can read about sweet or savory crunchy, creative, and satisfying homemade granola before I feel a pull to my kitchen. All of the sudden, I’m reaching for the oats and getting down to it.

I’m chalking the urge to make my own granola up to food blogger peer pressure. It’s not that I’m anti-granola, it’s just that I’ve been in a natural muesli phase for a couple of years now. Not that that’s a real excuse.

Anyway, a peanut butter twist sealed the deal, and the result was a happy one.

A subtly sweet, nutty, crunchy granola made with natural sugars and organic oats hit all the marks. Thanks, peer pressure!
I feel a granola phase coming on…

Can’t wait to make some savory granola next.

Peanut Butter and Date Granola
Inspired by this and this and this

– 1 cup of old fashioned rolled oats
– 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
– 1/2 cup wheat germ
– 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
– 2 tablespoons pepitas
– 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/2 cup peanut butter (I go for crunchy, but that’s a personal choice)
– 1/3 cup honey
– 1/2 cup dates
– 1 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 150 C/300 F

Combine your oats, coconut, wheat germ, sunflower seeds , pepitas and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.

Place dates in a food processor with a teaspoon of water and puree until a paste forms.

Heat honey and peanut butter together in a medium saucepan over a low heat until just melted together. Remove from heat.

Pour oat mixture into the peanut butter and honey and stir until all the oats are coated.

Add date paste and mix until well combined.

Spread the mixture on a baking sheet.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until deep golden. It’s ok if the mixture is still a little sticky at the end of that time, it will dry out. Let granola cool on the baking tray.

Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.

Peanut Chili Sauce

Now might be a good time to tell you that I am a peanut butter fiend. My cravings for peanut butter and the high frequency at which they occur are borderline abnormal. I’m a fiend – but I’d like to think of myself as a fiend with standards.

My peanut butter criteria:

  • The only ingredient should be peanuts. Or roasted peanuts.
  • Make that organic peanuts/roasted peanuts.
  • Nine times out of ten, it’s gotta be crunchy (although, my current jar is not).
  • It should be kept in the fridge.

Often I just eat it straight out of the jar on a spoon, standing in front of the refrigerator. But for more civilized dining, I’m pretty open to any and all combinations involving PB.

While I am biased, it doesn’t mean that this sauce can only be enjoyed by fellow peanut-loving freaks. Evidence: Mr. F is generally indifferent to nut butters, and he gave it a glowing review.

This peanut sauce is a perfect combination of salty and tangy with a little spice to it. It’s just dreamy.

Peanut Chili Sauce
– 3 tablespoons of all-natural peanut butter
– 1 tablespoon of lime juice
– 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
– a couple of drops of toasted sesame oil
– 2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
– 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes
– 1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger (optional)
– 2 tablespoons of warm water

Combine all the ingredients and whisk together. If it’s too thick to pour, add a little more warm water.

I combined cooked soba noodles, steamed broccoli, asparagus and tofu with the peanut chili sauce. Made in less than 15 minutes, this is a gorgeous meal to serve up on the fly. Use whatever veggies and protein you’d like. I’m thinking this would be really nice with some grilled prawns and red capsicum too.


And before you go…

On the kitchen playlist: David Bowie, Album: Hunky Dorey

This gave me a giggle: Thanksgiving Drinking Game

First music, then fine art. Loving the new kind of meal pairing: Feasting on Art