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I have to admit I meant to publish this recipe before Mother’s Day as a sort of ‘last minute gift idea.’ Then time got away from me and now here I am publishing it on Mother’s Day! However, this doesn’t change the fact that this chocolate peanut butter cup pretzel bark is super delicious and would make a great gift, if you can stand to part with it! I really enjoy sweet/salty combinations, and the pretzels in this chocolate bark give it just the right amount of crunch. Plus, the recipe contains a little trick to help you keep chunks of peanut butter cup intact instead of having them melt completely into the mix.
This bark is very easy to make – the only difficult part is waiting for it to cool! In my experience, this can take up to overnight, depending on how warm your house is. Sad, I know. You can put it in the fridge for half an hour or so to help the process along, but if you leave it in the fridge permanently the chocolate will separated. It will still taste delicious, it will just look funny and you might be forced to eat it all yourself because it will no longer be gift-worthy. A real burden, I know.
Also, I recommend measuring out a cup of mini pretzels and then breaking them into pieces. This will produce slightly less than a cup of broken bits, which I think is just right. When you measure the cup after breaking the pretzels, it makes it a little harder for the bark to stick together!
- 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup of mini pretzels, broken into smaller chunks
- 1 cup of mini peanut butter cups, about 14
- Line a baking dish with wax paper. A 9x9 should be large enough, but you can use a bigger dish and just spread the bark out in the middle. Either way will work.
- Place the still wrapped peanut butter cups in the freezer.
- Either place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe medium bowl or make a double boiler with two pots to melt the chocolate on the stove. The microwave is a lot easier, though!
- Heat the chocolate for 1 minute, stir thoroughly, and continue microwaving in 15 second increments, stirring in-between each one, until the chocolate is just melted.
- Allow the chocolate to sit and cool for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the peanut butter cups from the freezer, unwrap them, and then cut each one into quarters.
- Stir the pretzel pieces into the chocolate, then carefully fold in the peanut butter cup chunks.
- Use a spatula or spoon to transfer the chocolate mixture to your prepared pan and spread it out to an even thickness of ½" or less.
- Wait for the chocolate to cool, break it into chunks, and enjoy! It stores well in an airtight container for several days.
Taking the extra time to slightly freeze the peanut butter cups while waiting for the chocolate to cool a little bit is really important. Don’t worry – the chocolate takes a really long time to harden back up, so you won’t have to reheat it if it sits for a few minutes. Freezing the candies makes them way easier to cut, and it also keeps them from melting into oblivion. See the visible chunks of peanut butter cup in the bark above? That simply wouldn’t be possible if you tossed room-temperature peanut butter cups into just-melted chocolate.
No matter who you make this bark for or what time of year it is, I you enjoy as much as we did! What’s your favorite candy to make at home?