Tag Archive | pretzels

No-Bake Pretzel & Peanut butter fudge bars…OMG

I have to admit, I haven’t baked much since moving to Australia. I didn’t plan on this at all, especially since it is one of my favorite hobbies (second to shopping, of course). However, I attribute my lack of baking mostly to the fact that it is just so darn expensive to buy ingredients here. I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit that having a tray of desserts readily available for a household of two people is VERY dangerous. The mortifying realization of ‘where did all the cookie bars go? Oh wait…we live alone, I ate them’ has happened to me too many times to count. So when we have guests, I find it to be the perfect time to bake.
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Brandon’s Dad is a diabetic, so I was on the search of a low-sugar dessert that we could all enjoy. Did you think this was going to be a low-sugar recipe based on the title of this post? Probably not, but it really is! I found this recipe on Pinterest, and after I read the words ‘Peanut Butter Fudge Caramel Pretzel Candy Bars’ and saw the pictures, I figured it would likely be a winner. Pretzels, peanut butter, and fudge in one low-sugar recipe? SOLD. This recipe looks and sounds fantastic as-is, but I can say that adapting it to fit the ingredients I had on-hand proved to be pretty successful, too! I substituted chocolate protein powder for the vanilla, left out the butter extract, and opted to leave out the caramel swirl in favor of a sprinkle of sea salt on the top instead. Other than that, I followed the original closely.

I found these to be the perfect combination of salty and sweet. Oats & Pretzels on the bottom with peanut butter and chocolate on the top made each bite extra-special. Plus, these fulfilled my constant sweet and salty craving too, which seems to be a constant of mine this year. Seriously, a bag of pretzel m&m’s stand no chance around me. But these are WAY more fun to eat than pretzel m&m’s.
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  Obsessed, obsessed, obsessed. Make these as soon as possible!

No-Bake Low-Sugar Pretzel & Peanut Butter Fudge Bars
Adapted from Natural Sweet Recipes

Ingredients:

For the Pretzel Crust Base:
1 Cup Pretzels
1/2 Cup Oats (I used whole oats)
1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
2 Tablespoons Chocolate Protein Powder (Or vanilla)
1/2 Cup Butter (very softened)

For the Peanut Butter Fudge Layer:
1 Cup Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
1 cup Sugar Free Chocolate (or any chocolate)
1/3 Cup Coconut Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder

For the Topping:
3-6 Tablespoons Crushed Pretzels (depending on how much pretzel topping you want)
Sea Salt

Directions:
1) Line a 8 by 8 baking dish with parchment paper or spray it well with canola oil cooking spray.
2) In a food processor or blender, blend the oats until they become a flour-like consistency. Add in the pretzels and pulse them together until fine. (I used a blender and it worked great!)
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3) In a mixing bowl, combine the oat flour, pretzels, coconut sugar and protein powder. Add the soft butter and mix to combine well. The dough should be moist, but not too sticky. (If it seems too sticky, add a little more protein powder and mix well.) Transfer the dough to your prepared pan and press firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place this in the freezer while you make the fudge, for about 10 minutes.
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4) In a microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate and coconut sugar. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or until all the chocolate and coconut is melted and combined. (Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn!)
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5) While the chocolate is warm combine I with the peanut butter. Allow the mixture to cool slightly for a minute or two and then add the vanilla and cocoa. Mix well. (Warning: this smell is intoxicatingly-good!)
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6) Pour the warm fudge mixture over the chilled base and return it to the freezer to chill for about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, crush up the pretzels. (I crushed mine up in a zip-loc bag!)  Sprinkle the pretzel mixture over the fudge layer, then add sea salt if desired. Return it to the freezer for about one hour. Then transfer them to the fridge, cut, and serve.
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The natural sweetness of these bars is shockingly delicious. Although this was my first baking experience with coconut sugar,  I’ll be using it again and again. I made these yesterday, and they are nearly gone today. A good sign? I think so!

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Winter white chocolate and pretzel holiday bark

Well, it’s official. ‘Tis the season of sweets is here! Yippee!Although it certainly doesn’t feel like the normal December that I’m used to (we’re in the midst of 90 degree temperatures in Australia, instead of freezing 5 degree New England temperatures), I’m not letting that stop me from taking part in my normal December holiday baking activities. Really, any excuse to bake is a great excuse to me, and since we had a holiday party to attend this past Saturday night, I felt it was an opportune time for me to try out a new-to-me holiday recipe.  I’ve made various versions of“holiday bark” in the past, including peppermint, cake batter, oreo, and more, and these recipes always appeal to me due to their simplicity and because of my love of any type of chocolate.  However, this recipe really stood out to me because instead of just including chocolate or candy like a traditional “bark”, it includes pretzels too. A sweet and salty combination? Sold. All you’ll need is a cookie sheet, tin-foil, and the following 4 ingredients. It’s fast, festive, and fantastic. Ready, set, go!

Winter White Chocolate and Pretzel Holiday Bark

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups white chocolate chips (you’ll need about 2 (12-ounce) bags of chips)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk ( I used the light 97% fat free version and it worked well)
  • 1/2 (15-ounce) bag pretzels, broken (I crushed mine in a bag by hand)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
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Directions:

1) First up, crush your pretzels. I simply placed them in a Ziploc bag, crushed them with my fist, and set them aside.
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2) In a large saucepan, melt white chocolate chips with the condensed milk over medium heat on the stove until smooth, stirring frequently. Once melted, add the pretzels, stirring them in to coat with chocolate mixture.
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3) Then, immediately spread mixture  evenly onto your  foil-lined 10×15-inch pan or cookie sheet. Sprinkle  dried cranberries on top and press them down lightly with the back of a spoon, into the bark.  Place your tray into the fridge and chill until set (I chilled mine for a few hours. You can place them into the freezer if you need them more quickly). Then, break into chunks and serve.
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I’ll admit, I taste-tested a good portion of these before bringing them to the party. I really couldn’t help myself. The sweet-and-salty combination is spot-on, and the addition of dried cranberries really makes these a festive, holiday stand-out on a dessert table. Hope you’ll  include these in your holiday baking line-up this year, too!

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