This chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzel recipe makes lovely gifts

This chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzel recipe makes lovely gifts

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels

Active time:10 mins

Total time:10 mins, plus cooling time

Servings:36 (makes about 180 pretzels)

Active time:10 mins

Total time:10 mins, plus cooling time

Servings:36 (makes about 180 pretzels)

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Do you like peanut butter pretzels? Do you like chocolate-covered pretzels? Then you’ll love chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzels. Especially if you make them. And even more so if you’re looking for an easy Valentine’s Day treat for someone you care about: a child, a friend, your partner, yourself.

Considering that these pretzels come together in about 5 minutes — the hardest part is to wait a few hours (ideally, overnight) for the chocolate to set.

Depending on the chocolate you use — milk or dark — these can be a two- or four-ingredient treat, including the optional flaky salt.

Why not just buy this treat? I have found the store-bought varieties tend to be pricey, with sub-par chocolate and often are too sweet. And what if you, like me, like your chocolate with an assertive hit of salt? Don’t you deserve a custom confection that’s easy to achieve?

The multiple test batches that came out of my kitchen — eagerly eaten by family and friends — revealed a few things about making these pretzels that I hope you’ll find helpful.

First, since there are so few ingredients, quality matters: The better your chocolate, the tastier the end result. Try using chocolate you’d enjoy eating on its own. In testing, I found that dark chocolate, given its robust flavor profile, benefited from a modest sprinkling of the flaky salt, whereas the milk chocolate didn’t seem to need that finishing touch.

Second, consider the pretzel: While all brands are relatively similar in shape and crunch, they can differ in saltiness. So before you enrobe your pretzels in chocolate, taste one, and if you find a dominant note of saltiness, you may not need additional salt for the topping.

Also, if you don’t like, or can’t eat, peanut butter, you can seek out pretzels filled with almond butter, or a nut-free alternative, such as sunflower seed butter.

Third, the giftability: For those searching for a fun, easy Valentine’s Day cooking project to do with kids, look no further. The quickly dwindling attention of children will last for the handful of minutes you’ll need to melt the chocolate, dump the pretzels in, stir them around to coat, and upend the whole mess on a lined baking sheet. If your kid wants extra credit — and, like mine, salts his chocolate with abandon — give them a few pinches of flaky salt and let them go at it.

Once the seemingly interminable wait for the chocolate to set is over, you can portion these treats into gift bags or boxes, and pass them out as Valentines or party favors.

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels

Make Ahead: The coated pretzels need at least 3 hours, and ideally overnight, to set at room temperature before serving. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the pretzels for 2 hours before serving.

Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or refrigerate for up to 4 weeks. If your kitchen is warm, opt to refrigerate the pretzels.

NOTE: The saltiness of pretzel brands varies widely. Taste a pretzel before coating. If it’s assertively salty, you probably won’t need flaky salt.

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  • 7 ounces (200 grams) dark chocolate (see VARIATION)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 pound (454 grams) peanut-butter-filled pretzels (can substitute any nut- or seed-butter-filled pretzels)
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional; see NOTE)

Set a large, heatproof bowl over a pot of about 1 inch of simmering water; do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with wax paper and keep it near your workspace.

Add the chocolate to the bowl and let it melt, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oil until it is completely incorporated and the mixture is glossy. Remove from the heat.

Add the pretzels and stir to coat evenly. Upend the bowl of pretzels onto the prepared baking sheet and, using a flexible spatula, spread in a single layer, doing your best to separate as many of them as possible. If some of the corners or sides of the pretzels look naked, use the spatula to smear the offending parts with the extra chocolate on the wax paper.

Sprinkle with the flaky salt, if using, and let set completely, at least 3 hours and preferably overnight, before serving. (You can also speed up this process by refrigerating the pretzels for at least 2 hours.)

VARIATION: To make the pretzels with milk chocolate, melt the chocolate as directed above without coconut oil. We preferred the milk chocolate pretzels without the flaky salt.

Calories: 80; Total Fat: 5 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 61 mg; Carbohydrates: 10 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugar: 1 g; Protein: 2 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From assistant recipes editor Olga Massov.

Tested by Olga Massov; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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