When I was a kiddo, during the excruciatingly long countdown to Christmas, I always felt a big sigh of relief when a package would arrive from my Grandparents and we were able to bust into the homemade goodies immediately. Among the tasty assortment of candies, cookies, fudge and brittle was a much coveted favorite, the Peanut Butter Balls.
They were pretty basic compared to the fancy, more decorative sweets but there was something so comforting about them. One year, I learned from my Grandma that the recipe could be found in the local Church cookbook that she had given to my Mom years before. I promptly borrowed (or lifted, depending on how you look at it) the cookbook and learned to make these tasty little morsels on my own.
Cut to 10+ years later and the recipe has morphed from milk chocolate covered peanut butter balls to salty-sweet, dark chocolate dipped, peanut butter and pretzel filled pops. Instead of dipping the balls in chocolate on a wooden skewer, I came up with simple solution that I can’t believe I never thought of before. I freeze a pretzel stick in the balls, creating a convenient and edible dipping stick built right in! Meet, innovation.
While I still covet the original wholeheartedly, I also enjoy the new twist of saltiness and modernization. This recipe for Peanut Butter Pretzel Pops is easy, fun to make, and super satisfying for salty and sweet tooths, alike.
- peanut butter - 16 ounces (1 jar)
- pretzel sticks - 1 1/2 cups crushed (plus more for sticks)
- crispy rice cereal - 1 1/2 cups
- powdered sugar - 2 1/2 cups - sifted
- unsalted butter at room temperature - 6 tablespoons
- flake salt - 2 teaspoons
- dark chocolate chips - 1 (10 oz.) bag
- Begin by sifting the powdered sugar.
- Then use a food processor to chop the pretzels into small, Rice Krispies sized chunks. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer or a pastry blender, mix together the butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
- Then blend in the crispy rice cereal and pretzel chunks until fully incorporated.
- Using a 2 tablespoon sized cookie scoop, form balls. Roll the balls in your hands until smooth and place them on a lined cookie sheet.
- Stick a single, whole, pretzel stick down into the top center of each ball and slide in until it nearly hits the bottom.
- Place the balls, with the sticks, in the freezer to chill for at least 30-45 minutes.
- Once the balls have hardened and the pretzel sticks feel secure. Melt half of the bag of chocolate chips in a double boiler until smooth. (I like to prepare these in two shifts, so my double boiler isn't too full of chocolate.)
- Holding on to the pretzel stick, carefully submerge the frozen peanut butter pretzel balls into the melted chocolate to coat them. Allow excess to drip off into the double boiler and place on a lined cookie sheet to set.
- Once the chocolate begins to set, while it is still tacky and before it hardens, lightly sprinkle the tops of the balls with flake salt.
- Repeat the process with remaining chocolate and balls.
- Allow the chocolate to set and harden, it will form a nice smooth shell around the peanut butter pretzel balls.
- Enjoy and share with your loved ones.