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Pretzel Cups filled with Peanut Butter, Chocolate & Banana
Every office has that person; you know, the one with the candy on their desk? That’s me. I’ve even been thinking about getting season specific baskets, but I’m not that crafty (or motivated). One day! Point of the story: I like to feed people. It’s how I express appreciation, friendship, etc. The candy is an extension of that.
Well, one of my warehouse gents is making the jump over to production. Twas his birthday recently and, as feeding people is sort of my thing, I baked some peanut butter, chocolate, and banana pretzel tartlets. He’s also the one who I always catch stealing the chocolate from my candy back stash, so chocolate seemed like a safe bet.
The tartlets are reminiscent of peanut filled pretzels, but dipped in chocolate, with banana. Yes, that’s a lot long list of featured ingredients, but not one steals the spotlight from another. Instead, they make each other better in what becomes the perfect bite.
Recipe adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte.
4 cups pretzel sticks
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 tbs. unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup unrefined/turbinado/muscovado sugar
2 egg yolks
4 oz. dark chocolate (semi-sweet or 60-70% cacao)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup stout + an additional 3 to 4 tbs.
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter*
1/4 cup toasted, salted peanuts
optional: 2 just ripe bananas
optional: flaked sea salt (preference: maldon or a fleur de sel)
*Note: Speculoos Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s is a great substitute for peanut butter and, quite possibly, the best thing Trader Joe’s sells.
Pulse the pretzel sticks in a food processor or blender until a coarse meal forms. There may be a few smaller pieces remaining – don’t fret it – better to have a few larger pieces than to obliterate them. The goal is 3 cups after pulverizing; pulverize a few more pretzel sticks, if needed.
Add cold butter, vanilla, sugar, and egg yolks to the food processor; pulse until just combined. It’s similar to the process of making a pie dough, but much more forgiving. Add cold beer 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition, until the mixture holds together when pressed gently.
Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill a minimum of 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease large or mini muffin tins with butter (or that questionable spray stuff). For mini muffins, add 1 heaping tablespoon of pretzel crust to each well. For large muffins, I forgot to measure (oops), but it’s about 3 tablespoons each. Press the mixture evenly into each muffin well, taking care to press into the corners and up the sides.
Bake until the crusts are dry and ever so lightly golden, about 12 minutes for the cute ones and 15 minutes for those larger fellows. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heatproof nonreactive bowl. Heat heavy cream and remaining beer in a small saucepan until they just barely reach a simmer; pour over chocolate and step away for a minute or two, then stir until fully melted.
To assemble, remove tart shells from the muffin tin and set on flat serving tray or counter. Place a small spoonful of peanut butter into each pretzel cup. Slice bananas and place 2 to 4 slices in each cup on top of peanut butter. Using a different spoon, layer peanut butter with enough chocolate ganache to cover. Place a peanut or two on top of each and sprinkle with salt. To set, place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Remove 4 or 5 minutes prior to serving (I like mine slightly chilled) with a stout or a cold glass of milk.