Peanut butter pretzel candy bars uses a pretzel based shortbread, so you can enjoy all of the wonderful pretzel flavor and crunch without small little pretzel pieces in your peanut butter. Peanut butter and pretzels are just meant to be together, giving the sweet and salty combination we all love. If you can't get enough peanut butter and chocolate, this giant peanut butter cup weighs in at over 3 pounds.
Timeline to make peanut butter pretzel candy bars
These candy bars come together relatively quickly in terms of all candy bars. It's important to let the shortbread cool long enough so you don't fracture it when layering the peanut butter cream on top.
Ingredients - pretzel shortbread
The pretzels need to be ground into a very fine flour consistency. I use a smoothie maker for this instead of my food processor (see video below). Mix the shortbread dry ingredients and butter long enough that it won't crumble. It should resemble somewhere between wet sand and cookie dough.
- pretzel dust (weigh pretzel dust after grinding)
- white sugar
- brown sugar
- cold butter cubed
Equipment - peanut butter pretzel candy bars
- 5 quart planetary mixer & bowl
- blinder / grinder for pretzels
- 12" x 17" sheet pan
- glass bowl for dipping into chocolate
Chocolate for dipping
You need around 2 pounds of tempered chocolate or milk chocolate flavored candy wafers. If you are using candy wafers, you do not have to temper them. I recommend using the Ghirardelli brand of melting wafers because they are the easiest to work with.
Ingredients - peanut butter cream
- creamy peanut butter
- unsalted butter
- powdered sugar
- Sift your powdered sugar before using it.
- Heat the peanut butter, butter, and salt up in your mixing bowl you will be using until fluid. Add the powdered sugar to this mix. A warm bowl helps the powdered sugar mix in. If using a metal mixing bowl, make a double boiler by boiling a pot of water and sticking (NOT SUBMERGING) the mixing bowl in it.
- Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper. Press the peanut butter cream into an even layer. If you need to, place another sheet of parchment paper on top and use a rolling pin to help spread it out.
- Refrigerate until firm.
Cutting, Bottoming, and Dipping
Bottoming the candy bars keeps additional crumbs out of your dipping chocolate. It also makes fork dipping easier.
- After the nougat has rested for minimum of 12 hours, cut bars into desired shape. I recommend 1" width x 3" length.
- Melt and temper chocolate. Bottom the bars by dipping just the bottom side into chocolate. Run it lightly along a spatula to remove excess chocolate. Place on parchment paper.
- After bottoming all the bars, use a sharp knife to run along the long sides of the bars. This cleans up the edges and makes sure bars are not too wide.
- Melt and temper additional chocolate. Fully dip bars. Place on parchment paper until firm. Do not refrigerate.
Assembling peanut butter pretzel candy bars
- Make pretzel shortbread.
- Make the peanut butter cream. Using two identical sheet pans, one for shortbread and one for the peanut butter cream, will make cutting easier and give you a better candy bar yield. You can layer the peanut butter cream directly on the shortbread, but adherence is not 100%. Some bars will fall apart when cutting. The chocolate layer acts as a "glue" for the shortbread and the peanut butter.
- Make shortbread and let it cool.
- Make peanut butter cream, spread in separate sheet pan prepared with parchment paper. Refrigerate until firm.
- Spread a thin layer of chocolate over shortbread. While it is wet, transfer peanut butter layer on top. Allow the chocolate to set up completely.
- Cut candy bars into desired size.
- Bottom the candy bars in chocolate. Brush the off with your hand to remove excess crumbs before bottoming.
- Clean up sides and lines of chocolate, if desired. This is done by taking a small sharp knife and running it around the long sides of the candy bar to trim excess hardened chocolate, giving the candy bar very clean lines.
- Fully dip candy bars. Allow chocolate to set before handling again.
Storage and shelf life
Bars can be stored in an airtight container or packaging for 3 months at normal room temperature. Alternatively, they can be frozen for 12 months.
Peanut Butter Pretzel Candy Bars
- 280 grams Pretzel Dust Weigh pretzel dust AFTER grinding pretzels
- 68 grams Flour
- 100 grams White Sugar
- 50 grams Brown Sugar
- 2 grams Salt
- 226 grams butter cold and cut in cubes
Peanut Butter Cream
- 360 grams creamy peanut butter
- 57 grams butter, unsalted
- 2 grams salt
- 360 grams powdered sugar
Chocolate for Dipping
- 2 lbs milk chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line a 9 X 13" pan with parchment paper, leaving 3" of overhang on each side so you can easily lift the finished product out of the pan.
- Grind pretzels into a very fine flour.
- In the bowl of stand mixer, combine all ingredients for pretzel shortbread except for butter. Stir to combine.
- Add butter and mix on medium low until mixture combines and becomes like wet sand.
- Press the mixture very firmly and evenly into the bottom of parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake shortbread in 350F oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely before making the peanut butter cream.
Peanut Butter Cream
- Prepare a 9X13" sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Sift powdered sugar, set aside.
- Combine peanut butter, butter, and salt in a mixing bowl. Heat until fluid.
- Add powdered sugar, mix until uniform.
- Press evenly into parchment lined sheet. Refrigerate until firm.
- Have shortbread layer and peanut butter layer ready in working space.
- Melt 200 grams of chocolate and spread a thin layer overtop of cooled shortbread.
- Place peanut butter layer on top of melted chocolate so the shortbread and peanut butter line up.
- Allow to cool until chocolate between layers is completely set.
Cutting, Bottoming, and Dipping
- Cut bars into desired size.
- Melt chocolate (temper if necessary). Brush bottom of bar bottoming off before dipping in chocolate. Bottom the bar by dipping picking it up with your forefinger and thumb and dipping it halfway in the chocolate. Lightly scrap along a spatula to remove excess chocolate. Place on parchment paper.
- After all bars are bottomed, run a knife along the sides of the bars to clean up lines.
- Melt chocolate (temper if necessary). Fully dip bars in chocolate using a dipping fork. Place on parchment paper until chocolate is set.