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This is a peanut butter cupcake with a pretzel crust, filled with chocolate ganache, topped with chocolate frosting and garnished with pretzel crumbs. Oh my goodness. It’s absolutely amazing.
First, start with the pretzel crust. Process the pretzels in a food processor until you have a fine crumb. Melt the 6 tablespoons of butter in the microwave (keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t scorch) and pour over the crushed pretzels mixing until pretzels are evenly coated.
Line two 12-count muffin tins with paper liners and spoon a tablespoon of the pretzel mixture into each liner, set aside.
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda, set aside.
In a large bowl beat together the peanut butter, brown sugar, oil, and applesauce until combined. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition, set aside.
Measure out the buttermilk (milk and lemon juice) in a measuring up and stir in the vanilla. Add even amounts of the flour mixture and the milk mixture alternately into the peanut butter/brown sugar mixture, beating in between the addition of each until it forms a smooth mixture.
Fill the liners with the batter using a regular sized ice cream scoop (or fill them 2/3 of the way full) and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Then remove them from the oven and let them cool completely.
Then using a sharp knife, cut a small hole in the center of each cupcake about 3/4 of the way down, being careful not to cut through to the bottom. You can eat the part that you cut out! Set cupcakes aside.
For the ganache: In the top of a double boiler (with water simmering in the bottom), heat together the 1 cup of chocolate chips and heavy cream. Stir often and be careful not to scorch. Once it’s a smooth combined mixture, remove it from the heat and set aside to cool.
Once completely cooled spoon the ganache into the center hole of each the cupcake until it’s filled to the top.
To make the chocolate buttercream topping, melt the 2 1/2 cups of chocolate chips in the microwave (heat it for 30 seconds at a time, stir, then heat for additional 30 second increments until melted). Then set it aside to cool completely.
In a large bowl beat (using a mixer on HIGH speed) the butter, sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla until fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). While beating (on LOW speed), pour in the cooled melted chocolate and continue to mix until completely combined into the frosting.
Frost the cupcakes then garnish with extra crushed pretzels and enjoy!
Fresh strawberries add seasonal sweetness to these tempting treats.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!