Triple Decker Maple Peanut Butter Pretzel Fudge

This recipe makes about 4 pounds of fudge, so make it for holiday gatherings or for people on your bake-and-give Christmas list. They'll thank you for it!  These can be enjoyed at room temperature for up to a week when stored in an air-tight container.  With refrigeration they will keep slightly longer.


Yield: 4 lbs of fudge                                                                                          


Crust:

1 cup finely ground pretzels

3 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (or a level 1/2 cup semisweet chips)

4 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp sugar

1 egg, beaten

  1. Line a 9x9-inch baking dish with parchment paper, allowing the paper to overhang on all sides.
  2. Heat a saucepan filled 1/3 full with water and bring to a simmer.  Put chocolate and butter in a medium heat-proof bowl and place on top of the pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter melts. Add the sugar and egg.  Cook mixture until it is very hot and has thickened slightly. 
  3. Remove from simmering pot and stir in pretzel crumbs.  You will use the pan of simmering water again for the ganache, so be sure to keep it handy. Press the mixture into the prepared pan with buttered hands.  Set aside while you prepare the fudge.

Maple-peanut butter fudge:

2  14 oz. cans of sweetened condensed milk

10 oz. bags of peanut butter chips (such as Reese's)

1 1/2 tsp. pure maple extract

  1. Combine the condensed milk and peanut butter chips in a large microwaveable bowl. Heat at 100% power until melted and smooth, 3-5 minutes.  Stir in maple extract.  Pour mixture over crust and refrigerate for 15 minutes. While you wait for the fudge to chill, make the topping.

Chocolate ganache/ pretzel topping:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3 tbsp heavy cream

25 thick cut pretzels

  1. Combine chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl and set over the simmering water. Stir until melted, smooth and shiny about 3 minutes. Using and offset spatula spread over the fudge and top with 14-15 whole pretzels.  
  2. Crush the remaining pretzels and sprinkle over the ganache.  Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.  Cut into squares.  Enjoy!
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