Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bird Nests with Salted Caramel
It’s not Easter without a bird’s nest, and these Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bird Nests with Salted Caramel are salty, sweet treats are guaranteed to get you in the Easter spirit.
Easter’s always been one of my favorite holidays. Easter baskets, colored eggs, chocolate bunnies — I love it all. My birthday is in April, so it’s actually fallen on Easter a few times, and I’d always ask my mom to make me an Easter bunny cake with a gumdrop bow tie, licorice face, and covered in coconut. 🙂 Bird’s nests were never anything I experienced growing up, but I’m making up for that now. They’re so festive, and I had a lot of fun formulating (or hatching may be a better word?) my idea of the perfect bird’s nest .
I’m big into the sweet and salty thing, so since pretzels look like twigs, I thought that was the perfect place to start. I adore peanut butter pretzels, as well as chocolate covered pretzels, so these nests combines all of those flavors. I melted the chocolate in a bain marie, then stirred in some melted peanut butter. Sounds good already, no? 😉
I broke the pretzel sticks up into halves, and realized immediately they needed to be smaller. OK, I didn’t really realize this immediately — only after I’d mixed them into the chocolate and started forming them into nests in my greased muffin pan. I had chocolate covered fingers, and was busily breaking up the pretzels as quick as I could. I wasn’t looking for perfection by any means — they’re bird’s nests, after all. I just needed to make sure there were no holes in the bottoms, because they needed to hold that salted caramel sauce. 🙂
I certainly could have stopped at chocolate-peanut butter covered pretzel nests, but I had some leftover salted caramel sauce from my Salted Caramel Carrot Cupcakes, and it was calling my name. I figured these nests could use a gooey filling to keep those eggs “glued” inside. Did I mention the eggs are Reese’s eggs? Yup, they are. 🙂
Once I’d formed the nests in the muffin pans, I chilled them in the fridge. The chocolate was set about 30-40 minutes later, and I removed the nests from the muffin cups. I had my doubts they would come out, but they came out easily with just a bit of prodding with a butter knife. I placed them on a baking sheet and filled them with the salted caramel sauce. Can I get an “oh, yeah?”
From there, it was obviously time to top the nests with the eggs. Any kind of pretty candied egg would work here. I settled on Reese’s eggs to keep the whole peanut butter-chocolate thing going on, but you really can’t go wrong here. 🙂
Just a fair warning, these are messy. My kid’s faces and hands were a mess, and they’re older. It’s the best kind of mess, however. A finger-lickin’ good kind of mess.
- 6 ounces (about 1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
- 6 ounces (about 1 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
- ½ cup peanut butter (I used Laura Scudder's Natural)
- 2½ cups pretzel sticks, broken into ⅓'s
- ¼ cup of your favorite salted caramel sauce.
- 36 candy eggs (I used Reese's)
- Grease (12) standard size muffin cups generously with butter and set aside.
- Fill a large sauté pan halfway with water, and heat over medium heat until simmering. Turn the heat down to low. This is your bain marie or double boiler. Place the chocolate in a medium size heat proof bowl, and place in the gently simmering water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until it's melted and smooth.
- While the chocolate melts, melt the peanut butter in a small sauce pan over low heat. You can also do this in the microwave, heating it for about 30 seconds. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, add the peanut butter, stirring the mixture until well combined. Remove from the bain marie and dry off the bottom of the bowl. Add the broken pretzel sticks, and stir until they're completely coated with the chocolate mixture. Form the nests inside the wells of the muffin cups, making a deep well in the center of each. Place the nests in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Once the chocolate has set, remove the nests from the muffin cups gently with a butter knife. Place on a baking sheet or plate, and fill each nest with about 1 teaspoon of salted caramel sauce. Top with the candy eggs. Store the nests in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.