With layers upon layers of crunchy chocolate-pretzel crust, dense peanut butter fudge and silky dark chocolate ganache topped off with the savory crunch of dense sourdough pretzels, this fudge defines indulgence. It's for any peanut butter and chocolate lover, any fudge lover or anyone who loves the sweet and salty of chocolate and pretzel together, making this one edible gift which is sure to please the masses. One quick batch requires only stove-top and chill time, and yields 8 to 10 dainty but decadent boxes of pure delight.
1. For the crust: Line a 9-by-9-inch baking pan or casserole with aluminum foil, with long flaps hanging over each edge.
2. Pulse 15 of the pretzels in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. (You should have 1 cup.) Crush the remaining 10 pretzels into large chunks by hand and set aside for topping the fudge.
3. Put the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer over medium to medium-low heat. Set the bowl over the saucepan but not touching the water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter melt, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and egg and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until warm to the touch and slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pretzel crumbs. Press firmly into the prepared pan. (Save the pan of water for melting the chocolate ganache.)
4. For the fudge: Combine the condensed milk with the peanut butter chips and a pinch of salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cook until melted and smooth, stirring only occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon the peanut butter fudge on top of the crust and spread into an even layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
5. For the ganache: While the fudge is chilling, combine the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl and set over the simmering water. Stir until melted, smooth, and shiny, about 3 minutes. Using an offset spatula, spread the glaze over the fudge and sprinkle with the large chunks of pretzel pieces. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or up to overnight. Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares or into 1 1/2-by-3-inch candy bars.
Gift Note: Enjoy these at room temperature for up to a week, or refrigerate and serve cold like a candy bar straight from the ice box.
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