I love chocolate covered pretzels. That combo of sweet, salty and different textures is so good! These cupcakes also add in peanut butter, which makes everything chocolate better. They're some effort to make, but so good!
This recipe is inspired by Kellie's S'Mores Cupcakes and by Shawn's Peanut Butter Frosting to Die for - which are both incredible and you should try if you haven't yet!
The pretzel on top does tend to get stale and soggy pretty quick, so I'd wait to add that until right before serving.
Notes from the Test Kitchen:
These cupcakes definitely have a few steps, but they are well worth it. When you bite into the cupcake, you get a nice surprise of the creamy filling. I can see these going really fast in your house.
Preheat oven to 350. Line 30 muffin tins with paper liners.
To make crust: Combine pretzel crumbs with sugar and melted butter. Divide among cups and press down with the back of a spoon. Drop a heaping teaspoon of chocolate chips on top of crust and bake 5-10 minutes to melt chocolate.
To make filling: Scoop peanut butter into a small bowl. Add powdered sugar until the peanut butter has a doughy consistency, as little powdered sugar as you can to make it able to work with. It'll still be a bit sticky. Form the peanut butter mixture into small balls and drop one into each muffin cup on top of the crust & chocolate.
For the cake: Sift together all dry ingredients and set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla. Beat just until combined.
Add dry ingredients, mixing on low for 30 seconds then medium for 2 minutes.
Add boiling water and mix to combine, making a thin batter.
Divide batter between muffin pans - depending how large your pans are and how much crust/peanut butter filling you have there may be extra batter. If so, make a couple plain chocolate cupcakes out of it :)
Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
For Frosting: Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and beat on medium until well combined, then whip on high until fluffy. Add milk or more powdered sugar as needed to adjust the consistency.
For topping: Melt chocolate chips and butter together until smooth and glossy.
To assemble the tops: I used tip 1M to swirl the peanut butter frosting on, pressed a pretzel on top, then put the chocolate/butter mix into a ziplock bag and snipped off a tiny corner to drizzle it over.