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August 10, 2012

Oxymoron Chubby Hubby Fudge

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These sweet and salty, crunchy and chewy squares were inspired by Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice cream.  You know, chocolate, peanut butter and pretzels all swirled into vanilla ice cream?  Yeahhh, probably not the healthiest stuff on the planet, but most definitely addicting, yes?

That's why I made this fudge.  It has all the flavors of the ice cream, sans the chubby and guilty repercussions.

That's why I called it "Oxymoron Chubby Hubby Fudge."

I really should call it "Muscle Head Hubby Fudge" though, since one square has around 11g of protein!

Made with whole grain pretzels, natural peanut butter and protein powder, and without refined sugars, heavily processed grains and butter, these are the ultimate snack for the chocolate, peanut butter and pretzel-lovers out there.

While fudge is satisfying by itself, the added crunch from the pretzels will satisfy the snack-monster in you.  Sometimes you just need something crunchy... and chewy and sweet and salty and healthy all at the same time.  Or maybe that's just me.  Am I the only one who is constantly ravenous??

Can your inner snack-monster resist these?

I don't think so.

Don't be afraid of the seemingly long ingredient list, this fudge is only 5 ingredients!

Oxymoron Chubby Hubby Fudge Squares:  [no bake, high protein, GF*, vegan]
(makes 16 squares)

   PB-Pretzel Base:
     168g (1/2 cup) Agave Nectar
     96g (6 tbs) Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar/salt/oil added)
     62g (2 scoops) Vanilla Protein Powder
     2 cups Chopped Whole Grain Pretzels* (whole wheat, spelt, gluten free, whatever kind you like)

   PB Fudge Filling:
     126g (6 tbs) Agave Nectar
     96g (6 tbs) Natural Peanut Butter
     93g (3 scoops) Vanilla Protein Powder

     1oz Sugar Free Milk Chocolate
     1/4 cup Chopped Whole Grain Pretzels

**I put a bunch of pretzels in a freezer bag and whacked it with my measuring cup just until the pieces broke.  Crumbs are inevitable, but try and get it nice and chunky like this:

1.  Line a 9" brownie pan (or 8" pan if you want thicker fudge) with parchment paper both ways and set aside.
2.  For the PB-Pretzel Base-  In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the agave and peanut butter with a rubber spatula.  Stir in the protein powder and fold together when it gets thick.  When all the protein powder is mixed in, fold in the chopped pretzels.  Scoop mixture into the prepared pan and flatten with the rubber spatula, a pastry roller, or wrap your fingers in plastic wrap and press it manually.  Refrigerate while you make the next layer.
3.  For the PB Fudge Filling-  In a medium-sized mixing bowl (I used the same bowl used for the base), stir together the agave and peanut butter.  Stir in the protein powder, then fold.  Scoop mixture over the base layer and flatten.  Refrigerate while you prepare the toppings.
4.  For the Toppings-  Put the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until melted.  Drizzle about half of the chocolate over the PB Fudge Filling, sprinkle with the chopped pretzels and carefully press them into the fudge, then drizzle with the rest of the chocolate.  Freeze for ~1 hour then slice.

If serving later, refrigerate for 3+ hours, and serve chilled unless you want to lick your peanut buttery fingers (wait, now that I say it, it doesn't sound that bad).  If you have any leftover (hah!), refrigerate them covered.


  1. LOl muscle head hubby fudge....funny :P Love that you made a tasty and healthy versioon!

  2. What kind of protein powder do you recommend? This looks delicious but I've never liked any of the ones I've tried :(

    1. I would recommend whey protein powder, my favorites are:

      1) Optimum Nutrition-

      2) Jay Robb-

  3. So much peanut butter.. love it! :D

  4. What can I substitute the agave with?

    1. You can use pure maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, coconut nectar etc, just note that the thicker sweeteners may need an extra tablespoon or so.

  5. Hi Jessica! I've been following you for a while, but rarely comment (I think I have once). I love your recipes and your photos! I'm excited to try some of your recipes and will report back when I do!

    1. Thanks for the comment Lauren, I tend to do the same thing on my favorite blogs too :) I hope you like the recipes you try out, and if you think there could be any improvements let me know!

  6. mmm, amazing job as always jessica!!

  7. Hi Jessica!

    I've been reading for a long time, but have never commented. While I love your blog, I'm a whole-foods kinda gal and have never really found my way around artificial sweeteners. I understand them, they just don't LIKE me!

    Anyhow! I loveloveLOVE this recipe. I made it yesterday, though made a few changes. First of all, gluten-free pretzels are REALLY expensive and full of ingredients I can't pronounce. Instead, I used a whole-grain GF cereal mixed with nuts and added salt. More calories, for sure, but super crunchy and satisfying.

    Also, I forgot to pick up agave. Oops! I used a mixture of honey and coconut-sugar simple syrup to sweeten. Oh, and I used unsweetened dark chocolate instead of sugarfree milk chocolate. Just a *few* mods ;)

    And oh. my. god. I could eat the whole pan. In one sitting! I have to exercise some SERIOUS willpower.

    Bravo on such a perfect recipe. I went for an extra run today, just to justify having a square of this baby as a recovery snack.


    1. Yay! I'm so glad you liked the recipe, and those substitutions sound great. PB-Cereal bars sound pretty darn good right about now :) I'm sorry you couldn't find healthy GF pretzels, I've seen quite a few brands around where I live that look wholesome to me. And bravo to YOU on going for an extra run, that's definitely justification to me too ;)

  8. This looks amazing. I'm not a fan of pretzels, I get ill every time I eat them - gluten free or regular, both do the same. But I think I'll make this and substitute some puffed grains and a small handfull of chopped nuts for the crunch factor.

    1. Oh no! It's possible you may be sensitive to yeast if you get sick... hopefully not though. Puffed grains + nuts sounds great, K (the commenter above) made this with cereal + nuts. Hope you like the recipe :)

  9. Hi Jessica!

    I have loved every single recipe of yours that I've tried! I routinely make my own protein bars (have been for years) but yours are THE BEST. I just made our fourth batch of these. Kashi GoLean is yummy in place of the pretzels, by the way...

    And I've pitted a couple pounds of cherries to try the blondies out later this week...

    I just wanted to say thanks for making our lives so tasty!

    1. Hi Jenny, I'm so glad you liked these! Kashi GoLean sounds like a great replacement, love that cereal. Hope you like the blondies too :)

  10. Hi Jessica, just found your blog and I am equally parts amazed and inspired! I've been exploring some of your buying suggestions on Amazon, and there's a product that seems to have zillions of great reviews, and I wondered if you'd used it in any recipes. It's the powdered peanut butter, PB2? I don't have the scientific-level knowledge of baking to do my own trials, and I thought if anyone would know if this product could be useful in healthy baking it would be you! I realize it has sugar, but I'm wading into the lifestyle-change pool rather than diving in and quickly finding myself over my head and discouraged. Make sense?

    1. Aw thanks! Yes I've heard of PB2 :) even though it contains white sugar, it's a very small amount so I would definitely recommend it if you want to start incorporating peanuts into your diet. Regular peanut butter is healthy too, but only if it's natural and doesn't contain partially hydrogenated oils.
      I haven't used PB2 in any of my recipes because I've never bought it... I'm kind of scarred from the Better n Peanut Butter experience I had years back, yuck. But now that you remind me, I might be willing to try it :)
      I'm pretty sure PB2 would work in this recipe, just make sure the PB2 isn't too liquidy. Good luck!

  11. I'm a peanut butter chocolate freak. These look amazing!

  12. Hello!

    Love this recipe...what can I use to substitute vanilla protein powder?

    1. I'm not sure if there is a good substitute for the protein powder, but you can try a combination of oat flour and almond flour and maybe even some coconut flour. I would add one tablespoon until you get a fudge-like texture (shouldn't be wet or sticky). Hope this works out!

  13. made these for a pot luck for my class and they all loved it! No one will ever know that they're chocked full of protein;D

    1. I'm glad the recipe was a success :)

      And you're right, everyone thinks this is just fat and sugar when it's not!


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