Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies.

Now that we have almost recovered from the trauma disappointment of a Super Bowl loss by the Niners, we can reflect on the positives from last Sunday. And there were plenty of positives: friends, family, cocktails and some very good food. Our friends all brought good cheer and some very tasty snacks and drinks (thanks guys!). The Kentucky Royale was the featured cocktail (along with some ScofflawsΒ and cold beer) and we even got some exploding / fermenting probiotic hot sauce that splattered on the ceiling when we opened it (somewhat aptly named “Sunny Bang”, website here). Happily no one was hurt, and good times were had by all (even me, after I finished wiping down the ceiling…seriously).

Exploding "probiotic" hot sauce. Nothing to do with brownies, but funny, nonetheless...

Exploding “probiotic” hot sauce. Nothing to do with brownies, but funny, nonetheless…

pretzelpretzel1One of the highlights of the day came at dessert. We will post a few of the things we served, but will start with these Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies. Oh boy are these good. And they taste just like you would expect, with deep chocolate, peanut butter and some extra zip from salt. What’s not to like? But then you also get some texture and crunch from the pretzels and pieces of peanuts, and that’s what takes these brownies over the top. And they even taste good with a beer.

pretzel3pretzel4pretzel5Carolyn made these brownies from a King Arthur Flour recipe. And as you may know, we are big fans of King Arthur Flour recipes. Why? Because they almost always work and they give recipes by volume and weight- a good thing for the home baker. We did adapt the recipe somewhat for our tastes by using bittersweet chocolate chips and double-dutch dark cocoa (mix of dutch process cocoa and dark cocoa) to amp the chocolate flavor and darken the color. But we are sure the recipe will still be just fine with regular chocolate chips and cocoa powder.

pretzel6pretzel8As far as making the brownies is concerned, there is just a bit of extra work (not much) but it is pretty cool, even fun. The brownie batter follows a basic recipe and making the peanut butter topping is just mixing the peanut butter, melted butter, sugar, pretzel pieces and vanilla. While it takes a few minutes to make the topping, your reward (other than a decadent brownie) is the fun of swirling the topping into the brownie batter. Call us food geeks if you must, but it’s hard not to smile when you mix peanut butter and chocolate. It just seems “right”. Looks cool too.

pretzel9To finish up the brownies you just add some more chopped peanuts, pretzel pieces and peanut butter chips to the top of the brownies, then bake, cool slice and serve. And the whole thing takes about an hour. And considering the reaction of our guests (and ourselves), making these brownies is an hour well-spent. Not only did we love these brownies, we all went for seconds as a consolation when the Niners were jacked by the refs came up short. πŸ˜‰

pretzel10Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies:

(Adapted from King Arthur Flour)

Notes Before You Start:

  • Double-dutch dark cocoa is an optional, but very useful, way to deepen chocolate flavor and darken color. A “nice-to-have” ingredient. Regular cocoa powder works fine.
  • The chopped peanuts and pretzels do add a bunch of salt. You may want to taste them both and knock some salt off the pretzels (just shake them in a bag for a bit) to balance the flavor. You can always sprinkle some salt on top of the brownies if you need it, but it is hard to take the salt away if it’s baked-in.

What you get: Chocolate-y, sweet, salty, smooth and crunchy brownies. What else do you need?

What you need: No special equipment required.

How long? About an hour. Totally worth it (IMHO).

Ingredients:

Brownies:

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (3 oz.) bittersweet (or regular) chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (7 oz.) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (1 oz.) double-dutch dark cocoa power (or regular cocoa powder)
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/8 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup (2 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup (2 oz.) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup (7 1/8 oz.) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup (1 1/4 oz.) broken / crushed pretzel pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz.) lightly slated peanuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (3 oz.) peanut butter chips

Assemble:

Brownies:

  1. Grease a 9-in square or 11 x 7 baking dish. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. In a heatproof bowl, melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave (or over a simmering pot of water).
  3. Pour the chocolate mixture into a large mixing bowl and then stir in the sugar. Then stir n the vanilla and eggs, one at a time.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, salt and Β baking powder. Stir into the wet ingredients until combined. Pour the batter into the baking dish and set aside.

Topping:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the butter, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, half of the pretzels and the vanilla until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the top of the brownie batter and swirl them together with two butter knives.
  2. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the remaining pretzels, chopped peanuts and peanut butter chips and lightly press them into the batter. Add a dash of kosher or sea salt, if you like.

Baking the brownies:

  1. Place the pan with the brownie batter into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean (with just a few moist crumbs attached). Remove the brownies from the oven and allow to cool completely. Slice and serve.
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38 thoughts on “Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

  1. This looks fantastic! I love chocolate and peanut butter together, unfortunately a certain boyfriend here thinks that Peanut butter is a gross thing only weird Americans (meaning me) can eat, and he refuses to eat it… I’ll have to wait for a day when he is away and remember to make these, they really look delicious

  2. Your evil kitchen machinations have sunk to a new low. The waistband of my post-Superbowl sweatpants is straining just reading the ingredients. I believe you are deliberately taunting me just because our purple team won!

    • Thx. Pretzels and dark chocolate are one of our favorite combos, so we couldn’t wait to make this. And our guests, amy of whom were a bit dubious, loved the brownies- which is always nice.

    • Thanks. As far as the hot sauce goes, it was pretty good, we are just afraid to opeen it and get it in our eyes. Not sure there is a sustainable business in splattering hot sauce… πŸ˜‰

  3. Pingback: Cupcake Parfaits In A Jar « Putney Farm

  4. Find Ur blog while wandering reading interesting blog, peanuts and chocolate so yummie… never thought with pretzel! Must try. And I like the sauce bottle thing photo, never though any pretzel goes with that πŸ˜› Greetings

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