I think it was almost two weeks ago that I posted a link that I’d found on the Internet to pretzel brownies. They looked really good but used a mix – which I don’t like to do. I decided to work with the recipe a bit to get it to the point it was exactly what I wanted it to be.
And what was that, you ask?
- I wanted gooey brownies because as far as I am concerned those are the only kind worth eating.
- I wanted deep chocolate flavor balanced by just the right amount of salty.
- I wanted crunchy and creamy to go along with the gooey.
- I wanted something that would make the most genteel southern belle lick her fingers greedily and have one more.
The thin pretzel twists did not do well in this batter. They become soggy and just mix in with the batter itself. I made the brownies using the thick pretzel rods instead.
I first made a pretzel crumb crust without sugar and baked it in the brownies pan. Then I sprinkled a layer of mixed Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and Milky Way bars with just caramel over the top. I folded the broken pretzel pieced into the batter and then baked the brownies. When they were finished and cool I poured a thin layer of ganache over the top and sprinkled more chopped pretzels on top of that.
Luckily I had plenty of help.
It really sounds a whole lot more complicated than it is. What you end up with is several different textures and flavors all at once. The caramel is sticky, the ganache is rich, there is the crunch of the pretzel pieces in the chewy brownies, and the occasional bite of salt that cuts through the sweetness like a knife. The peanut butter is the mediator between salty and sweet, standing in the gap with aplomb.
Cut these small and serve with coffee. I am not kidding you, they are one of the richest things I have made in awhile.
- 2 1/2 cups fine pretzel crumbs
- 3/4 cup softened unsalted butter
- 2 c sugar
- 1 1/2 c flour
- 1/2 c Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup fun size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- 1 cup Milky Way Caramel bars cut up
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely broken pretzel rods
- 1 pretzel crust
- 8 0 unces bittersweet chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup coarsely broken pretzels
Mix the pretzel crumbs and butter together until well blended.
Press firmly in the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan.
Bake at 375F for about 15 minutes.
Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and cocoa together until well blended.
Beat the eggs and vanilla and mix it into the oil.
Add the flour mixture to the oil mixture and stir until smooth and well blended.
Fold in the coarsely chopped pretzels.
Sprinkle the candy evenly over the baked crust.
Pour the brownie batter over the top.
Bake at 350F for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with some crumbs clinging to it.
Heat the cream until bubbles for around the edges.
Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate until the mixture is smooth and shiny.
Spoon evenly over cooled brownies and sprinkle with the 1/2 cup coarsely broken pretzels.