Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

5 May

Fridays are lame.  I would go so far as to say Friday’s are the lamest, but I think that honor belongs to Saturdays.  Really, it’s a weekend thing.  I don’t like weekends, because weekends mean lethargy, and that is lame.

Maybe it’s just that I feel more productive during the week.

In any case, yesterday my roommate and I decided during our interminable comics and culture class that we would bake this weekend, so we didn’t end falling asleep at three in the afternoon again.  Again again.  Yesterday, we made chocolate peanut butter pretzel brownies, and right now, poppy seed chocolate chip cookies are in the oven.

So there brownies.  I found them on Joy the Baker, who is my absolute favorite baker-blogger.  I love the shit out of her blog, okay, and everything she bakes.

So here is the recipe, adapted from her site.


For the brownie:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces of chocolate, for melting
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • coarse sea salt for topping

It doesn’t matter what chocolate you use.  The more bitter chocolate is generally better for brownies, so you should probably use bittersweet or semi-sweet.  It’s a matter of personal taste, though,

For the peanut butter swirl:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, I prefer natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • large handful of pretzel sticks

If you want to get crazy (we do; we did) you can use flavored peanut butter.

Wait, let me explain.

We went to Whole Foods to get ingredients, because we are obsessed with that place.  Every time we went to get an ingredient, we would end up really far from whatever aisle we were supposed to be in, looking at beans or pastries or the deli things.

So when we were getting sugar, we ended up looking at the peanut butter.  We had peanut butter in the room, so we weren’t going to get any.  But then we saw this:

And so our brownies are actually… chocolate chocolate peanut butter pretzel brownies.



Okay, here’s how you do this thing:

Melt the butter and the chocolate together.

This is our improvised double-boiler: a plastic bowl in a pot of water.

When it’s melted and has cooled down a bit, mix in the vanilla.  We actually didn’t have vanilla, so we skipped that.  But if you do have vanilla, this is the time to use it.

Whisk together the dry ingredients.

Then, add the eggs to the chocolate one at a time, mixing well after each edition.  Mix together the chocolate and the dry ingredients.  The recipe says to fold the flour into the chocolate, but we don’t really read recipes all the way, so we just mixed them together.  But if you like precision, get folding.

Also, doing this looks way cooler, but hey, do what you want.

Mix!  Mix the things!  Fun fact:  “to mix” is “mélanger” in French, and “misco, miscere…” in Latin.  Latin verbs have four principal parts.

Now you know.

Pour the batter in an 8×8 pan.  Then, make the peanut butter swirl.

Whisk together all of the peanut butter ingredients.  I don’t know how you’re supposed to whisk peanut butter.

Then, dump this onto the brownie batter and swirl it around with a knife, just like making marble brownies.

It was at this point that we realized exactly how decadent this had gotten, because I was pouring chocolate on top of chocolate.

For real.

Now, put the pretzels on top.  We already had regular pretzels, so we just used those.

Bake for 40-45 minutes at 325 degrees, or until a toothpick/knife comes out of the middle clean, or with a few crumbs.

Then you eat.  Eat!  Yes!  Don’t share with anyone!  You won’t want to!

All right, maybe share with a couple of people.  But while you could make these for a group gathering, you will probably regret it as you watch people slice your creation to pieces and run off, leaving you with the sliver you really didn’t want and a pan full of crumbs hinting at what was once so much more than the sum of their parts.

I was totally going to make a The Walking Dead analogy, but I thought that maybe I shouldn’t gross you out like that.  You’re welcome.





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