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I’m beginning to realize that I may have a genuine chocolate/peanut butter problem.  These brownies, however, represent a collision of two of my other addictions, chocolate/pretzel, pretzel/peanut butter.  The chocolate/peanut butter is simply a result of (A+B)+(B+C)=A+2B+C, or in less technical terms, Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies
Adapted from Joy the Baker who adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes 9 large brownies or 18 more reasonably sized ones

Print-Friendly Recipe

BROWNIE

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso
  • 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 kosher salt

PEANUT BUTTER FILLING

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • large pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

TOPPING

  • 1 cup peanut butter filled pretzels (or regular), slightly crushed

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.  Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan.  Line with parchment paper so that it overhangs on two sides and grease the parchment paper as well.

Melt butter, unsweetened chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate and coffee powder in a heat proof bowl suspended over barely simmering water (aka double boiler).

Stir until chocolate and butter are melted.  Remove the bowl from the double boiler and let mixture cool slightly.  Stir in the vanilla extract.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

Whisk granulated sugar into the chocolate and butter mixture.  Make sure the chocolate mixture isn’t too hot and whisk the eggs in the mixture one at a time.  Fold in the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture and spoon into prepared pan.

To make the Peanut Butter Filling, whisk together peanut butter, melted butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract until smooth.

Spread the peanut butter filling over the chocolate brownie batter and kind of swirl it together with a knife.  Top with the crushed peanut butter pretzels and press down slightly.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick comes up with just a few crumbs attached, not gooey in the center.  Take care not to overbake because then the brownies will be cakier (unless you like them that way).

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