chocolate peanut butter pretzel brownies

Saturday, January 22, 2011
Remember that chocolate monster?

The one who sabotages my healthy eating with his sugary sweet talk and his calls for me to eat chocolate chips straight from the freezer while no one is looking.

The one who has caused me to make crazy treats like this and even worst, this.

Well he's back, and he's caused this. I've taken three things that are amazing on their own, but together it's completely bananas.

Dark, deep, intense chocolate brownies swirled with a sugary, buttery peanut butter mixture and topped with salty, crunchy pretzels.

Turn down the ridiculous.

Thinking about these make my mouth water.

I made them for our book club, but sadly not many people showed up. Which I kind of like since I have lots of leftovers that I don't need to share.

I'm really going to need that cardio after this week.

Chocolate peanut butter pretzel brownies

[ adapted from Joy the baker ]

10 tablespoons butter, softened
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

peanut butter swirl:
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
large handful pretzel sticks

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter an 8x8 baking dish, then line with parchment paper or foil, being sure to leave an overhang at each end. Butter the paper as well.

Boil 2 inches of water in a medium saucepan. Combine butter, cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over simmering water. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted. Remove bowl from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in vanilla extract.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Make sure the chocolate mixture isn't too hot and whisk each the eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating one before adding another.

Fold flour mixture into chocolate mixture and spoon into prepared pan.

To make peanut butter swirl, whisk together peanut butter, melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth.

Spoon peanut butter mixture over the brownie batter and using a butter knife, swirl the batters together. Arrange pretzel sticks on top of the batter with whichever pattern you want.

Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until a tester comes out mostly clean. Let cool on rack for at least 30 minutes  before slicing.