Salty Pretzel Brownie ~ A Holiday Treat

Here’s one thing you know about me by now: I love salt and chocolate. Make it a crunchy pretzel and an artisan chocolate and I’m done. Gone. Adios muchachas. Case in point: this fall I’ve blogged about Ombre Candy Corn Pretzels, pretzels dipped in melted chocolate, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Bark, which has chocolate, Reese’s Pieces and butterscotch chips. So when I was planning out what to make for this “in limbo” week between Thanksgiving and Dec 1, of course I leaned on one of my all time faves: the Salty Pretzel Brownie.

Salty Pretzel Brownie

THE STEPS TO THE PERFECT SALTY PRETZEL BROWNIE

As I see it, there are 3 equally important steps:

  1. The Pretzel Bottom – a pretzel, sugar and butter crust
  2. The Brownie Top – the brownie itself, and its ganache
  3. Pretzels and Salt – the final touches

STEP ONE: BOTTOM’S UP

I almost had all of the ingredients in my pantry (bittersweet chocolate, natch!). Let’s start at the bottom with the pretzel crust and work our way up. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans).

Mixing the pretzel crust

Take your crushed pretzels, sugar and melted butter and mix in a medium bowl.

Press pretzel mixture into pan

Press in ungreased 13×9-inch pan. Bake 8 minutes; cool 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, work on the next step.

STEP TWO: THE BROWNIE TOP

Melt the butter and the chopped bittersweet chocolate, about 5 minutes. You might have guessed, Scharffen Berger is the name of the game in my book. Remove from heat and immediately add sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla, and a generous portion of salt.

Don't scramble the eggs!

This is muy important! When you add the eggs to this hot mixture, add 1 at a time, and beat vigorously to blend after each addition. Yes, I bolded that because you do not want to have scrambled eggs mixed with your melted chocolate. Gross.
When the mixture looks thick and shiny, add the flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Yes, I said 60. Have you ever tasted a salty pretzel brownie with 55 strokes? Shameful. Lastly, stir in the nuts.

Pour batter over crust

Transfer the batter to the crust and bake brownies for about 25 minutes. After the brownies are completely cool, use a foil overhang to lift the brownies from the pan.
Here’s part 2 to the brownie: the ganache. Stir the coconut milk and maple syrup together and bring to a gentle boil. Pour this mixture over the bittersweet chocolate, and stir until all of the chocolate is melted. Once slightly cooled, spread the ganache over the top of the chocolate batter.

Snyder's are my fave

STEP THREE: ADD PRETZELS AND SALT

Snyder’s of Hanover gets a huge shout out from me in all of my salty-and-sweet recipes.

Layer of pretzels

Play with the shapes, there’s the waffle shaped pretzels, and the thin pretzel sticks might be fun, too. Place them on top of the ganache.

Sprinkle with salt

I was serious when I said this step is just as important as making the crust and the batter. Use a good sea salt, I used Maldon Salt, and sprinkled a layer on top of the whole pretzel topping.  That is my favorite part as it nearly pops off the chocolate!  Salterrific.  (OK, that was bad… sorry).

Salty Pretzel Brownie

Cut into 3-4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into salty pretzel brownie squares. Step four: save one for yourself. Enjoy!

Yum! Salty Pretzel Brownie

OUR FAVES 

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Salty Pretzel Brownies
Salty Pretzel Brownies

Salty Pretzel Brownie

By TheSweetNerd  

November 29, 2017

Ingredients

Crust

1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Brownies

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, chilled

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour

1 cup walnut pieces

Ganache

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup canned full fat coconut milk

2-4 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions

Crust

1Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). In medium bowl, mix crust ingredients.

2Press in ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Bake 8 minutes; cool 10 minutes.

Brownies

1Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray.

2 Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

3Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot).

4Add eggs to hot mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended.

5Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in nuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

6Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan.

7Cut into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 brownies.

Ganache

1Stir the coconut milk and maple syrup together in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil.

2Pour this mixture over the chocolate and stir until all of the chocolate is melted.

3Allow to cool to room temperature, stirring every 15 minutes or so until the chocolate has thickened into a spreadable frosting.

00:00

18 Comments

  • Tessa
    3 months ago

    So yum! Thanks for the quick and easy sweet fix!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      It is easy, Tessa. A sure win.

  • Kendall
    3 months ago

    Pretzels have ALWAYS been my favorite salty snack but brownies have always been one of my not so favorite… I’m thinking combining the two would be amazing for that sweet and salty combo. Def going to try this!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      I love pretzels too (obviously). I have a few other fun pretzel recipes on the blog. You can search “pretzel” and you’ll find them. Check ’em out when you have time.

  • 3 months ago

    Salt and chocolate lover – me and you both, girlfriend! Can’t be that combo! These brownies look so good! How awesome for gifting! Though, I’d have a hard time letting go of them 😉

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      Absolutely – me too. Good luck gifting!

  • Lorna Soonhee Umphrey
    3 months ago

    Love this sweet and salty combo! I would love to try and figure out how to make a gluten-free version of this. Any suggestions?

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      Gluten free flour is a fine substitute. I like King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill, both easily available.

  • 3 months ago

    Oh my goodness! These look amazing! Why are these not in my kitchen right now?! I must have these!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      I don’t know! You should make them – they’ll be gone quickly.

  • The salty and chocolate combination is the perfect taste for a delicious treat. A great idea for a treat during the holiday season. They look great with the pretzel on top. Delicious.

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      Thanks Helen!

  • What a great combination between sweet and salty! These would go down well in my house!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      Hope you can try it. 🙂

  • 3 months ago

    I just have to say – these are some of the prettiest brownies I’ve seen this holiday season! Loving the pretzel + chocolate + seal salt combo – my tastebuds are tingling just thinking of these!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      Thanks Shashi. That combo is a huge fave of mine, too.

  • 3 months ago

    The perfect mix- love these! Definitely saving this guy for a rainy day (aka the next time I crave chocolate).

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      If you’re like me it’ll be long before a rainy day! Thanks Karly.

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