Friday, August 19, 2011

Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

I was grocery shopping with the boyfriend and his son when said son spotted a bag of Reese's chips--and immediately asked me to make something with them. Never being one to turn down peanut butter, I was quite agreeable to the suggestion! I got them home and set about trying to find some inspiration for precisely what to make with the Reese's chips. Thankfully, shortly thereafter, someone on the What's Cooking? board posted this recipe for Peanut Butter Fudge Pretzel Brownies. Chocolate, plus peanut butter, plus salty pretzel-y goodness? I am so there!

Unfortunately, this recipe was somewhat disappointing. Because I had the Reese's chips, I substituted them for the chocolate chips that the recipe calls for. Given that the chocolate chips are optional and are not melted into the batter, this should not have affected the chocolatey-ness of the brownies. But, if you look at my picture, it looks an awful lot like a blondie instead of a brownie. That's because the "brownie" recipe from the original link only contains 3 Tbl. of cocoa powder, so it ended up being nowhere near chocolatey enough. Boyfriend insisted that they were still good, and his son enjoyed them except for the pretzel crust (that was a little too avant-garde for his 15-year-old taste buds, methinks), but I was sorely disappointed with the outcome. Next time, I will use my tried-and-true brownie recipe (minus the Oreos)! So that's what I'm writing here...the recipe that I will make next time!

Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies (inspired by How Sweet it Is, brownie base from David Lebovitz)

  • 1 3/4 c. crushed pretzel pieces
  • 14 Tbl. butter, divided
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. Reese's chips

Melt 6 Tbl. of butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Mix with the crushed pretzel pieces until thoroughly combined, then press into the bottom of a greased 8x8" or 9x9" pan.

In a separate microwave-safe bowl, combine 4 oz. chocolate chips with remaining 8 Tbl. of butter. Microwave in 30-second intervals until melted, stirring to combine. Stir in the sugar, then the eggs, one at a time, and lastly the vanilla. Sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the chocolate mixture, stirring until nearly combined. Stir in the Reese's chips.

Pour brownie batter over pretzel crust, smoothing it out carefully so as not to disturb the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the center is just set.

*Note: the crust ends up soft this way. If you like a crispier crust, bake it for 15 minutes or so without the brownie batter at 350 degrees F, or until it starts to feel set.

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