Chocolate / Comfort Food / Dessert / Guilty Pleasures / Salty Sweet

Cook: Fudge Brownies with Pretzel Crust

Hi!  Remember me?  I haven’t written in 10 days, which is atrocious, I know, but I have 10 days of things to tell you about, so we’re sort of even, right?  Probably not.  But here you go, anyway!

Day 1: I made quinoa (recipe coming soon… or, soon-ish.  I promise I’ll do better.  I promise!) then went to New Jersey for the weekend.  On the drive I ate the quinoa while K ate McDonald’s cheeseburgers.  Dieting is fun!
Day 2: I found out I passed my 4th and final MTEL, which are the tests teacher candidates take to become certified.  All that’s left is student teaching then I am finally, finally, a certified teacher!  Yep!
Day 3: Well, nothing really happened on this day except that I had a relaxing day hanging out in New Jersey.
Day 4: Easter happened, I ate way too much at dinner, counteracting the aforementioned quinoa decision, then had to drive back to Boston to start the busiest week of my year.
Day 5: I hosted my final volunteer training event ever, ever.  I have to say, I was a little sad.  These next few months are going to be tough.  Think Michael Scott’s last day on The Office.  (I’ve also been watching a lot of The Office).
Day 6: My second to last first day of class.  Which isn’t really that exciting, except that I’m in perpetual count down mode where school is concerned.  I’m so close!
Day 7: Thought about blogging.  Felt really guilty about not blogging, then cleaned my apartment to make myself feel productive and therefore less guilty.  It’s a delicate balance.
Day 8: This was the end of my week, which culminated in our Spring Math Night, which was actually a great success.  I went home, ate leftover pizza, and then K and I went for a walk and got frozen yogurt.  Approximately 45 minutes later I was doubled over in pain, and about an hour later, I was laying on an Emergency Room bed waiting to figure out what was happening to me.  I’m fine, or I will be, and may have to have surgery, which honestly would be a good thing because then I can eat frozen yogurt in peace.
Day 9: Was supposed to go to Chicago but because of my night in the Emergency Room and the doctors apparent lack of decision making skills (“you might have to come in this weekend, maybe Monday, maybe never, blah blah blah I’m a doctor“), I had to cancel.  Chex cereal, plain baked potatoes, saltines and no Chicago hot dogs.  That’s my food this week.  Boo.
Day 10: I’m here, with you!  I’m taking it easy, being very careful not to anger whatever it is that yelled at me Thursday night, and dreaming about a time when I get to eat these brownies every day without fear of the ER or my summer wardrobe.  A brownie-a-day-world is a world I want to live in.
I made these brownies for K’s birthday (10 days ago), and they’re my favorite baked good I’ve ever made or eaten ever.  They have a crumbled buttery pretzel crust, then whole pretzel sticks on top.  It’s crunchy and salty and so very chocolatey.
Everything about these brownies is perfect.  The crushed pretzels on the bottom add crunch and saltiness, and the whole pretzels on top are pretty.
The brownie is dense and rich and the chocolate chips are lovely surprises.  The combination of textures and the balance between sweet and salty is nothing short of perfect.
You’ll love them.  I promise!  And I also promise that I will write more.  And stay away from the ER whenever possible.
Here’s the recipe!
Fudge Brownies with Pretzel Crust (Adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
  • 2 cups pretzels
  • pretzel sticks for topping
  1. Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9-inch diameter pie pan (or 8-inch-square baking dish) and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. Bring about two inches of water to a simmer in a medium sauce pan.  Place a bowl over the simmering water and melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally.  Once melted, add brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, the egg yolk and the vanilla and stir to combine.  Add dry ingredients all at once, stirring just to incorporate.  Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Add two cups of pretzels to food processor and process until desired consistency.  Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a medium bowl, then add chopped pretzels and stir to combine.  Add pretzel mixture to the bottom of the baking dish and spread in an even layer.  Cover with brownie batter, then top with whole pretzels in whatever design you’d like.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Bake until a skewer inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean.  Remove and let cool before serving.

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