It’s no secret that the combination of chocolate and peanut butter could rule the world. I’m actually 100% convinced that a scoop of peanut butter studded with chocolate chips can solve any and all of life’s problems… but whatever.
But what about the combination of peanut butter, chocolate, AND salty pretzels? This, my friends, takes things to a whole other unworldly level. Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites are what heaven is made of.
Sooooo today I bring you yet another version of heaven. A chocolate-in-your-face, peanut-butter-stuck-in-your-teeth, salty-sweet-pretzely-fudge-brownie-insanity-of-sorts.
Let’s take apart these bad boys layer-by-layer for a sec. I made the brownie layer from scratch. My favorite brownie recipe came from a magazine clipping a handful of years ago. I couldn’t even tell you the actual magazine, but I can tell you this brownie recipe is simply incredible.
If I’m feeling lazy and short on time, my favorite boxed brownie mix is Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate boxed brownie mix. The chocolate flavor doesn’t necessary taste like “dark chocolate,” it is just very rich and fudgy. I find that these boxed brownies really do taste homemade, too!
A brownies’ main ingredients are chocolate, flour, sugar, and eggs. They may be made with cocoa powder or solid chocolate. If using cocoa powder, you typically will need more fat in the batter because cocoa powder does not contain the cocoa butter that solid chocolate does. I’ve made brownies both ways and I truly don’t have a preference over cocoa powder or solid chocolate. It’s chocolate mixed with butter… and it’s good. My brownie recipe uses solid chocolate.
Brownies may be cake-like, fudgy, chewy, moist, frosted, or plain. I prefer my brownies so chewy and so fudgy that they taste like a dense chocolate frosting you can eat with a fork. If I wanted a cake-like brownie, I would eat a piece of chocolate cake. The fudginess in my brownie recipe relates to the small amount of flour. More flour = a more cake-like brownie.
The peanut butter frosting I used is thick. It’s made with only 3 ingredients: peanut butter, salted butter, and confectioners’/powdered sugar. There are no liquids to thin it out. Just a simple, thick frosting exploding with nothing but peanut butter flavor. A perfect accompaniment to my dense fudge-like brownies.
Chocolate covered pretzels finish the brownies off with a nice salty/sweet crunch. You can make your own using small pretzel twists or you can buy them. I made the chocolate pretzels myself by melting 2 oz of a semi-sweet Bakers melting chocolate bar (which is the same chocolate I used in the brownies) in a medium bowl and throwing about 25 pretzel twists in. I stirred the pretzels around until they were mostly coated and let them chill while I made the brownies.
The pretzels don’t have to be perfectly covered in chocolate because they will be crushed up for the topping.
These brownies are the ultimate chocolate/peanut butter/pretzel indulgence. Put your healthy eating to the side and spoil yourself!
I kept the brownies in the fridge to avoid the chocolate pretzels melting in the 100 degree weather. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it’s the perfect way to cool down and beat this summer heat. A small piece is perfectly enough to satisfy even a monstrous peanut butter/chocolate craving.
Makes 24-30 squares, depending how large you slice them. Brownies stay fresh stored in the refrigerator for 1 week.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
- 8 ounces coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate (I used 1 8oz Baker's melting chocolate bar)
- 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 - 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 25 mini pretzel twists
- 2 oz (1/2) of a Bakers semi-sweet melting chocolate bar
- Make the chocolate covered pretzels first. In a medium bowl, break up and melt the 2 oz of baking chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Continue microwaving in 10 second intervals until completely melted. Toss the pretzels into the melted chocolate and stir around until they are mostly coated. They don't have to look perfect because you will break them up any way. Chill the pretzels while you make the brownies.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 11 x 7 inch baking pan (or 13 x 9 inch baking pan for thinner brownies) with cooking spray. Set aside. Melt butter and semi-sweet chocolate in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly (about 6 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (about 15 minutes).
- Stir sugar into cooled chocolate/butter mixture until combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour and salt. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a knife. Bake for approx 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out almost clean.
- While the brownies are baking, prepare peanut butter frosting layer. Using an electric handheld or stand mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter on medium speed until completely smooth and no more chunks of butter are visible. Slowly mix in confectioners' sugar, starting with just one cup. Add more confectioners' sugar if needed. You want a very thick frosting layer. I used about 1.5 cups.
- Once brownies are done in the oven and completely cooled (about 1 hour of cooling time), frost with peanut butter frosting. Chop up your chocolate covered pretzels and layer them on top of the frosting, gently pressing them down so that they stick. Refrigerate brownies for about 30-60 minutes until the frosting "sets" on top of the brownies. Cut into squares and enjoy!
Recipe source: sallysbakingaddiction.com
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Today’s outrageous brownies certainly don’t fit into the health-food category. But not too long ago, I shared a Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownie recipe that basically IS diet food. No butter or oil, full of whole grain oats, a TON of creamy peanut butter and chocolate, and a rich fudgy texture. They taste so sinfully delicious, it’s really hard to comprehend that they are actually healthy.
The homemade brownie recipe from today also made an appearance in my Chocolate Dipped Brownie Bites. I simply baked up a pan and cut them into tiny squares. I dipped them into melting chocolate and covered with sprinkles. A perfectly adorable treat to cure the largest chocolate craving!
The homemade brownie recipe from today is ALSO the brownie recipe I used for the top layer in my Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. Those things are outrageous!
I used my favorite Ghirardelli brownie mix in my Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Cups. You may certainly use the homemade brownie recipe I used for today’s brownies. I was in a rush, so boxed brownies were a must for me that day!