Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Brownies

These peanut butter frosted fudgy brownies are the ultimate sweet & salty treat!

chocolate pretzel peanut butter brownies on a cream plate

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.

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.

4 images of chocolate pretzel peanut butter brownies

Let’s take apart these bad boys layer-by-layer for a sec. I made the brownie layer from scratch. 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.

peanut butter frosting in a stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment

peanut butter frosting spread on top of brownies in a baking dish

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.

3 images of chocolate pretzel peanut butter brownies

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.

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chocolate pretzel peanut butter brownies on a cream plate

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Peanut Butter Brownies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 24-30 brownies
  • Category: Brownies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These peanut butter frosted fudgy brownies are the ultimate sweet & salty treat!


Ingredients

Homemade Brownies

(or use your favorite boxed brownie mix)

  • 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) salted butter
  • 8 ounces (226g) coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate (I used 1 8oz Baker’s melting chocolate bar)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (94gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Peanut Butter Frosting Layer

  • 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (250g) creamy peanut butter
  • 12 cups (120-240g) confectioners’ sugar

Easy Chocolate Covered Pretzels

(or use store-bought chocolate covered pretzels)

  • 25 mini pretzel twists
  • 2 oz (56g) Bakers semi-sweet melting chocolate bar

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Make the brownies: Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). 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).
  3. 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 approximately 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out *almost* clean.
  4. 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 (120g). Add more confectioners’ sugar if needed. You want a very thick frosting layer. I used about 1.5 cups (180g).
  5. 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! Brownies stay fresh stored in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Keywords: pretzel peanut butter brownies

20 Comments

  1. Kathy Manganiello says:

    Sally, these brownies are amazing. My family totally loved each bite!!! Thanks for all your recipes!!!

    1. Kathy that makes me SO happy to hear! Thanks for writing in and letting me know! Enjoy!! 🙂

  2. I made these for a co-worker’s 40th and brought them in today. AH-MAZ-ING!! They have been a hit.

  3. These were SO incredible!!!! I absolutely loved them. A guest tried them last night and said, “these are the best brownies I’ve ever had.” : ) Thanks so much for the great recipe! I LOVE your blog and your beautiful photos!

  4. Best brownies I have ever had! Thanks for this great recipe. Everyone I have made them for loves them too!

  5. Hey Sally just wondering if bittersweet chocolate can be substitute in this recipe. Looks fabulous i must say!

    1. Yes, that would be just fine. The brownie layer will be less sweet but all the peanut butter frosting will make up for it!

  6. Hey Sally! Do the leftovers have to be stored in the fridge or would they be okay at room temperature?

    1. Either is fine – up to 3 days. I like them cold (personal preference). Cover tightly… enjoy!

  7. I don’t like dark chocolate (I guess I like my chocolate as unhealthy as I can get it!), but love dense and fudgy brownies!!! These look amazing! What would you recommend to do to keep the texture? Use a lighter chocolate or add more sugar?

    1. Marie, instead of semi-sweet chocolate I recommend using milk chocolate for the brownies. No need to change the amount of sugar.

  8. Recipe looks so delicious! Do you think using unsalted butter vs. salted will make a difference for both the batter and frosting?

    1. Yes– if you use unsalted butter, I suggest adding 1/4 extra teaspoon of salt to the brownies and 1/8 teaspoon salt to the frosting.

      1. Thanks! I’m planning to make it next week but won’t be able to serve until the next day. Should I keep in the refrigerator until then or just the 30-60 min for the frosting is enough to keep it solidified?

      2. I would keep them in the refrigerator overnight then bring to room temperature before cutting/serving.

  9. Can I leave the completed brownies in the refrigerator over night? I have finished baking and topping them but I am eating them tomorrow so can I do this? 

    1. Sure can!

  10. I would recommend using a higher quality chocolate than just Bakers to cover the pretzels.  I found the slightly coated chocolate pretzels overwhelming the taste of the brownie itself at times when you bit into it. So I added some chopped up mini Reese’s peanut butter cups to the pretzel topping which resolved the issue and made the topping look awesome. 

    Thanks a lot for the recipe, Sally.  

  11. Can I use semi sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate for the pretzel part?

    Thank you so much! Can’t wait to make this for thanksgiving!

    1. also how deep should the 7 x11 pan be? Thank you!!!

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