These Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies are sweet and salty and purely delicious! The brownies are very moist and fudgy with rich dark chocolate flavor and swirled with creamy peanut butter. There are salty pretzel twists baked right on top and a rich salted caramel drizzle. You can only imagine how delicious these are! If you have never made caramel before, make sure you watch my video for how to make the most delicious Salted Caramel Sauce.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Fudgy moist chocolate brownies - these brownies are thick with a moist fudgy texture that you won't resist.
- Rich dark chocolate flavor - this recipe is made with 7oz of pure bittersweet dark chocolate for rich chocolate flavor.
- Not too sweet - there isn't a ton of sugar in this recipe and adding a good bit of salt really amps up the taste of chocolate while also balancing the sweetness.
- Shiny top brownies - the method of mixing eggs with sugar helps to ensure these brownies have that perfect shiny crust.
- Salted caramel - caramel flavor comes through these brownies by using brown sugar in the batter and also my homemade salted caramel sauce drizzled on top.
- Pretzel brownies - if you love sweet and salty desserts, then you will certainly enjoy these brownies! Any pretzels will work.
- Peanut butter swirl - yes, there's peanut butter, salted caramel AND pretzels in these brownies. They are outrageous!
- Salted butter - the best brownies that have a chewy fudgy texture are made with butter. Salted butter adds extra richness here. You can use unsalted butter in this recipe, but then add a pinch more salt.
- Dark chocolate - anything between 60 and 70% cocoa solids will work. I prefer Bittersweet Chocolate and these bittersweet chocolate callets are very convenient.
- Egg - 3 whole eggs will provide majority of the structure in these brownies and they are nice and thick.
- Granulated sugar - simple fine white granulated sugar dissolves faster and helps give these brownies a fudgy texture.
- Brown sugar - brown sugar contains molasses which will add a rich complex sweetness that gives the brownies themselves a caramel-like flavor.
- Pure vanilla extract - vanilla is essential to enhance the flavor of the chocolate and is the main flavor in the cheesecake. I like this Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract.
- All purpose flour - regular all purpose flour is perfect to make fudgy brownies. Use unbleached flour which will give you that nice dense texture.
- Salt - salt is important in any baking dessert recipe, but especially here in these brownies! It totally enhances the chocolate and balances the sweetness of the caramel.
- Peanut butter - for this recipe you can use either regular smooth no-stir peanut butter or natural peanut butter. Since it is not mixed right into the batter, either one will work without affecting the final result.
- Pretzels - I use mini pretzel twists because they look really nice and fit so well on top of the brownies in a 9x9-inch pan. You can also use pretzel sticks and line them up across the top.
- Salted caramel - I use my homemade Salted Caramel Sauce to drizzle over the brownies. You can also use your favorite store-bought caramel (but I highly suggest you try making my recipe because once you learn how, you will never turn back!).
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1.) Melt chocolate. Combine chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir constantly until completely melted and smooth. If you are worried about burning the chocolate, then place it in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir frequently until melted. You can also melt it in the microwave in short bursts with frequent stirring so it doesn't burn. Set the chocolate aside, but keep it warm.
- STEP 2.) Beat eggs and sugar. Combine eggs with sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat vigorously by hand with a whisk until thick, pale and fluffy. You can also use an electric hand mixer if you prefer. Mix in vanilla and salt.
- STEP 3.) Combine eggs with chocolate. Add the warm chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and mix it in well.
- STEP 4.) Add dry ingredients. Sprinkle the flour over the batter and fold it in until evenly combined.
- STEP 5.) Spread out the batter. Scrape the batter into your lined baking pan and spread it out evenly.
- STEP 6.) Swirl in the peanut butter. Dollop spoonfuls of peanut butter on top of the brownie batter and swirl it in with a knife.
- STEP 7.) Add pretzels. Place mini pretzels on top of the batter in even rows.
- STEP 8.) Bake! Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist sticky crumbs attached, but not wet batter. Then, let the brownies cool completely in the pan.
- STEP 9.) Drizzle with caramel. Drizzle salted caramel sauce over the cooled brownies, slice and serve!
EXPERT BAKING TIPS
- Keep the chocolate and butter hot. There is no need to cool the chocolate mixture before adding the eggs. In fact, a warm batter will help the sugar dissolve for a nice shiny top.
- Always use room temperature eggs so that they incorporate more evenly and the warmer temperature helps sugar dissolve. TIP: to bring eggs to room temperature quickly, submerge them in warm water for 10 minutes.
- Measure flour accurately. Too much flour leads to a dry brownie.
- Mix the eggs with the sugar first instead of stirring the sugar into the melted chocolate. Sugar cannot dissolve in fat, but it can dissolve in the water within egg whites
- Melt the peanut butter slightly. If it is just a bit melted, it will be smoother and less thick so it will be easier to swirl into the brownie batter without roughing it up too much.
- Watch the baking time. In all my experience, most standard 8-inch pan brownie recipes take between 20 and 25 minutes when baked in a metal pan. Start checking after 20 minutes. A skewer should not come out clean -- it should come out with a few moist sticky bits attached. If it comes out clean it may be over baked, and if it comes out with wet batter then it is still a bit raw.
- Cool completely. For the best texture, it is important that the brownies cool completely.
I use bittersweet chocolate with 70% cocoa solids which makes perfectly chocolaty chewy brownies. You can also use semisweet chocolate, but just note that they will certainly taste sweeter.
This recipe requires melted chocolate. Melted chocolate gives a fudgier texture because of the cocoa butter content that has a higher melting point. If you prefer to make brownies with cocoa powder only, then check out my Better Than Box Brownie Mix recipe which have a chewier texture.
Yes you can! If you'd like to add dark, milk or white chocolate chips, this recipe will still work the same. The brownies will just be sweeter.
Brownies are baked when a skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist sticky crumbs attached - not wet batter, and NOT clean. If the skewer is clean then the brownies are over-baked and if the skewer has wet batter then they are still raw.
It's about dissolved sugar. If you see my Perfect Shiny Crust Brownies recipe, I explain how the shiny top is achieved when sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Whisk the sugar into the eggs first. This will help it dissolve some, and also the bonds between sugar and egg proteins is what creates the thin tissue like crust. To help this along, always use room temperature (not cold) eggs. The warmer temperature helps sugar dissolve. The longer you whip the eggs with the sugar, the thinner and shinier the crust will be.
TIP: to bring eggs to room temperature quickly, submerge them in warm water for 10 minutes.
The number one reason why these would turn out dry is if they are over-baked. Brownies take no more than 25 minutes to cook if baked in a metal 8x8-inch pan. Measure the flour accurately too because too much flour will make them dry.
Brownies keep really well at room temperature as long as they are stored in an airtight container to prevent drying out. If you plan to keep them for more than a couple of days, then store them in the fridge.
If you love brownies, check out these recipes!Triple Chocolate BrowniesFudgy Grain Free BrowniesOlive Oil Brownies with Date Fudge FrostingFudgy Buckeye BrowniesOutrageous Fudgy Chocolate Chip Cheesecake BrowniesThe BEST Small Batch Fudge BrowniesHomemade Cosmic Brownies Recipe!
Give me all the brownies!
Looking for more brownie recipes? Try these:
Baking with caramel...
Do you love baking with caramel? Check out these recipes:
Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies
- 7 oz 200g bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa) coarsely chopped
- ½ cup 113g salted butter
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- ½ cup plus 2 tbsp 125g granulated sugar
- ½ cup 110g packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon 5ml pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup 90g all-purpose flour
- ½ cup 120ml creamy peanut butter, slightly melted and cooled a bit
- 25 mini pretzel twists
- ½ cup 120ml Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch overhang along each side.
- For the brownie batter, combine chocolate and butter in a saucepan over very low heat and stir constantly until melted and smooth, or melt in the microwave at 50% power in short bursts with frequent stirring.
- Combine eggs and both types of sugar in a large bowl and beat on medium-high speed using a hand mixer or whisk by hand for 2 minutes until pale and thick. Mix in vanilla and salt. Mix in the melted chocolate mixture until evenly combined, then fold in the flour so it is evenly incorporated.
- Spread the batter evenly into the lined pan. Dollop teaspoons of peanut butter over the batter and swirl it in with the back of a knife. Place pretzel twists evenly across the surface of the batter. You should be able to neatly arrange 5 rows of 5 pretzels. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is slightly puffed and shiny. Let brownies cool completely.
- Once cooled, drizzle salted caramel sauce over top, slice and serve!