What could be better than a fudgy brownie with creamy peanut butter frosting, try topping it with salty pretzels! Decadent peanut butter pretzel brownies will be your new favorite. Peanut butter fans, you’ll be in Heaven.
I first made peanut butter pretzel brownies for a friend on his birthday, he loves chocolate and peanut butter so I experimented and came up with this peanut butter brownie recipe with salty pretzels on top. They were a big hit and I have since tweaked the recipe until it’s just the way I like it.
A fudgy rich chocolate brownie on the bottom and a velvety smooth peanut butter frosting that’s not too sweet. For the pretzels, I dipped them in a little chocolate so that you get more chocolate and a salty crunch in each bite. These are different than my regular peanut butter brownies in that there are no peanuts, just silky smooth peanut butter frosting and they’re not covered with a an extra chocolate layer. There’s room enough in my life for two fabulous, very different, peanut butter brownie recipes.
Have you ever made your own chocolate covered pretzels? Seriously it’s so simple, just melt chocolate and add the pretzels and pour them out onto some parchment paper. If you feel like the brownie is enough chocolate, then just add the salty pretzels without dipping them in chocolate. Break them into pieces so that you can cut the brownies, or you could be fancy and put a mini pretzel on the top of each brownie.
Since these have a peanut butter frosting, they’ll get a little messy if you leave them out in the heat, so if you’re thinking of taking them on a picnic, choose a fudgy brownie instead sprinkled with flaky salt, you can never go wrong with a simple brownie.
Why you’re going to love them
- The brownie is super fudgy but not too sweet.
- The peanut butter layer is just sweet enough and a great combination with the dark chocolate brownie.
- Everyone loves a little salt with their chocolate, and pretzels add just the right amount.
- You don’t have to choose between a chocolate or peanut butter dessert.
What you’ll need
- Chocolate – bittersweet for the brownie, which is around 60% to 70% depending on the brand. You only need 3 ounces so choose a good quality like Ghirardelli or Guittard. You’ll also need cocoa powder, not Dutch, just regular unsweetened cocoa. For dipping the pretzels, I used semi-sweet chocolate, but you can use bittersweet.
- Butter – lots of butter for rich fudgy brownies.
- Peanut butter – smooth, not chunky and not all natural, I like Jiff.
- Pretzels – it doesn’t matter what shape because you are going to break them into bits.
- Pantry items – eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla and powdered sugar.
How do you make pretzel brownies
Step 1: Make a fudgy brownie base by melting butter and chocolate and adding cocoa powder and sugar.
Step 2: combine the dry ingredients and gently add to the chocolate and pour into a 9 x 13 inch pan and bake. Then let them cool.
Step 3: Peanut butter frosting for brownies needs to be thick and not too sweet. Using a hand mixer, cream the peanut butter and butter and then add confectioner’s sugar and vanilla.
Once the brownies have cooled add the frosting.
Step 4: Break up the pretzels. Melt about 2 ounces of chocolate in a large bowl and add pretzel pieces stirring until they are coated.
Pour them out onto parchment paper and refrigerate until the chocolate is set. Sprinkle over the frosted brownies and press lightly into the frosting.
FAQ’s and tips
You can use semi-sweet instead of bittersweet. Milk chocolate is a little sweet for everything else going on with these brownies.
If you prefer crunchy, it will work, but I like the smooth texture of the peanut butter layer.
All you have to do is melt some chocolate in a bowl and add the chopped pretzels, stir and pour out onto parchment paper. Easy Peasy.
Take them out of the oven as soon as it starts pulling away from the sides. A toothpick should NOT come out clean.
More PEANUT BUTTER recipes you’ll want to try
- Peanut butter sandwich cookies
- Peppery peanut butter cookies
- Chocolate and peanut butter Rice Krispie treats
- Peanut butter oatmeal cookies
- Tiger butter
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Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies
- 18 tablespoons butter
- 3 ounces dark chocolate chopped
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ cup cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cups peanut butter smooth
- 6 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 2 ounces semi sweet chocolate
- 1 cup pretzels 30 mini pretzels
- BROWNIES: Preheat oven to 325º. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large microwave safe bowl, add the butter and chocolate and cook on 50% power for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 second until the chocolate has melted.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cayenne.
- Whisk the cocoa powder and sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Gently fold in the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Place in prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges just begin to pull away from the sides and the top is set and shiny, a toothpick should not come out clean. Allow too cool before frosting.
- FROSTING: Add peanut butter and softened butter to a bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well blended. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Spread onto cooled brownies.
- PRETZEL TOPPING: Break up the pretzels into small chunks. Melt 2 ounces of chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and add the broken pretzels. Stir to coat and place on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and refrigerate. Once cold, add to the top of the brownies gently pushing them into the frosting.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Make sure the brownies have completely cooled before adding the frosting or it will melt.
- You don’t have to coat the pretzels, you can just crumble up pretzels for a saltier taste.
- Don’t over mix the batter when you add the flour, mix until you no longer see white and stop.
- To avoid dry brownies, take them out once they start to pull away from the edges of the pan, a toothpick should not be clean.
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