If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, then you know about my extreme love of brownies.
I love brownies.
They are the one thing that always brings me pleasure and never disappoints.
They do not mock me if it is that “special” time of the month and I NEED more than one to tame the savage beast.
In fact, they beckon me to them to help me during that “special” time.
They TOTALLY understand if I need to eat one for breakfast with a glass of milk and one after dinner with a glass of wine.
They are just cool like that.
They “get” me.
And I get them.
It’s truly a match made in Heaven.
So this past month when my “special” friend arrived…the brownies came a knockin’.
But this time they came with a twist.
The brought along with them a salty friend.
Man how I love this whole salty/sweet twist on things lately, don’t you?
It totally floats my boat!
It puts the wind in my sail…makes my skirt fly up…it’s the Yen to my Yang…
You get the picture.
But pretzels didn’t seem to be enough for this girl.
I needed some peanut butter too.
And thus they were born…
The pretzel crusted reese’s peanut butter cup brownie bars.
Pretzel Crusted Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bars
- 2 cups crushed pretzels
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder – I used Starbucks Via packets in Café Verona
- 1 tablespoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli cuz its the best EVER)
- 1 (8 oz) bag Reese's minis
Preheat oven to 350°
For the Crust
Combine crushed pretzels, 1/2 cup melted butter and 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl. Press mixture firmly into the bottom and up sides of a 9” x 13” pan.
Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven.
While crust is baking make the brownie filling.
For the Brownies
Beat the eggs with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla until smooth.
In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Continue to heat (or microwave) briefly, just until the mixture is hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the mixture to this point will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
Add the hot butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth.
Add the flour again stirring until smooth. Note: If you want the chips and Reese’s to remain intact in the baked brownies, rather than melting in, let the batter cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes before stirring them in.
Lightly grease the edges of the pan then spread the batter evenly over the pretzel crust.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked.
Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.
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