Pretzel Crusted Brownies

Go Bold With Butter

There are few recipes in my repertoire that I am constantly seeking to conquer like the brownie. It’s a recipe that has so many incarnations, and favorite consistencies. From cakey, to fudgey, with nuts, without, to loading in flavorings like mint, coconut, M&M’s or just keep it simple and classic.

There isn’t a whole lot of variation in a good brownie recipe. You may find recipes with the same amount of the same types of ingredients, but what sets a delicious brownie apart from the rest is the freshness and quality of the sum of its parts.

In addition to using quality ingredients, I always crave an extra crunch to offset my favorite brownie’s fudgy flavor. For this recipe that comes in the form of a pretzel crust to augment the chocolaty flavor and deliver a completely craveable crunch.

Pretzel Crusted Brownies
Makes 16 brownies


2 1/2 cups salted pretzels
4 tablespoons plus 2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 eggs at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 9×9-inch square pan tightly with tin foil so that foil hangs over edges of pan and grease well with butter.

Place pretzels in a freezer bag and break into small crumbs with a meat tenderizer. Put crumbs in a small bowl and add 4 tablespoons of sugar. Melt 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter in a microwave safe bowl on high for 30 seconds, stir and repeat, and drizzle over pretzels and sugar. Mix to combine and form into a crust on the bottom of the brownie pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and cool.

Raise oven temperature to 400°F.

In a microwave safe bowl melt remaining butter and bittersweet chocolate for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat 2 more times or until mixture is melted. Stir in espresso powder, vanilla and kosher salt.

Pour sugar into a large bowl and add chocolate mixture to it, stirring well to combine. Mixture will be thick. Whisk eggs one at a time and add to chocolate and sugar mixture, beating mixture with a whisk in between each addition of egg. After fourth egg the mixture should be shiny. Sift in flour and baking powder and fold into chocolate. Do not overmix.

Pour over the pretzel crust and spread evenly. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until top crusts and has a few cracks in it. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 30 minutes. Holding edges of foil, pull brownies from pan and cool completely for several hours or overnight for brownies to set up. Cut into squares and serve.

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Use softened butter for cookies and cakes.

Bringing butter to room temperature helps it incorporate better with other ingredients.

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