Thursday, May 1, 2014

Nutella & Salted Pretzel Brownie Bars

I've decided to call these guys brownie bars, you know, kind of like a cookie bar, because they are really so much more than just brownies. We start off with a sweet and salty pretzel crust, which lays the ground work for a Nutella infused brownie, frosted with even more Nutella and finally topped with chopped pretzels for a little something extra.

These brownie bars are sure to kick your next sweet & salty craving, in one fell swoop!

To make about 10 bars (or 20 small squares) (enough to feed roughly 4 people in my house - but 8-10 people in a normal house), you are going to need the following:

For the crust:
3/4 cup crushed pretzels
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 tbsp salted butter

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup Nutella
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup Nutella, to frost the top
1/2 cup chopped pretzels, for decoration

Start off by pre-heating the oven to 350F degrees. Toss all your ingredients for the crust into a food processor and pulse until fully combined. You want the pretzels to be crushed.

In a glass or non-stick 8x8 baking dish, line the bottom with the crushed pretzel mixture. Bake for 15 minutes, just until golden brown and set.

While the crust is in the oven, start on the brownie batter. First, whip together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add in your eggs (one at a time, of course) then the vanilla extract. Once that is all fully combined, drop in the Nutella. Make sure everything is incorporated and there are no brown or white streaks.

In a small, separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. In 3 batches, add to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. As always, be careful not to overmix as we want smooth, fudgy brownies.

Once the batter is good to go, pour it over the already baked crust and back in the oven it goes, for about 35-40 minutes. The top of the brownie should be set and a toothpick inserted should come out clean. 

Remove from the oven and let rest until completely cooled. Remove from the baking dish and set on a flat surface (I used a cutting board). Frost the top with Nutella and sprinkle with your chopped pretzels. Cut into small squares or rectangular bars and you are ready to enjoy! These are very rich, so all you need is a small taste to satisfy your sweet (and sometimes salty) tooth.


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