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chocolate peanut butter pretzel brownies

My best friend Melissa and I have been friends a loooong time.  We’ve been through middle school, high school, and college together, but unfortunately, the grown up life has gotten in the way and now we live way too far away from each other.   I don’t get to see her nearly as often as I’d like but we haven’t let distance get in the way of our BFF status.  Every time we see each other it’s like only a week has passed and things are just the same as they have always been.  There are countless reasons why I love her, but there are three big ones that stand out.
1. We both like to talk about inappropriate things.  Things like poop and boobs, which I don’t get to talk about with anyone else.
2. We’ve been through a lot together.  Breakups, deaths, fights, you name it.  Having her to lean on has made life one thousand times easier and I could never express how much that has meant to me.
3. We both love food.  A lot.  We both love to bake, cook, and obviously eat and we aren’t afraid to lick our plates clean.  Case in point:
So when Melissa came to visit me in Omaha for her birthday, I wanted to make her something special.  Melissa has always been a Reese’s girl so I knew peanut butter and chocolate were going to be involved.  I stumbled on Joy the Baker’s brownies topped with pretzels and knew I found a winner.  And it definitely was!  The brownies were rich and fudgy with a lighter peanut butter swirl mixed in.  Then topped with pretzels it had the sweet and salty combination that I am crazy about.  The birthday girl gave them two thumbs up!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies
from Joy the Baker

For brownie:
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsley chopped
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, coarsley chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 up all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
coarse sea salt for topping

For peanut butter swirl:
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pretzels, sticks or twists


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease 8×8″ baking dish and line with parchment paper so it overhangs on two sides.

In small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In medium saucepan or double boiler, melt butter, unsweetened chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate, stirring constantly.  Let cool slightly (about 1 minute) and add vanilla extract.  Whisk in the sugar until combined.  Next whisk in eggs one at a time until well combined.  Fold in flour mixture until just combined.  Pour evenly into prepared pan.

To make peanut butter filling, beat together melted butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth.  Pour over top of brownie batter and use butter knife to swirl the two together.

Sprinkle crushed pretzels or arrange pretzel sticks on top of brownie and peanut butter batter and then sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt.  Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.  Let cool for about 30 minutes before digging in.  Cut into squares and enjoy!

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  1. Friendship is on of the most important things in life! Seeing the pictures, we can say your friend love the recipe!
    I saw this pb brownie recipe in Joy of Baker’s blog and wanted to make it for a while. Now, seeing this post, I remmember it and surely will make it soon!