Salted Pretzel Brownies
Sprinkling flaky sea salt on brownies makes their bittersweet nature pop; it’s the kind of flavor contrast that keeps you coming back for more (as if the brownies themselves weren’t enough). Here, pretzels work in the same way, adding crunch and a toasty character as well. Hiding beneath the brownie batter, a graham cracker and crushed pretzel crust gives the bars a cookielike appeal run through with salted caramel notes. Go ahead and try to eat just one.
- Serves: 16 persons
- ½cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus more for greasing the pan
- 1cup/120 grams graham cracker crumbs (from about 7 graham cracker sheets)
- ½cup/30 grams finely crushed pretzels
- 1egg white
- ½cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 4ounces/115 grams unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped or broken up
- 1 ¼cups/250 grams granulated sugar
- 2large eggs, at room temperature
- ½cup/65 grams all-purpose flour
- 2tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 2teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅓cup/60 grams mini or regular chocolate chips (optional)
- Small whole pretzels, for topping the brownies
Step 1Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-inch square metal baking pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving about 2 inches of excess on each side to help you lift the cooked brownies out of the pan.
Step 2Make the crust: In a food processor, combine butter, graham cracker crumbs, crushed pretzels and egg white. Process until mixture is well blended. Transfer to prepared pan and press crumb mixture into an even layer on the bottom. Bake until deeply browned at the edges, about 14 to 17 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.
Step 3Make the brownies: Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees. Put butter and chocolate into a medium pot and place it over low heat. Melt the mixture, taking care not to let the chocolate burn and stirring constantly with a rubber spatula until smooth. Scrape chocolate mixture into a large bowl and mix in the sugar. Let mixture cool until it’s just warm to the touch, about 5 minutes.
Step 4Whisk eggs into cooled chocolate mixture. Whisk in flour, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt. Mix in chocolate chips, if using.
Step 5Scrape batter into an even layer on top of the crust. Top with pretzels and bake until the top is set and firm to touch, especially in the center, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into 16 squares.