Friday, April 19, 2013

Nutella Pretzel Brownies

Whenever I buy a bag or pretzels, I inevitably forget about them and most of the bag goes stale. I just don’t know what it is about pretzels that I love them when I first eat them but then I get tired of them! The solution is to think of recipes that use up pretzels, and I found these and knew they would be perfect. I love anything with Nutella, and mixed with pretzels in a brownie seemed like a great idea.

I doubled this recipe, baking it in a 9” x 13” pan, but the recipe as written here is for the smaller pan. These are quite rich and a little goes a long way, so unless you are taking them somewhere that there are lots of people, you’d probably want to stick with the smaller pan. The only thing that was different in changing the pan was that the brownies took a lot longer to bake. I think I baked mine for 35 minutes or so, and they were still perfectly fudgy inside.

Spreading the brownie batter on the pretzel crust has to be done carefully, or you will tear up the delicate crust. It’s really a thin crust! Top the brownies with as little or much Nutella as you’d like, but if the Nutella is really thick the brownies will be messy to cut. I topped my brownies with whole pretzels, or you could break them into large pieces. I had to cut the brownies around the pretzels, as it was too hard to cut through the pretzels. These are a bit on the messy side with the Nutella topping, but it just makes these a little better. You don’t want to miss these!

Nutella Pretzel Brownies
1/2 cup pretzels
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup Nutella
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Additional Nutella, for finishing
Additional pretzels, for finishing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil and spray the foil with cooking spray.

Place the pretzels in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the pretzels are in small pieces. Add the brown sugar and process until combined. Add the melted butter and process until the mixture comes together. Press into the prepared pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are golden and the crust is firm.

While the crust is baking, make the brownies. In a large mixer bowl beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until combined. Add the Nutella and stir until smooth. In a small bowl combine the cocoa powder, flour, and salt. With the mixer running on low, add the cocoa/flour mixture. Mix just until combined.

Carefully spread the brownie batter on top of the pretzel crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool completely.

To finish the brownies, warm the Nutella in the microwave to make it easier to spread. Frost the top of the brownies with the Nutella. Top decoratively with pretzels. Cut into squares.

Recipe from Chef in Training

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