I have gone almost three weeks without baking, that's kind of a record for me. Usually I turn on the oven at least once a week to whip up something sweet and tasty; or at the very least make an ice cream, cocktail, or savory food item. Not this time, July has left me absent from the kitchen up until now. With all birthdays, events, and parties in May and June, I baked several times a week, and had plenty of dishes to save for future posts. Now I've run out of saved posts. When that much baking has occurred I need to take a step back, relax, and let the butter seep out of my blood stream; cool down from the baking burn-out. This time, however, I took too long of a break.
When I have been absent from the kitchen for so long I begin to feel antsy and short tempered. There is no better cure than a mixing bowl and some chocolate - total baking therapy. These brownies were the right entry back into the kitchen as they come together with minimum equipment and use mostly pantry items.
Obviously the brownies weren't just for me and the roommates; expecting three ladies to consume a 9 x 13" pan of brownies is a bit ambitious even for exceptional eaters like ourselves. I made these brownies for my #1 fan Irene and her husband. They have had a disappointing couple of years and they have recently received some excellent news. I wanted provide a treat in celebration and since Irene hasn't been baking much, I knew these would be welcomed into their family!
If you want a fudgy brownie, this is the recipe for you! These brownies are dense, rich, and have a deep chocolate flavor. I doubt they are undercooked since I cooked them for 10 minutes longer than the original recipe, but they have that slightly underdone consistency; perfect for all brownie enthusiasts. The pretzels on top provide a salty crunch to balance out the sweet caramel and chocolate drizzle. My favorite way to eat the leftovers is cold, right out the fridge. I'm not lying when I say these are the best brownies I've eaten in a long time; this maybe my new go-to brownie recipe. Things just got real.
One Year Ago - Crack Pie
Brownies with Pretzels and Caramel Adapted from Cate’s World Kitchen Yield - about 24 pieces, 9x13” pan
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate 1 cup packed brown sugar 1 cup sugar 5 eggs 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups flour 54 mini pretzels 10 ounces prepared caramel sauce 4 ounces semisweet chocolate handful of crushed pretzels
- Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line a 9 x 13” pan with parchment paper. Leave overhang and grease the paper. Set aside.
- Place a large, heat-proof bowl on a pot of simmering water to make a double boiler. Add the unsweetened chocolate and butter to the bowl and stir until melted. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in both sugars. Mix in the eggs one at a time.
- Sprinkle the baking powder, salt, and flour over the mixture. Stir until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place the pretzels on top. I had 9 rows of 5 pretzels.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean.
- Place the pan on a cooling rack, poke small holes between all the pretzels, and then drizzle the caramel sauce over the top.
- Melt the semisweet chocolate in the microwave in 20-second intervals until it is of a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the caramel.
- Sprinkle with crushed pretzels.
- Let cool completely before cutting.