Peanut Butter Fudge Pretzel Brownies

So, I baked over the weekend and it was glorious! I made brownies. Normally making brownies for me is a trip down the supermarket “cake mix” aisle, grabbing Betty Crocker’s box of premixed goodness and off we go. But this weekend I decided to make them from scratch, following a recipe I saw on this amazing site, how sweet it is.

They turned out gorgeous, even though I forgot the powdered sugar for the icing and just used plain peanut butter. So I guess you’re probably wondering what the recipe is so you can recreate these lovelies in your own home – behold!

Peanut Butter Fudge Pretzel Brownies

pretzel crust from heathers dish, brownies from my red velvet brownies

makes about 12 bars

Pretzel Base

1 3/4 cups crushed pretzel pieces

6 tablespoons butter, melted

Brownies

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

2/3 cups chocolate chips (optional)

Peanut butter topping

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

1/3 powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8×8 baking dish and set aside.

Combine melted butter and pretzel crumbs in a bowl until moistened (I just whizzed my pretzels in the blender with some butter to make finer crumbs – easier to pack down!). With the back of a spoon, press pretzels into the 8×8 pan making a crust. If pretzels seem loose, drizzle some additional melted butter over top and hit with a quick shot of non-stick spray.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. With the mixer on medium speed, add in cocoa, flour and salt, mixing until combined – about 2 to 3 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips. Using a spatula sprayed with non-stick spray, evenly spread brownies on top of pretzel crust. Set pan on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until brownies are baked through.

When brownies have about 3 minutes left baking, melt peanut butter (I melted mine in the microwave in 30 second increments then stirring) in a bowl. Once melted, stir in 1/3 cup powdered sugar and mix until no lumps remain. Pour over warm brownies and spread evenly. Refrigerate brownies for 1-2 hours, then cut into bars and serve.

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