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5 from 1 vote

Ultra-Chocolatey Brownies with a Pretzel Crust and Salted Caramel Drizzle

Fudgy, ultra-chocolatey brownies kicked up with a salty pretzel crust and caramel drizzle.
Prep Time35 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Author: Emily Clifton - Nerds with Knives


For Pretzel crust:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups mini salted pretzel twists 1 cup crushed, 100g
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick, melted

For brownies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder Dutch, if possible
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

For topping (optional, but oh so much fun)

  • 12-16 small mini pretzels twists if desired
  • 2-3 oz semi or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 12 soft caramel candies
  • Flaky sea salt


  • Preparation: Line a 9x13x2 pan with parchment. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  • Make pretzel crust:
  • In the bowl of a food processor add pretzels, pulse a few times until moderately fine crumbs form (a few larger pieces are fine). Add flour, brown sugar, and baking soda. Pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse again until mixture looks like wet sand. Tip mixture into the bottom of the parchment- lined baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • Make brownies
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) beat the melted butter, sugar, espresso powder and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly blended.
  • In a medium bowl add flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk until no lumps of coca power remain. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour/cocoa powder mixture into the butter/egg mixture until blended. Don’t over mix. Stir in the chocolate morsels. Spread the batter evenly over the pretzel crust.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until top is crackly and an inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean (some batter n the bottom is fine). Remove, and set pan on a wire rack. Cool pan fully before cutting and drizzling toppings.
  • Make and drizzle topping: Note: Make sure brownies are fully cool before topping.
  • Cut brownies and lay them close together on a sheet of parchment or foil.
  • In a small glass bowl, add caramel candies. Place bowl in microwave set on half power setting, Heat in 10-15 second bursts, stirring between each one until candy is fully melted. Dip a spoon in and drizzle all over brownies. Working quickly while caramel is hot, gently press pretzels into caramel, one for each brownie.
  • In a separate bowl, repeat process with chocolate chips. Drizzle melted chocolate over brownies (of drizzling with the spoon doesn’t work, add melted chocolate to a zip top bag and snip one corner off). Sprinkle with just a little flaky sea salt and serve.
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