Brownies have always been my favorite treat. Long before I fell in love with soft and chewy cookies, brownies were my first love. The gooey, chocolaty, caramel-y bars that melts in your mouth… oh let me stop here because it makes me want to lick the photo on the screen.
My craving for brownies these past weeks has been overly crazy — I was making a Peppa Pig playlist on YouTube for my little boy but ended up watching how-to-make-brownies videos. I was writing the draft of my other post but later found myself browsing brownie photos of my favorite food blogs. The last time we went out, I was able to resist a single bar from Mrs. Fields (and yes I was about to buy three!). But today my willpower gave in. I made a whole batch, with a bonus of peanut butter cups, caramel and pretzels (oh hello mountain climbers and burpees 😮 ).
The base of this brownie is from Baking Bites’ Salted Caramel Chip Brownies. I like how the recipe used small amount of chocolate considering that I’ll put a lot of add-ons. This recipe is on the “too sweet” side due to caramel, but the peanut butter cups and salty pretzels gave a slight contrast. I also like how the pretzels added crunch to these bars. My husband said they’re like brownies with peanuts. These are gooey and melts easily so always put them in the fridge. They are best eaten when cold and most of all, worth after doing a lethal cardio 😉
See that oozing caramel?
PEANUT BUTTER CUP CARAMEL PRETZEL BROWNIES
Yields 16 square bars. Brownie base adapted from Baking Bites’ Salted Caramel Chip Brownies
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 8×8″ pan with foil.
Melt butter and dark chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute stirring every 30 seconds. Let it cool. Add sugar and cocoa powder to the butter-chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Stir in eggs one at a time. Add salt and vanilla, mix well. Gradually add the flour, whisk slowly until combined (do not overmix). Pour half of the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.
While the brownie crust is baking, melt caramel candies with 3 ounces of heavy cream in the microwave stirring every 20 seconds. Gradually add the remaining heavy cream to thin it out or until the desired consistency is achieved (add more cream if needed). Pour caramel sauce over the brownie crust. Sprinkle chopped peanut butter cups and pretzels then pour the remaining batter. The top may not be covered completely but it’s fine.
Put it back in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top has set or the sides start to pull away from the foil. Check the doneness at 20-minute mark. Toothpick test will not work because of the caramel and chocolates. Let it cool completely.
Refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting into squares. Serve them cold. Enjoy!