Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pretzel- Toffee Chip Brownies

Our good friend Jerry has a chocolate company called Jer's Handmade Chocolates. His company has one of those really great stories about how it was founded, and it sure has been fun seeing his company grow. One of his most popular chocolates is the Pretzo Change-O, a candy that incorporates baked pretzel bits and peanut butter within chocolate. Knowing how tasty those candies are, I decided to try and incorporate salted pretzels into a fudgy brownie recipe: Pretzel- Toffee Chip Brownies.

I've seen Fleur de Sal topped on truffles before, so I knew it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to pair the salty/sweet in a brownie. Toffee bits and pretzel pieces within made for a thick batter. I spread it out evenly in a half-sheet pan and baked it up.

As usual, my experiment went to the teachers and my family. And what did they think? Well, I'd have to say that they liked them very much. I did too. The pretzels did not stay hard and crunchy- nor did they turn into mush. Instead, they held a nice form and added a bit of salt flavor and a slight crunch to the brownie.

With a bag of bittersweet chocolate chips added to the batter just before baking, they definitely turned out to be a very fudgy, chocolatey treat. And they were even better with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

The base of this brownie recipe came from a 2007 San Diego County Fair Cookbook (it was a grand prize winner), but I changed the recipe rather significantly to make it my own. The original recipe called for white chocolate chips, which I'm not always terribly fond of. I think the Ghirardelli folks would have awarded this one the grand prize had I entered. Darn. I could have used that 25 bucks.

This recipe can be found HERE.

49 comments:

Prudy said...

I always wonder if I toasted pretzels if they would get crunchy enough to retain some oomph in baked goods? I've made them in cookies and brownies and I've been disappointed. ONe of these days I'm going to chop them up and toast them in the oven and see what happens.

Bitten Sweets said...

your brownies look incredibly delicious. i've never thought to try baking with pretzels before...makes sense though! ps-i love your blog!

Kirby! said...

OH MAN i LOVE chocolate-covered pretzels, so these look perfect!!

noble pig said...

It's like a Take Five bar in a brownie, I love it.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

How lovely! I love chcolate covered pretzels so I'm sure I would love to have "brownie coveres pretzels", lol! Yummm!

Melanie said...

Clever idea - I love brownies and pretzels so why not combine? Delicious.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Those look totally fantastic, Lori! I love sweet and salty combinations, this is great!

Meg said...

This recipe looks sinful...definitely not going to stop me from trying it!

Jan said...

An unusual combination, but it sounds like they worked well together. Good idea.

Manggy said...

The prize seems a little small for me! I think your brownies are worth more than that ;) They look so fudgy and just knowing that salty, satisfying bite is there makes my mouth water!

Adam said...

You just gave me a killer idea on chocolate and pretzels. They make such a BAM combo, it's impossible to resist.

I love the brownies picks, you can just see the pretzel and toffee all through it...delicious :)

Nina Timm said...

This is wicked,Lori!!! I'd like to try this pretty soon!

Brilynn said...

I love salty/sweet combos, these are right up my alley!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That's an awesome combination! I bet those Brownies taste really good!

Cheers,

Rosa

Grace said...

salty? check.
crunchy? check.
chocolatey? check check.
sweet? check.
these dense, rich buggers look and sounds sensational. kudos to you for coming up with them, and kudos to jer for inspiring them! :)

hot garlic said...

Your right, it sounds kind of different at first, but if you think about it, it really does make sense! I've had lot's of confectionery with pretzels and chocolate and some even have PB too, so why wouldn't this be great! I am amazed at how many things I've tried that are fabulous and the secret ingredient is pretzels. You'd never guess! I'm so curious now I might just have to give it a go!

tara said...

I see someone mentioned Take 5 bars; which were my craving of choice when I was pregnant with my first born. With that in mind, these look perfect to me - the texture seems spot on.

Parker said...

I absolutely love this recipe, why decide between sweet or salty when you can have both!

VeggieGirl said...

Oooh, the Pretzo Change-O candy is definitely a great addition to those brownies - yum!!

Ahh, you should have entered that contest!! You DEFINITELY would have won :0)

Mark Boxshus "Cookie Doctor" said...

Now you've given me another inspiration with this recipe........incorporating peanut butter as well! I'll have to head into my "lab" and start experimenting right away.

Maria said...

Brownies are one of my favorite treats...and you topped them off with more of my favs...pretzels and toffee! They look fantastic!

Deborah said...

Wow - these look delicious. I always love the salty/sweet as well.

Pam said...

Very cool recipe. I've never thought of baking with pretzels before. You can't beat the salty and sweet combination.

Hillary said...

This is a pretty genius flavor combination. It's like turtle brownies but even better. Sounds great!

Julia said...

Yum Yum Yum! I love the idea of anything salty and sweet together. I've made salted pretzels dipped in chocolate and caramel and just today I posted Salted Cashew Butter Fudge cookie bar thingies, but these, these are ingenious! I would have never thought of adding pretzels to brownies! Thank you for such a great post and drool-inducing pictures!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

OMG, I think my brother would worship the ground I walk on if I made these for him. Brownies and pretzels are two of his favorites foods. And these look outrageously good!

HoneyB said...

OH wow, these look awesome. Looks like I have found one of my bar cookies for seminar next Friday!

Sara said...

OH MY...these look and sound amazing! :)

Tarah at Genesis of a Cook said...

These remind me of those Take 5 Chocolate Bars; Which I love!!!

So I must love this, right??!

Paula said...

What a fun recipe! I've seen pretzel crusts before and choc covered pretzels, but I've not seen them "in" something. This would be a hit with the kids ... and my hubby!

Elle said...

You are a genius!!!!

alexandra's kitchen said...

i love the sweet-salty combination. my husband would love these — he loves pretzels and I never buy them for him for whatever reason. I agree — I'm not that fond of white chocolate chips myself. maybe b/c they're especially sweet?

Lisa said...

These look great! Forget about the healthy chocolate mousse :)

Leslie said...

Oh my lord! These seems like such a wonderful combo! Too bad the pretzles didnt stay crunchy..that would be perfect

gkbloodsugar said...

I'd love to know who discovered that Pretzels were better dipped in chocolate.
Fantastic idea.

Sophie said...

This is such an exciting recipe! I'm glad to hear the pretzels didn't turn in to mush, I hate it when that happens during experiments. This was an awesome idea :). Combining chocolate with something a little salty definitely works!

Lori Lynn said...

Great idea. I really like the salty component.

Megan. said...

yum..pretzels, toffee, and chocolate. that's gotta be the best combination!

Jenny said...

You and I think alike, I just made bar cookies with pretzels and nuts in the center that I'm posting soon. They were great. Your brownies look fantastic! Yum!

Anita said...

I love this idea! Sweet and salty and chocolate - yum is indeed the word!

Cakebrain said...

You know I love sweet and salty all in one bite! This is a novel idea...I hadn't thought of putting pretzels in a brownie!

Autryville said...

Just made these and they look fabulous...can't wait to dig in, which brings me to my question. How do I cut them to look as pretty as yours? When I make brownies, I'm always disappointed in how they look once cut and out of the pan. Any pointers??

RecipeGirl said...

Autryville- I like to chill brownies in the fridge really well before I cut into them. When they have a chance to chill and get nice and firm, they are much easier to cut! Good luck and I hope you enjoy them!

sara angel said...

What a great idea! I really wanna try these :)

Patsyk said...

Salty & Sweet are a perfect combination! Yum!

CookiePie said...

Oh. My. GOD!! These sound AMAZING. Must make these.

That Girl said...

This reminds me of those Trader Joes peanut butter filled pretzels, which I am addicted to.

dobetter said...

Looks like a winner. I love the sweet and salty thing you've got going on here.

cook eat FRET said...

yes, the salt makes big diff. next up? bacon crumbled on top...

c'mon... live dangerously...