Peanut Butter Caramel Pretzel Brownies

Adapted from: Two Sugar Bugs

Yield: 16-ish brownies, depending on how you cut ‘em

Ingredients

Brownie Layer:

  • Renewal Mill Upcycled Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix
  • 6 Tbsp (85g) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup (170g) hot water

Pretzel & Caramel* Layer:

  • 1 cup (198g) granulated sugar
  • 5 Tbsp (71g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup (114g) heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 heaping cup (60g) mini pretzels**

Peanut Butter Layer:

  • ¾ cup (200g) creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 full sheet graham crackers, crushed into fine crumbs
  • ½ cup (57g) confectioners’ sugar

*Homemade caramel is awesome, but if you want an even quicker dessert, you can use a good premade caramel, such as Postre Caramels sea salt caramel sauce or Fat Toad Farm goat milk caramel. You’ll need about 1 cup of caramel.

**We used Snyder’s Pretzel Snaps since their checkerboard shape provides easy, even pretzel coverage. Feel free to use mini pretzel twists or rods; just break ‘em up first.

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8" x 8" metal baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Let’s start with the brownie layer! In a large bowl, pour entire bag of Renewal Mill Upcycled Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix. Add melted butter and hot water, stirring until thoroughly combined, then mix for an additional minute.
  3. Spread brownie batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
  4. Bake for 40–45 minutes.
  5. Place pan on wire rack and allow to cool completely before adding other layers.
  6. Next up is the pretzel & caramel layer! Pour sugar into a medium saucepan and, over medium heat, stir constantly with a wooden spoon. The sugar will clump together as it starts to melt, and then it’ll turn into an amber liquid after about 8–10 minutes.
  7. Once the sugar has melted, add butter, whisking to incorporate.
    NOTE: Adding the butter (and the cream in the next step) will cause the mixture to bubble up quickly, so keep a close eye and be careful.
  8. After sugar and butter are fully combined, slowly pour in the heavy cream, whisking constantly. Allow mixture to boil for about a minute.
  9. Remove caramel from heat. Mix in vanilla and salt.
  10. Pour caramel into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool and thicken slightly, roughly 30 minutes.
  11. Pour half of caramel evenly over cooled brownie layer. Press pretzels into caramel, then pour remaining caramel on top.
  12. Place pan in fridge to allow caramel layer to firm up.
  13. Once the caramel is firm, it’s time for the peanut butter layer! In a medium bowl, stir together peanut butter and melted butter until well mixed.
  14. Add graham cracker crumbs and confectioners’ sugar, mixing until fully incorporated.
  15. Plop blobs of peanut butter mixture atop the caramel, smoothing top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. (We used a cookie scoop to easily get even blobs.)
  16. Place pan back in fridge until peanut butter layer is set.
  17. Remove from pan by pulling up on the parchment paper. With a sharp knife, cut into 16 pieces.
    NOTE: These brownies are delicious straight from the fridge, but we found them to be even yummier when they’re at room temperature and the caramel is a little softer. 

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