Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nutella Pretzel Brownies

by Darla

I think you guys have gotten to know me pretty well over the last couple of years, but there are some things about me that I haven’t shared that I thought you should know. First, though, you know I love the Hubster and the kiddo and our little Lokmeister like there’s no tomorrow. I love to bake. And cook. Obvs. I love DIY projects, crafts, and sewing.

You know that for every girly-girl, glam thing that I love, I have an equal and opposite geektastic obsession (sure, I own a bazillion frilly dresses and more nail polish than I know what to do with, but I also watch reruns of Battlestar Galactica while I craft a new Harry Potter shirt for myself). One of my favorite things to do is to combine those two sides of myself to create happy girl-geek joy, like my glittery TARDIS phone case.

I’m utterly petrified by spiders, and if you think you have an idea of how much they scare me, multiply it by 100 and you have the tip of the iceberg.

I’m certain that there will be a zombie apocalypse, and I spend my spare time preparing for it. And educating myself on vampires. You know, just in case. But not ghosts. Believing in ghosts would just be silly. ;)

Now, what you probably don’t know about me is that, believe it or not, I’m shy. When it comes to meeting new people, I’m not so good at it. If you ever meet me, I may ramble on and on, giving off the perception that I’m a regular social butterfly, but the truth is, my rambling is less of a social reaction, and more of nervous response. Please accept my apologies in advance.

I’m a clutz. I’m not clumsy…like tripping and falling and stuff, but my elbows tend to hurt the ones I love, and I regularly singe the ends of my hair in various ways.

Like last night. I was cooking dinner, and I leaned over to grab the salt grinder, and totally singed a good inch off of the end of my hair. Admittedly, I have a few things working against me here: I’m short. I have very long hair. I cook on a gas stove. But the fact of the matter is, I feel like I’m cooking in Julia Childs kitchen. All of the countertops and the stove are a good few inches higher than in an average kitchen. I told my friend that I would have to start cooking with my hair in a ponytail at all times, to keep from setting my head on fire, and she said, “Or you could wear some tall, sexy high heels.” Frankly, I like her idea better. Plus, it has the added benefit of making the rest of the kitchen normal height for me.

One good thing about my giant person’s kitchen? It’s easy to see when my brownies are ready to come out of the oven.

Now, today, me and my dangerous elbows are off to our first class of Zumba. Wish us luck. Just don’t tell the instructor that I hid one of these brownies in my bag.

What? I’m working out, aren’t I? I deserve a treat.

One of my very favorite snacks is pretzels dipped in yummy nutella. I tell myself it’s healthy. Don’t tell me it’s not…I need my little illusions.

One day, while munching away at a particularly good nutella covered pretzel, I was struck with inspiration… How delicious would these two simple ingredients be if I added them to brownies?!

I know.

For the crust of these brownies, I used the pecan crust from my German chocolate brownies as a guide. I just replaced the pecans with pretzels (I prefer Butter Snaps, because they add a bit more savory flavor than just plain pretzels), kept the butter and brown sugar, and followed the same directions.

Once everything is mixed up, just press the pretzel mixture firmly into a lightly greased pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are golden and the crust feels firm.

I used my favorite brownie recipe, which only consists of all-purpose flour, sugar, unsalted butter, eggs, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and vanilla extract, then I added some Nutella Hazelnut Spread. Easy peasy.

Once the brownies were done, I let them cool for about 45 minutes, then I frosted them with plenty of nutella, and used more pretzels for decorating. I like frosting them while they’re still a little warm, because it melts the nutella slightly, making it easier to spread.

This is one of those recipes that I knew I was going to love from the very beginning. It has three of my favorite things: brownies, nutella, and pretzels. There’s no way it can go wrong!

I love the way the addition of the nutella to the brownies gives them an even fudgier yumminess, and the sweet and salty combo is as good as ever. These are easy to make, and super easy to eat. If you need a unique, delicious snack to share, you can’t go wrong with this one. Enjoy!

Nutella Pretzel Brownies [Printable Version]
Makes 1 8×8-inch batch

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST
1 1/2 cups pretzels
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FOR THE BROWNIES
1/2 cup (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (64 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup nutella hazelnut spread

More Nutella spread for frosting the brownies
Extra pretzels for garnishing

To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Place the pretzels in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until broken up into tiny pieces. Add the sugar and pulse until combined, then pour in the butter. Continue pulsing until combined.

Press the pretzel mixture firmly into the prepared pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are golden and the crust feels firm.

While the crust is baking, make the brownies: In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sugar until combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and Nutella.

Whisk in the dry ingredients until combined and pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow brownies to cool for at least 45 minutes before frosting with nutella spread and garnishing with pretzels.

Recipe by Darla

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Caroline @ chocolate & carrots April 18, 2012 at 9:36 am

You totally deserve a treat. These look perfect! :D

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2 Jill April 18, 2012 at 9:37 am

You’re killing me here! I want to be good, and eat less sugar, and now I really, really need to run to the store to get Nutella and pretzels to make these beauties. Thanks! ;)

They look fabulous by the way!

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3 Laure April 18, 2012 at 9:41 am

I totally believe you when you say you’re shy. I’m very shy and noone would believe me… Your brownies look great as usual. Not that I would not eat anything involving Nutella .. About Zumba, well that’s what exercice and eating ” healthy” is all about eating eating more sweets .. Right ? Tell me I’m not the only obe thinking that ….

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4 Anne the Sconess April 18, 2012 at 9:48 am

Oh, those look like the devil! If so, I see a sin coming on… How horrible would it be to add a layer of caramel between the crust and the brownies? Or maybe swirled in the brownies???
Oh no, I’m drooling on my computer again. Can’t wait to try them. AND I CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR HOW ZUMBA WENT! ;oD

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5 shelly (cookies and cups) April 18, 2012 at 9:51 am

Pretzel crusts are the best thing ever. everrrrrr!

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6 Tamara Jones April 18, 2012 at 10:20 am

I can’t believe how good these look. I was just thinking yesterday that I needed to find a new flavor combination to try, and this might be it! Even my hubby, who doesn’t really like pretzels, is interested in trying these, so I guess I better put nutella and pretzels on the shopping list!

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7 Karyn - Pint Sized Baker April 18, 2012 at 10:32 am

Wow!! Yum, yum, yum! Those look so good!

In the split picture above, it looks like you added the pretzels to the brownie batter. I had to re-read to verify that they were not, in fact, baked with the brownies. If I were to bake them do you think the brownies would puff up and cover them and then I could add the Nutella spread and more pretzels? Or would that just be over the top?

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8 Micupoftea April 18, 2012 at 10:52 am

A ‘whovian’ and a chocolate lover? You go, girl!

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9 christina @ ovenadventures April 18, 2012 at 10:58 am

these sound AWESOME!!!!!! i’ve never thought about nutella and pretzels but now i can’t stop.

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10 Blog is the New Black April 18, 2012 at 10:59 am

I love you and hate you at the same time. DELISH!

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11 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 18, 2012 at 11:40 am

These seriously rock my world. I love pretzels with chocolate!

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12 Kathia April 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Ohh Nutella , brownies and pretzels, sounds like the perfect treat before going to the class. I am printing the recipe, would love to make them.

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13 Stephanie April 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Oh my god, I am such a sucker for anything that is both sweet and salty. These look crazy decadent and delicious!

I am also afraid of spiders. And I’m shy in a lot of situations. I used to be too shy to talk to my land lady that lived above me (I rented out the first floor of the house and they lived upstairs) but when I found the BIGGEST SPIDER EVER I literally forgot about being shy and ran straight to her door all like “Hi, how’s it going? help! help! help!” and she killed it for me. The dangers of living alone = nobody to kill your spiders.

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14 Kim April 18, 2012 at 5:10 pm

That’s so funny. I posted Sweet & Salty Nutella Brownies for world Nutella day. Great minds, eh?

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15 Nicole {Sweet Peony} April 18, 2012 at 7:06 pm

OMG these look perfect! I am so in love with the sweet/salty combo… and chocolate covered pretzels are my fav! Yummm! :)

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16 Emily ~So Domesticated~ April 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Nutella… in brownies… um, yeah… you had me at Nutella. Yum!

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17 bttrflybabydoll April 18, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Oh I can’t wait to get my kitchen in order!!! You’re killing me! Yum Darla!

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18 Cookbook Queen April 19, 2012 at 6:34 am

Best dang idea ever. I need these in my life!!

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19 Tracy April 19, 2012 at 9:29 am

Pure genius!

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20 Eliza James April 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm

My stomach is growling!
My mouth is drooling!
My taste buds are craving!
These look to good. =)

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21 Bryt April 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I’ve just come across your blog and I’m having a blast going through it! Work might not think that this is the most effective use of my time *ehem*, but I’m loving all the ideas you come up with. That sparkling spiced apple cider, or the cinnamon chocolate ice cream? Delish. Can’t wait to see what else you come up with :)

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22 Tina April 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm

The Bean would love these!

He loves brownies, he loves nutella, he loves pretzels. SKORE.

I don’t like Nutella. Yeah, I know I’m weird.

I’m dealing with that fact :)

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23 Sugargirl April 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm

How have I lived this long without dipping pretzels in nutella?!?!? These brownies are amazing! I have already made them twice…since yesterday! And they will be perfect for girls night penny poker!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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24 Lizy b April 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm

You deserve some sort of nutella crown for this…..seriously.

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25 Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes April 21, 2012 at 12:08 pm

I’m shy too! One of the reasons I started my blog is to help me overcome my shyness. I’m also a huge klutzface. And for some reason my klutzface episodes always occur in front of huge crowds of people, which is when I reach for something like a Nutella Pretzel Brownie. I’m just starting to get into the whole sweet/salty thing and these prompted some serious drool action. I especially like that there’s a lovely crust. Awesome brownies, Darla!

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26 Darnell Malek April 24, 2012 at 5:18 am

Really appreciate you sharing this blog post. Awesome.

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27 Amanda April 28, 2012 at 10:36 am

I made these this week and they were phenomenal! I love the sweet and salty combo, and of course Nutella makes everything taste better. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

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28 Ali @ Gimme Some Oven May 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Oh my goodness — these look SO yummy! And a girl can never have too much nail polish. ;)

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29 Averie @ Averie Cooks May 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Just saw these on FG. They look soooo good!

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30 Jenny W May 8, 2012 at 6:14 am

I stumbled upon your site and I’m so glad I
did. Your postings are amazing, but the Nutella
Pretzel brownie recipe now that’s simply genius.
I bake a Nutella cookie recipe with hazelnuts that
now needs to include pretzels. Thanks for the inspiration.

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31 LP @dishclips May 8, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Looks like the perfect combination of sweet and salty.

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32 Melissa Goebel May 17, 2012 at 11:14 am

Let me just start by saying that you are HILARIOUS!!! I just found your website and love it! Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes!

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33 Jocelyn July 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm

The printable version says 1 1/2 cups and this version says “1/2 cups pretzels”. Which should I do?

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34 Darla July 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Sorry about the typo. It’s 1 1/2 cups.

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35 Yii-Huei January 29, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I just made these, and they are sensational! I love the sweet and salty combination, and the pretzel crust is out of this world.

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36 Valerie February 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I made these brownies this weekend for my daughter who loves nutella and pretzels and they were a huge hit! Very decadent and rich too. Will definitely be making these again! :)

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37 Milena May 2, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Is 1.5 cups after grounded or before being grounded? Thanks!!

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38 Darla May 29, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I believe you’re talking about the pretzels? It’s 1 1/2 cups of whole pretzels. As a rule of thumb, you should measure whole ingredients, unless specified in the ingredient list (i.e. “1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels” would be measured after they’ve been crushed). :)

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39 Rae February 7, 2014 at 12:58 am

Never have I felt understood until you described me before you posed this recipe. I know I’m a year late. I just had to say this. Tears welled up in my eyes. they didn’t fall, but i felt that stinging sensation when the tears are letting you know they are ready to come out. kind of like a tear knock. I will stop now.

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40 Rae February 7, 2014 at 1:00 am

only im not short though. now im done

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