Once upon a time, I woke up thinking, "This is going to be the day that I invent the best brownie recipe ever. It will it be the chewiest and gooiest brownie recipe that the world has ever seen. I can just feel it."
Before I knew it, I was photographing a pile of the best brownies the world had ever seen. My premonitions of success had not let me down. Somehow my random throwing together of ingredients resulted in the chewiest, richest dark chocolate brownies I had ever made. Then some gooey, salted caramel had found its way on top. Then the pretzels. It was a sweet and salty miracle. The perfect marriage of crunchy and gooey.
"So, how are they?" I asked my sister as she crouched Gollum-ishly in a corner over the pan of brownies. She turned around, strings of caramel hanging from her chin. She looked like she was going to say something, but couldn't find the words.
I don't know how many brownies she ate that day.
There must have been a few left though, because later on more siblings came up to me and said, "You've done it."
To which I replied, "I told you this was the day."
I got to work today, got the pictures all uploaded and sat down to write this post. I got up the document I thought I had written the recipe down on... the recipe was not there.
I started sending my sister a million texts at home, freaking out that the best brownie recipe was lost forever.
"I think I might sort of remember it," I said, "Do you feel like testing it out right now?"
She agreed. So I texted her the recipe as well as I could remember it.
"I don't know," she said an hour later, "They look good, but I don't think they're the same. They're much different."
My panic attack started afresh. I redoubled my efforts to find the lost recipe among my disorganized folders and documents. Finally I found it. I texted my sister.
"Okay, this recipe is exactly what I told you from my memory! What do you you mean they're not the same??"
A few minutes later she texted me, "Mmmm.... they get better with age. You're good."
I would say that I hope all that drama was worth it, but I know it it was. Enjoy.
- Dark Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Brownies
- For the Brownies:
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup chocolate chips (I used these chocolate chips)
- 1 batch of caramel (recipe below)
- A few handfuls of pretzels.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease an 8x8 inch square pan (I lined mine with parchment paper so that I could lift them out easily, but you don't have to).
- Combine the sugars and butter and cook in the microwave until the butter is melted. Allow to cool slightly. Add the eggs and vanilla.
- Combine the cocoa, flour, salt, and soda and add to the butter mixture, mixing until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.
- For the Caramel:
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn syrup
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Combine the sugar and corn syrup and cook over medium heat on the stove, stirring occasionally. It will melt, then become honey colored and from there you'll have to watch very closely as it turns from a golden honey color to an ambery caramel color. As soon as it's caramel colored, add the butter and stir until bubbling subsides. Add the cream and stir until well combined and bubbling subsides. Add the salt and vanilla. Set aside to cool.
- Once the caramel has cooled long enough that it's thick, but still pourable, pour it over the brownies. If it cooled to a point where you can't pour it, you can warm it back up until it's pourable again.
- Top with pretzels and sprinkle on some sea salt if desired.
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