Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies

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I think I’m on to something.

Remember how annoying it was when I didn’t get the recipe right on the Buffalo Chicken Spiral? Well, this recipe has a similar love story…

I went to make the original recipe, and upon reading the comments listed below, I realized a LOT of people weren’t it’s biggest fans. Was it the fact it was a box mix? I know how scandalous that can be…

I decided to chance all the callings for help to NOT take the plunge and make the original recipe, but I figured, eh, what’s the worst to happen? EVERYTHING.

Just as suspected… The other 300+ comments on the recipe warned about the pretzels becoming soggy and stale, and I rode my high horse straight into a porcelain-throne filled with inedible brownies. WHAT SHOULD I DO!?

Initially, I was terribly upset because I was looking forward to actually eating them. But, I decided to get out from the dumps and get back on the saddle. I went back to my handy-dandy-Publix and grabbed some more supplies. This time, before I went back to make it, I went through the comments to find anything, just the slightest tip from a reader on how make these things edible. I was determined, dang it!

Pbozkurt wrote:

“Here is a TIP: Cook the brownies just like the package requires. Allow them to cool just as you would normally, then place the pretzels (one on top of the other to make 2 layers, then cover with a thin layer of chocolate coating (the stuff you use to dip strawberries in). Once there is a hardening layer, place the caramel over it and salt (as instructed above). Voila! Please note: I am not a professional pastry baker or chef, but I know I’ve made these before (several times I might add) and they have always been perfect!”

It was just exactly what I needed to hear right now. I HAVE BEEN SAVED!

I made the brownies according to the box, then I used the suggestions by Pbozkurt to finish the pretzels and caramel. I couldn’t wait to see if this time around it was going to turn out okay. If it didn’t I think I may have pulled all my hair out and let Every. Last. Person. know about it.

Wouldn’t you know, it came out amazing! It tasted just the way it should have: crunchy, salty, sweet, and savory. A love child was born! Pretzels and chocolate. They are definitely a match made in heaven.

Oh yeah, I was on to something:

There is a valuable lesson to learn here from the Buffalo Chicken and from these brownies: Don’t always trust the recipe. Sometimes it’s actually REALLY helpful to look through the comments, to see if others had struggles or suggestions.

When you are in the moment, you don’t really think about the comments section much. Lots of people just skim past them, thinking a lot of people are commenting who “just want to be heard.” But like I said, comments can actually offer a lot of insightful feedback! You can find out if people had the same struggle reproducing the recipe, or if a recipe just only looks good on paper and pictures. Even more, you can find ways to add more “individual pizazz” to a recipe.

What I’m really trying to say is this: don’t take everything at full face value. Read a bit. Learn a bit. Reach out a bit. Sometimes research helps you understand more. You don’t have to apply this only to baking and cooking recipes, but to life in general. Try it, and you may get your way more often!

Now that I got Ghandi out of the way…

{Results}: Epic win for deliciousness. Epic win for life lessons.

*Trust me when I say this, {you can} make this, too.

 

{Salted Pretzel Caramel Brownies}

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Ingredients

  • 1 jar of caramel sauce
  • 2/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 box of 13×9 Fudge brownies {Betty Crocker or Pillsbury}
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 3 cups of pretzels
  • Coarse sea salt, to top

Original Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, or grease with cooking spray.
  2. Prepare brownie batter according to package instructions; using the oil, eggs, and water.
  3. Pour about 1/3 of the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan. Spread until the bottom of the pan is evenly coated. Then add two even layers of pretzels, covering the entire surface. Carefully spoon the remaining brownie batter on top to cover the pretzels.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the brownies comes out clean. Remove and set on a cooling rack to cool.
  5. Spoon the caramel sauce onto the top of the brownies in an even layer. (If it is too thick, spoon the sauce into a small bowl first and microwave for 30 seconds to thin.) Sprinkle the caramel with a few pinches of sea salt.
  6. Serve warm, or let cool to room temperature then serve. Enjoy!

OR TO ACTUALLY ENJOY THE BROWNIES Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, or grease with cooking spray.
  2. Prepare brownie batter according to package instructions; using the oil, eggs, and water.
  3. Pour all the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the brownies comes out clean. Remove and set on a cooling rack to cool.
  4. Take the pretzels and make two layers on top of the cool brownies.
  5. Once completed, take a package of chocolate chips and melt them in a bowl in the microwave in intervals of 30 seconds. Pour over the pretzels to set.
  6. After it’s set, take the jar of caramel sauce and pour it on top of the brownies.
  7. Pop the brownies in the fridge for an hour or so to let them set. Take them out, chop them out, and enjoy!

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Day 2: Pumpkin Brownies

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Next up on the list: Pumpkin Brownies!

I’m going to start out by coming clean. Guys, I’ve {epically failed} you on this recipe… Not in the sense that I didn’t complete the recipe, but I may have cheated just a little in the process of making these brownies. The original baker, whom I took the idea from, did as well. I guess you could say I don’t feel so bad if he did it, too. Heheh. 🙂

Alright, so this “cheating” involved something in a bag, inside a box. Yup! Boxed brownie mix. *Gasp* Here’s my rational behind using the boxed mix: it’s faster, it’s fool proof, and I just really, really, really wanted to eat a brownie faster. 🙂  I skipped the step of having to wait to make the brownie mix by scratch {which the baker and I both agree would have been super fabulous!} I’ve attached the original {from scratch} recipe for you here

About the recipe now: this recipe takes the best of both world—cheesecake and brownies. You marble swirl pumpkin cheesecake yummniess into the dark chocolate gooeness. Powerhouse concoction if I don’t say so myself!

{Result}: Epic Win! {Super cute, too!}

*Trust me when I say this, {you can} make these, too.

{Pumpkin Brownies}

Ingredients {if you don’t make the brownie from scratch}

  • 2 Boxes of brownie mix {I used Hershey’s Double Chocolate Chunk}
    • 2 egg
    • 2/3 cup of vegetable oil
    • 1 cup of water
  • 3 oz. cream cheese {half a pouch}, softened {room temperature}
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, softened {room temperature}
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grab a 13×9 baking pan and line with foil. Grease the foil. {I just put the foil in the pan and sprayed cooking oil}
  2. In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients of the brownie mix. Pour this mixture into the 13×9 baking pan.
  3. In another bowl, beat the cream cheese and the 1 tablespoon butter with mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until well combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
  4. After, beat in the egg, the pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger until combined. Stir in the 1 tablespoon flour.
  5. Spoon pumpkin cream cheese mixture in several mounds on top of the brownie batter. Using a narrow metal spatula {or knife}, gently swirl the cream cheese mixture into the chocolate batter. {If desired, sprinkle with walnuts}
  6. Bake about 60 minutes or until center is just set when pan is gently shaken. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  7. Cut into brownies and enjoy!

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Click {here} for the original {pin}.

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