Sometimes managing a blog can be difficult.
I mean, aside from all the time spent shopping, prepping, cooking, photographing, and planning… all of that aside, the hardest thing by far is writing. Sometimes I just want to put up a picture and then put the recipe below and be done with it.
Writers block. It’s real, yo.
And it’s serious.
Sometimes I could talk about brownies for days (and sometimes I do)… and then other times, like today, I’m all like, “How much can you really say about brownies?”
Hi, I made brownies. Here is a picture to prove I made them. Here is another picture in case you’re still not convinced. And here is a recipe for said brownies. Yup. Looks like brownies.
>Brownies, brownies, brownies.
Then, a magical thing happened.
I realized I didn’t need to spend hours thinking about the brownies or how awesome their pretzelly crust was and how chewy and chocolatey they were and how delightful the little bits of caramel were or even how well the crunchy/salty pretzels accented them.
I didn’t have to ponder synonyms for “moist” (ew, right?) or different ways to describe the flavor of chocolate… in fact, I didn’t have to do any of that at all.
I could, instead, talk about something completely different. Like fortune cookies. And how FH solidified for sure in his mind that we were meant to be (which is good, considering I’m wearing his ring on my finger and all. You think maybe he should have figured that out beforehand?)
Now you might be wondering what fortune cookies have to do with love, but let me get there.
FH and I tried a new Chinese joint last weekend. It was Saturday and I didn’t want to get out of my pajamas but FH wanted Chinese food, it was just our luck that someone left a menu on our doorstep for a new Chinese restaurant. I glanced through to see if they delivered (a lot of places don’t deliver when you live in the burbs – it’s the worst).
Luckily for us we were within their delivery area so we ordered it up and put a movie on – lucky for me O Brother Where Art Thou (which I recommend watching if you haven’t seen it yet) was playing on the movie channel so I got to watch my boy George while I waited for dinner to arrive.
The food came, and it was actually pretty good, which is neither here nor there… because the main star of this story, my friends, is this:
Yeah, you’re eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. That’s two fortune cookies. One wrapper.
“WE WERE MEANT TO BE! OUR FORTUNES CAME TOGETHER!“
To this day we haven’t even OPENED the fortune cookies because FH said it was so rare, “like a unicorn,” and said we should save them in our memory book, which I reminded him would mostly likely result in crushed fortune cookies. So I think that tonight I will force him to crack open the cookies, read our fortunes, and hope it doesn’t say something ominous like, “Everyone dies alone” or “You’re about to make a grave mistake.”
Anyway, here’s the brownie recipe.
They’re good, I promise.
salty caramel pretzel brownies
- 1/2 cup all-purpose
- 1 cup crushed pretzels
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 7 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 (11-oz) package caramel bits; divided into 8 oz and 3 oz
- 3 oz chocolate, melted
- 3 oz caramel bits, melted
- 1 c coarsely-chopped pretzels
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9x13 pan with foil and parchment
For the crust
- Stir together flour, crushed pretzels, and brown sugar. Add melted butter and stir til combined. Press into bottom of lined pan.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until crust is golden brown. Set aside to cool while you make the brownies.
For the brownies
- Combine chocolate, espresso powder, water, and butter in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until butter and chocolate are melted, stirring occasionally.
- Once melted, transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool slightly (if it is too warm, it will cook your eggs when you add them).
- Once cooled to luke-warm, add the sugar and brown sugar, beating with mixer at medium speed until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and continue beating about two minutes more.
- Stir in flour and salt until just combined, then stir in caramel bits, being careful not to over-mix.
- Bake for about 25 minutes until cooked through - a toothpick should come out mostly clean with a few crumbs sticking to it. With brownies, I always err on the side of under-baked vs over-baked.
- Cool in pan for about 10 minutes.
For the topping:
- Crush pretzels and sprinkle over top of the brownies.
- Melt chocolate in microwave or double-boiler until smooth, drizzle over brownies.
- Melt caramel in microwave or double-boiler until smooth, drizzle over brownies.
- Allow brownies to cool completely and for chocolate to harden (you can speed this step up by placing brownies in the fridge).
- Once cooled, slice into bars and serve.