nutella pretzel brownies

If anyone knows how to do it big, it's Costco. Take for example, their six-pack Ghirardelli triple chocolate brownie mix. Within this box lies the potential to unleash the wrath of 96 ooey gooey rich chocolatey brownies. The best part? All you need to do is crack a couple of eggs and give the powdery mix a few stirs.

"Incredible!" I say. "Simply incredible."

This beloved product has been a staple in our pantry for years. It's safe, easy, and tastes homemade. It was my safety net, my go-to birthday brownie, the only brownie mix I trusted.

And then one day, it all changed.

Not really. But I did decide to venture out and made my own brownies from scratch! I found this recipe for Nutella pretzel brownies on Cannella Vita, and had to give it a try with a few adaptations.

The key to giving these brownies a complex flavor is to brown the butter before stirring in other ingredients. This deepens the flavor and adds a nutty undertone! If you've never browned butter before, it's a simple and relatively quick process that just requires a careful watch. You can find instructions on how to brown butter here. This recipe also works fine if you leave out this step and use plain melted butter, but I think it's worth the extra five minutes!

And of course, the best part of these brownies is the pretzel crust. Who thought of that? Genius.


Nutella Pretzel Brownies

For the crust:

1 and 1/2 cups pretzels
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the brownies:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup nutella hazelnut spread
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
More Nutella spread for frosting the brownies
Extra pretzels for garnishing

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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 saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat and stir with a whisk. Keep stirring gently until brown specks appear and there is a nutty aroma. Once butter is browned, 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. Add Nutella and stir until smooth and creamy.

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. Heat up Nutella in the microwave for 15 seconds and spread onto brownies. Garnish with pretzels.

You can make a quick chocolate drizzle using one square of Baker's semi-sweet chocolate and a smidge of butter (I used less than half a tablespoon). Melt them together in the microwave and stir. Put it in a ziploc bag and snip off a corner for drizzling!

Adapted from Bakingdom, as shared by Cannella Vita