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Peanut butter pretzel brownies feature a peanut pretzel chocolate chip crust, and an amazing peanut butter chocolate frosting - you'll be in heaven!
Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies
It’s been a while since I popped in over here, and it’s because we’ve just kicked off our summer vacation with our first Road Trip of the season. If you follow me on instagram, you’ve seen some of our last adventure. Since our boys are older and have so many activities that keep them busy, the window of time we have to travel is very small. Some of our favorite family memories are from our travel adventures, so we like to take them as often as we can. Although the places change, one road trip food stays the same:
Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies
Yes, my road trip peanut butter pretzel brownies recipe features all 3 flavors in one amazing pan! Peanut butter pretzel brownies starts with a delicious crust complete with pretzels, peanuts, and chocolate chips. Add in a middle layer of cakey brownies, followed by an amazing peanut butter chocolate frosting. Yes, they are ooey gooey, so be sure to pack a roll of paper towels! These have been my kiddos favorite dessert for several years, and they beg for them. How the peanut butter pretzel brownies became a mandatory road trip food - well, that’s a funny story!
This post is sponsored by World Market and all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe would be a good fit for my readers. This comes at no added cost to you!
One of our favorite road trip memories is the time we decided to load 3 of the kids up and go camping in Oregon. The thing was, it was Memorial Day weekend and we didn't have a reservation. So there we were, on Friday, driving all through the Pacific Valley, trying to find an open camp site. The first area was a bust, the second one was too, and big shocker -so was the third. At that point, we ended up at the coast. I remember the boys spotting a huge double rainbow out the back of the van and we declared that luck was on our side.
This was the first time we played 20 questions and it is now a family tradition on a road trip. The Newport Beach area was full, and so was the next one. By then it was dark, everyone was grumpy, and we knew. There was just no way. So we turned into a beach area, just north of Lincoln City. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and everyone grumbled.
It was then that I remembered I had baked a sheet of brownies. Suddenly the grumbles stopped and everyone devoured the entire pan of brownies. By then our tummies were full. It was so dark we couldn't see the ocean, so we just sat outside on the picnic table and listened to the waves. It was incredibly peaceful and we snuck in some cuddles with the boys. We laughed that sometimes things don't turn out, but brownies make everything better.
We then drove over an hour home and went camping 2 weeks later. My older boys still remember the adventure. Now, I always make a sheet of brownies before a trip to make us laugh. What that trip taught us - is sometimes you do have to just roll with the punches. Sometimes trips don’t turn out just how we imagined, but as long as we are enjoying our adventure and have a good attitude, wonderful things seem to pop up!
Getting a family ready for a road trip is no easy feat, and I’ve discussed it before HERE. My biggest tip is “Bring the food caddy!”. I may have regretted lugging extra clothes around, but I’ve never regretted bringing extra snacks!
I love letting my kiddos go to World Market to pick out the candy and snacks they want to bring along. They never pick the same things! We’ve been lucky and have had a World Market in every town we have lived in. Do you have one? Find out here!
Since we just hit the West Coast, we picked some that are from the area! Kettle Chips are from Salem, Oregon, Ghirardelli Chocolate can be found in San Francisco, and the Jelly Belly factory was right down the road from Fairfield, CA, so my kiddos got to see it! Since I’m gluten free, I usually grab at least one bag of cookies to get my sweets in too!
We implement strict rules on how much screen time the kiddos get on a trip (hint, it’s VERY little!). To pass the time, they like to compete with Road Trip Bingo. We *might* all get very competitive when it comes to car games. I was so excited to see World Market carries Ski Soda, as it was bottled near where I grew up. Another friend from Illinois used to bring cases back after every break when we were in college in Texas. I’m so glad I know where to find it now! Plus, Razzles! Another high school favorite!
Load up the trunk for a fun adventure! I love this drink holder because it has the built-in bottle opener!
Our Favorite Road Trip Snacks:
McCraw’s Original Old Fashioned Flat Taffy | Jelly Belly Belly Flops | Tate’s Bake Shop Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies | Kettle Brand Chips | Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps | Nyakers Original Gingersnaps | World Market Watermelon Slices | Bischoff Cookies | Red Vines Licorice Twists | Mentos | Razzles | Cane Sugar Sodas | Clearly Canadian | Ghirardelli Minis
But we can’t forget the favorite! Sometimes it’s hard to make the kiddos wait until we are on the road!
The brownies feature 3 steps, but none are overwhelming or complicated!
Here is what you need to get started:
Ghirardelli Brownie Mix | Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips | Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps | Reginald’s Bourbon Pecan Peanut Butter | Non-Slip Mixing bowl | Measuring Cup Set | Glass Measuring Cup | Cooling Rack
For the first layer, I combine the ingredients in my food processor. Makes life much easier!
Once chopped, and the butter is added, press down into your baking pan lined with parchment paper. Allow this layer to cook.
Next, add on the brownie layer! Cook for a little while longer.
Once cooled, you can top with the frosting. WARNING! This frosting is so addicting, you might have to add it to any brownie recipe you make from now on!
Top with chopped nuts! (See the full recipe below!)
PEANUT BUTTER PRETZEL BROWNIES
For the crust:
- ⅓ cup peanuts
- 2 cups pretzels about 28 of the Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps
- ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
- 5 tablespoon butter melted
For the brownies:
- 1 box double chocolate Ghirardelli Brownie Mix
- Ingredients listed on box oil, egg, and water
- + 1 extra egg
- For the frosting:
- ⅔ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup peanut butter I used Reginald’s Bourbon Pecan to spice things up!
For the crust:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 9 non-stick baking pan with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick spray, making sure to get the sides as well.
- In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the crust except the butter. Once it’s made a nice mixture (don’t completely pulverize, leave nice chunks). Slowly add in the melted butter, using the pulse button. After it comes together, press gently into the pan.
- Bake for 6 minutes.
For the brownies
- Follow the instructions on the back of the box, but also add in one extra egg. This gives the brownies a little more height and makes it a bit more cakeier.
- Pour directly over the pretzel crust, and bake again for about 25-35 minutes, checking. Once they are no longer gooey in the middle and the middle springs to touch, you are good. Watch the edges to make sure they don’t burn.
For the frosting:
- Once the brownies are cooled, you can start the frosting.
- Place chocolate chips and peanut butter in a glass measuring cup. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for 30 more seconds. Stir well. All the chocolate chips should finish melting when you stir. If they don’t, microwave 10 seconds more. It makes a nice smooth creamy frosting (if you use the Reginalds, there is a slight crunch, so not quite as smooth).
- Pour frosting on the middle of the brownies and spread it out evenly. Top with chopped peanuts if desired. You can serve with the frosting as is, or you can allow to sit until the frosting is set. Store in the refrigerator, tightly covered.
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That frosting looks so delicious!!!
It really is one of the best frostings out there! It is really good fresh out of the microwave slathered on the brownies, but I also love how you can then put the brownies in the pan in the fridge for several hours and it makes this thick slightly hardened icing. It's just amazing all around! Seriously, if there isn't enough time to make the crust, just top with the frosting and you will be in heaven!