Monday, September 15, 2014

Salty Sweet Perfection

I'm sure you have heard it before, but adding a little salt to chocolate takes the flavor to a whole new level. Not only are these fudgey morsels adorned with perfect little flecks of sea salt, the pretzel crust on these brownies was a real "ah-ha!" moment for me. As soon as I tasted the salty, crunchy crust against the sweet and chewy texture of the brownie my mind started racing while thinking "why haven't I been using pretzel crust all these years!?!"

Even if you never make these brownies, which would be a HUGE mistake, I would definitely hang onto this pretzel crust recipe. It can be used to compliment so many different desserts like as a pie crust or do what I did and use it for a cupcake crust...delish!

Happy Baking!!
Dani xoxo

Pretzel Crust (Adapted from Bakers Royale and Better Homes & Gardens)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup crushed pretzels
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup melted butter

Directions: Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl stir together crushed pretzels, flour, brown sugar, and baking soda. Once combined stir in the melted butter. Pour the mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan and pat it down.  Bake for about 10 minutes.

Dark Chocolate Brownie (Adapted from Bakers Royale and Better Homes & Gardens)

7 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions: Place a bowl over a saucepan with simmering water (bain-marie).  In the bowl combine chocolate, butter, and water; stir constantly until chocolate is melted.  Or, to save having to do a bunch of dishes later, place the chocolate, butter, and water in a medium bowl and microwave in 20 sec increments stirring after each time until the chocolate is fully melted.  Be careful you don't overheat the chocolate!  Transfer to a large bowl.

Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar to chocolate mixture; beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add flour, salt, and cinnamon. Now beat on low speed until combined. Spread batter over the pretzel crust.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Topping: Drizzle with melted chocolate and caramel sauce and sprinkle with sea salt or fleur de sel. Cut into bars.  They are rich so I would suggest small bars.