These Caramel Filled Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies with Pretzel Crust are the best brownies you’ll ever eat!! Fudgy, rich, sweet and salty — they’ve got it all!
Lucy is just a mess, you guys. A mess. She doesn’t want to sit in the cart or stroller but she can’t walk around on her own because she wanders off and grabs random items to throw in the cart. Yes, I was dying for pickled beets and a catnip toy, thank you child.
Those flimsy belts in the grocery store carts are a joke. Lucy can escape from one of those like it’s nothing. I turn my back to grab eggs and she’s standing up in her seat giving me a heart attack. For the love, I’m going to start farming my own food to avoid the store altogether.
Eating out? Nope. That’s not a thing anymore. Not only will she NOT sit in the highchair, but once she’s out she either stands in the booth and bothers the couple behind us, or runs around the restaurant yelling, “HI HI HI HI HI HI”. I’ve been known to bribe her with jelly packets and a spoon, which just goes to show the level I’ve sunk to. Strawberry jam for an appetizer? I mean, there’s fruit in it.
When the food finally comes, my husband and son are halfway finished with their meals before I take a bite. And then the next week they’re all, “hey wanna go eat” and I’m like, “did your brain fall right out of your butt or something?” Honestly, people just do not get it.
So I just stay home now and my husband is my proxy for a lot of things, which sounds miserable but really isn’t. I figure I only get a few years to have an acceptable excuse to avoid social situations, so you bet your darn bippy I’m taking advantage. I’ll spend my time at home learning to breathe while keeping my stomach sucked in and perfecting winged eyeliner, so when I finally emerge from my hobbit house, I’ll look totally amazing. It’s all good.
Also? Netflix is a substitute for 95% of actual human interaction. So there’s that.
Can we talk about these brownies?
Hands down one of the BEST brownies to ever come out of my kitchen in the history of the entire earth. They are beyond good – – they are EVERYTHING. Rich, fudgy brownies with a caramel center, peanut butter swirl, and a crunchy, salty pretzel crust.
All the good things in life in one dessert. Yes, please.
If you’ve got one dessert to make this week, make it be these brownies. They are worth every calorie, times infinity.
- Pretzel Crust:
- 2 cups crushed pretzels
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 11 TBS salted butter, melted
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter (I use Challenge Butter), melted
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 TBS vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 12 oz (ish) jar hot fudge sauce
- Caramel Filling:
- 11 oz bag Kraft caramel bits
- 3 TBS heavy cream
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2/3 cup crushed pretzels (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and spray thoroughly with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine crust ingredients. Press evenly into pan and bake for 9 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes or until no longer hot to the touch.
- Prepare brownies: In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa and melted butter. Stir in sugar until combined. Stir in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Stir in vanilla. Fold in flour JUST until you no longer see flour streaks in the batter. Gently fold in hot fudge sauce (you may need to heat it just enough to spoon/pour out of jar).
- Spread HALF of the brownie batter over the prepared crust and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat caramel bits and heavy cream, stopping to stir every 30 seconds until smooth. Pour melted caramel over brownie, then evenly spoon remaining brownie mix over the surface of the caramel. CAREFULLY spread the brownie mix to cover. You may get a bit of caramel that oozes up over the surface -- this is okay. The batter will puff up in the oven to cover most of it. No worries if it looks a bit messy!
- Evenly spoon peanut butter over the top of the brownie layer. Using a sharp knife, gently swirl the peanut butter and brownie batter together. Sprinkle with pretzel crumbs and place back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes or so, until a knife inserted in the brownies comes up with gooey caramel and fudgy crumbs, but no raw batter. Let brownies cool to room temperature, then chill until firm.
- Grabbing the ends of the foil, remove brownies from pan. Peel off the foil and cut into squares and serve.
I can’t wait for you to make these!! They are the best ever!
Enjoy friends! Have a very happy Monday!