Caramel Pretzel Brownies with Cream Cheese Icing2013-02-08
- Serves: 10
- Prep Time: 25m
- Cook Time: 50m
- Ready In: 1:15 h
- 1 1/2 plus 1 tbsp cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 cup Dutch cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
- 9 Kraft caramels, cut into 4 little pieces
- 1 cup pretzel pieces
- CREAM CHEESE ICING:
- 1 cup cream cheese, at room temp.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
- Pinch fleur de sel
- CARAMEL DRIZZLE:
- 30 Kraft caramels
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp table cream (18%) or 1/4 c plus 2 tbsp whipping cream
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp (omit if using whipping cream)
- Pinch of fleur de sel
- 45 Salted pretzel twists
BROWNIES: Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.
In a small bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a larger bowl, whisk together the butter with the sugars and vanilla until combined and smooth. Beat in each of the eggs, one at a time. Toss the chocolate chips with the tablespoon of flour and fold them into the batter.
Transfer about half of the batter to the greased dish. Arrange the caramel pieces equally around the batter and fill in the spaces with broken off pieces of pretzels. Top with dollops of the remaining batter and smooth out using a greased knife or off set pastry spatula.
Bake for about 35 minutes, or until you touch the surface and it feels slightly springy still (you can't use the toothpick trick because you will get chocolate chips and caramel on your toothpick no matter what. If you wait until it comes clean, you have overcooked your brownie). Allow to cool on a wire rack until cooled to room temperature.
CREAM CHEESE ICING: Combine the cream cheese and butter on medium-low speed until fluffy and combined. Working slowly, add about 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, and beat on low until combined. Continue with the rest of the powdered sugar, then finish with the vanilla and salt. Cover until ready to use.
CARAMEL DRIZZLE: Place the caramel, cream and butter (if using) in a head-proof bowl over a pot filled with 1 inch of simmering water (a double boiler). Simmer until the caramel starts to melt, at which point you should start to stir until fully melted and smooth. It can take it a little while to get started, maybe 10-15 minutes. Add the pinch of fleur de sel and transfer to a squeeze bottle.
ASSEMBLY: Top the brownies with a thin layer of the icing, arrange the pretzels in rows on top, and drizzle with the salted caramel. Cut into portions and enjoy!