Pretzel-Crust Cherry Chocolate Brownies

by Heather on August 26, 2010

Thank you all so much for the overwhelmingly amazing response to Faces of Beauty!  Keep those submissions coming!

Let’s talk about butter now, OK?  There was a time, seemingly oh so long ago, that butter scared the heck out of me.  Pure fat?  No thank you!

Thank goodness I’ve come around since then.  So much so that I am now going to present y’all with a recipe that requires almost a pound of butter.

Hey, I never PROMISED healthy recipes all the time, but I did promise good food :)  The other day I was inspired by a recipe that I read online (and I soooooo wish I could remember where it was) that had a pretzel crust.  Now, for a salt-lovin’ girl, I actually hate pretzels.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

However, the pretzel crust sounded SO amazing that I decided to go for it!  It’s one of the easiest crusts in the world, and with the unique saltiness it’s sure to make a great combination with any number of baked goodies you could pair it with.


  • 2 1/3 cups pretzels, crumbled
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 5 Tbsp granulated sugar

First, preheat the oven to 400.  I melted the butter first just so the glass wouldn’t be so hot and I wouldn’t burn myself when I poured it.  Safety first kids!

Measure out your 5 Tbsp of sugar:

And then move on to the pretzels.

I really wish that I loved pretzels and could just eat dozens of them a day.  Well, maybe not dozens, but it’s a rare occasion that I really crave regular ol’ pretzels.  I just poured a big bowl, then emptied it into a large baggie and smashed with a rolling pin.  I always wonder what Nate would do if I chased him around the house with a rolling pin.

Let’s get serious, there wouldn’t be a chase…just him watching me and thinking something to the effect of, “Wow, I married a really special girl!”

Special in the not good way.

So klassy.

I digress.  The rest is easy:  once the pretzels are smashed just dump the sugar and pretzel crumbs into a bowl:

Pour the butter in, and stir!  Combine well so that everything is evenly distributed.

Press into a 9 x 13 pan (I sprayed mine with nonstick first), and bake at 400 for 6-7 minutes.  When it comes out it won’t be completely solid, so make sure you keep the pan even!

I might or might not have sprinkled some chocolate chips on top too.  You know, just a little extra lovin’.

Now it’s time for the brownie mixture.  For brownies I really like the Nestle Chewy Cocoa Brownie recipe that’s on the back of their containers (I have to make a few changes since I bake at high altitude):

  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) melted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder

So chewy and delicious!  First things first (again) are melt the butter;

Get your sugar, and then mix the two together:

Add your eggs, vanilla, and water:

Cocoa powder, obviously.

And whir it all up with the flour.  Try not to over-mix, but rather just mix until combined!

What I love about this recipe is the addition of dried cherries.  They are my heart.  And they add a great tartness – I mean I love butter and all but other flavors are good too!

Fold the cherries (about 3/4 cup) into the  brownie batter, then spoon carefully on top of the chocolate chips and crust.  Spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until brownies are set and a knife comes out clean.  Let them cool completely before serving.  Oh heck, who am I kidding?  Just dig in with a fork while they’re warm!

I love that this is not your typical brownie recipe.  The salty, buttery goodness from the crust is what hits your tongue first, which is followed by the chewy, melty, chocolate-y love from the chocolate chips and brownie.  Then you get a roundhouse kick to the face with the tart cherries and wash it all down with a glass of milk.  What more could you ask for?!

Happy Thursday everyone!  We’re almost there!

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashley Solomon August 26, 2010

Oh. My. Gosh. These look amazing. My mom used to make things with a pretzel crust all the time and I haven’t had it in a long time. I must try this!


2 R @ Learning As I Chop August 26, 2010

Those look delicious. And I applaud your use of butter. Amen!


3 Val August 26, 2010

That looks amazing! The cherries probably really give them that extra tart kick of flavor.

And the possibilities are endless with the pretzel crust!


4 Bekki August 26, 2010



5 Joslyn @ missfitbliss August 26, 2010

I love that you posted a delicious recipe with delicious ingredients. Some days you just need some good old fashioned comfort food without spinach or barley in it;)


6 couchpotatoathlete August 26, 2010

Heather those look so good!

Wow, and I am so excited for Faces of Beauty — I linked to it in my post this morning.


7 Salah August 26, 2010

You are seriously pouring out amazing ideas left and right…dude, those brownies look dangerously amazing!!!!!!


8 Amber@momsgottheruns August 26, 2010

OMG. Seriously I want one of those brownies right now!


9 Jessica @ How Sweet August 26, 2010

Um, these are absolutely amazing! I totally forgot that we were talking about pretzel crust yesterday.


10 Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum August 26, 2010

Oh my gosh. You have to know that I will probably make these within the week. Sweet + Salty + Brownie = no self control.


11 Tina August 26, 2010

Salty + sweet = heavenly combo. I also wanted to let you know since the Reader doesn’t show up quickly…my baby gender post is up! :D

It’s a………..


12 Anna August 26, 2010

Oh my gosh…this looks so freakin’ good. I LOVE the idea of this pretzel crust!


13 Marg August 26, 2010

Ok I’m impressed by all of your dishes! But this one my pretzel addicted boyfriend would adore, and I’d have my chocolate.


14 Amy @ Second City Randomness August 26, 2010

I’m not usually someone who goes after pretzels, either- but this looks good! I love the chocolate/salty combo.

And you just go ahead with that butter- I’m the same way. I work hard at eating healthy, but desserts are meant to be rich and decadent!


15 Liz @ Tip Top Shape August 26, 2010

Oh my goodness, these look amazing!!! And I happen to love salty foods and to love pretzels so this dessert looks pretty darn good to me!


16 eatingmachine August 26, 2010

brownies with a pretzel crust? i need to make this-my husband would LOVE it


17 Laura August 26, 2010

Oh my word. You had me at “pretzel crust”. The second that title popped up on my screen my stomach growled. I’m saving this recipe for sure!


18 Matt August 26, 2010

That sweet and salty combo sounds heavenly :)

Everything is better with butter right?


19 Steph@stephsbitebybite August 26, 2010

Ok, wow! I think you’ve combined everything I love and put them all it to a scrumptious bar! I am so in drool mode right now!


20 grace August 26, 2010

yum! yum!


21 Sarah for Real August 26, 2010

Oh I love sweet and salty combos. I’m going to keep this in mind for when we inevitably end up with some uneaten pretzels around the house. I’m not a big pretzel fan, but I love brownies!


22 Kristy August 26, 2010

Chocolate, cherries and salt…YUM!!!! Thanks for sharing, they look amazing!!! :)


23 Kara @ MyWellnest August 26, 2010

Wow….brownies & pretzels, YUUUUUM!!!


24 Lauren August 26, 2010

These sounds outstanding! Anything cherry and chocolate is a favorite of mine but that pretzel crust is just down right genius!


25 KeepItSweet August 26, 2010

these look amazing! i have had pretzle crust on my mind for a while but hadn’t thought of baking a brownie on top!!


26 Heather C August 26, 2010

You simply can NOT go wrong with the salty/sweet combination – thats why things like this Always work, and taste delicious. :)


27 Maria @ Oh Healthy Day August 26, 2010

Oh my goodness. I think this recipe might win me some friends. I kind of wish I didn’t like pretzels…I could easily put away half a bag, with a side of Diet Coke of course. I don’t even go there anymore :)


28 LiveForTheRun August 26, 2010

This is too random. My girlfriend was telling me the other day about making pretzel crust. Wow, this is perfect timing to try it out.


29 Laury @thefitnessdish August 26, 2010

UM…so these look AMAZING!!

Thank you for your email..I have to work on my submission, I love the idea!!!


30 Maren August 26, 2010

The faces of beauty campaign is really cool, I’m hoping to have a moment to take a picture to submit. Good job!


31 Tristan August 26, 2010

wow – these look awesome! Love the pretzel crust – nice spin!


32 jan August 26, 2010

saw your brownies on foodgawker this afternoon. THey look fabulous:0)


33 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) August 26, 2010

beyond sick. in a good way :) omg. off the chain!

your car repair situ with the drunks..omg that is the type of sh*t that happens to me. I am a magnet for that kind of thing!


34 Allie August 26, 2010

YUM!!! Nothing better than the combination of sweet and salty. I will be making these!


35 rhodeygirl August 26, 2010

Yummmmmm! These look insanely tasty!


36 Tabitha (From Single to Married) August 26, 2010

I’m definitely going to try this recipe – it looks amazing! I love that it’s got pretzels in it, I’ve never seen that in a brownie before!


37 homecookedem August 26, 2010

I’ve never heard of brownies with a pretzel crust before… These look incredible!! :)

Just read about your blog from Mama Pea! What a beautiful concept Faces of Beauty is!! :)


38 Jenny (VintageSugarcube) August 26, 2010

Your recipe looks AWESOME!! I”m hoping my Lime Tart with the Pretzel Crust was your inspiration??


39 Form V Artisan August 26, 2010

Hi there,

Looks like you’ve forgot to add the 1/4 cup water. It’s in your ingredients list but not in your directions…


40 Summah August 26, 2010

ohhhhh lady. these look amazing. I love that you tagged this post under “butter.”


41 Sara @ Nourish and Flourish August 27, 2010

Oh goodness, these sound (and look!) like pure decadent BLISS. Yum. The pretzel + chocolate combination is one of my favorites.

I LOVE what you’re doing with Faces of Beauty! Such a wonderful way to show that beauty is not “created” through makeup, but that we’re born with it!


42 Stacey@ August 27, 2010

What a great treat to share with friends so I don’t eat them all.


43 B September 2, 2010

Okay so I made these today and somehow I totally missed the “bake the crust” step. I even said to myself, “I don’t have to bake the crust?”

So, tell me. How come my brownies are not as gooey and moist and flaky on the top like yours appear to be? Overmixing? Overmelting of the butter? We used the recipe to the letter save for the mistake of not toasting the crust. Could it have something to do with the high altitude cook times?

Or maybe I’m just not as good with a measuring cup as I think I am! Haha.


44 Heather September 2, 2010

I don’t think that would have anything to do with the crust, and probably everything to do with baking at a high altitude. If you try again, reduce the amount of flour a bit (try 1 1/4 cups) since the ratio of fat to sugar to flour changes the higher up you get. Another thing would be to bake at 375 instead of 350 to get the initial crust while the inside bakes a little slower.

Hope that helps!


45 B September 3, 2010

Thanks, Heather. I’m definitely going to give that a shot next time! Less flour seems like it ought to do the trick. I’ll also increase the temp like you suggested.

Great recipe!


46 mrsblocko September 3, 2010

Am I missing how many dried cherries to use? I can’t quite tell the amt from the picture. 1/2c?



47 Heather September 3, 2010

You know what? I just realized I didn’t put an amount! Thanks for pointing that out!

I used about 3/4 of a cup of dried cherries in mine, which I really liked. There was a cherry in every bite, but it wasn’t overwhelming!


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