Pretzel and Toffee Brownies

Where do you fall on the “richness meter?” You know, the scale of how you feel about a dessert? Are you one who throws their hand across their forehead and exclaims: “too rich for my blood” or are you more in the camp of: “no such thing as too rich; bring it on.”

I happen to be one of those lucky souls that has never, and I promise a double decker pinky swear on it, met a dessert too rich for my blood. In fact, I’m usually the one offering kindly to finish Brian’s dessert for him when his richness meter has been overloaded. Sadly that doesn’t happen as often as I would like since he and I are very compatible when it comes to our love of rich desserts. Clearly we were meant for each other. I firmly believe my ability to tolerate sweetsie richness very well is a talent and I’m adding it to my resume.

Pretzel and Toffee Brownies

These brownies? Oh, baby, they are rich. They come from a favorite brownie recipe of mine that is decadent and fudgy and ultra-chocolatey. The brownies themselves would be a glorious treat, but because I love you and your might-not-be-able-to-handle-richness-like-my-blood, I threw some salty pretzels, nutty toffee and creamy peanut butter on top. You know, to cut the richness. The combination is spectacular.

But I do have to confess that even with the toppings, these brownies are still pretty darn rich. All in a good way, of course. And if the thought scares you a bit, you can always cut them smaller or just eat them moderately, of which I know nothing about, of course, based on how I described my richness meter. I could easily eat 12 of these and still want more. Don’t worry. Of course I didn’t really eat that many. Jeez. I called it good after about 9 1/2.

Pretzel and Toffee Brownies

One Year Ago: Skillet Taco Pie
Two Years Ago: Homemade Ciabatta Bread
Three Years Ago: Stir Fry Basil Chicken

Pretzel and Toffee Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

Yield: Makes 9X13-inch pan of brownies

Pretzel and Toffee Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

I doubled the recipe for the delicious fudgy brownie recipe on my site but you could really use any brownie recipe you love for the base. I didn't add any extra sweetness to the peanut butter and I really liked the contrast of sweet brownies and not-too-sweet peanut butter; however, if you think you'd like less contrast, add about 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar to the peanut butter after melting.


  • 2 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) butter
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Toppings:
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed pretzels
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits (not chocolate covered)


  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 9X13-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Lightly grease with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium microwave-wafe bowl (you can do this on the stovetop also). Microwave for one minute intervals, stirring in between, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set the mixture aside until it cools slightly (is warm to the touch not hot). It will look gritty but it will become smooth once the other ingredients are added.
  3. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
  4. Melt the peanut butter in a small bowl on low heat in the microwave until pourable, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drizzle the peanut butter over the brownies and lightly swirl with a butter knife. It's alright if you don't get awesome drizzle action going on; the peanut butter in my brownies formed almost a separate layer and it was fantastic. Sprinkle the pretzels, chocolate chips and toffee over the top.
  5. Bake the brownies for about 22-25 minutes until set but still slightly sticky in the center when a toothpick is inserted. Let cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.

Recipe Source: inspired (but wildly adapted) from this recipe at Ambitious Kitchen, brownie recipe doubled from the fudgy brownie recipe

39 Responses to Pretzel and Toffee Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

  1. Graham says:

    I just made these (they’re still in the oven), and after 30 minutes at 325, they are still not set in the middle. Was it supposed to be in the TOP third of the oven rather than the BOTTOM third? Or at 425 instead of 325? Mine is just like the last three commenters’–quite liquidy still. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Graham, sorry this recipe is giving you trouble. In my oven, they are done in 30 minutes at 325 but every oven varies and it sounds like maybe mine cooks hotter than some of those that have made this recipe. I’ll add a note to the recipe for others letting them know they may need to cook longer.

  2. Shauni says:

    same thing happened to me, it was done only around the outside, entire middle was still batter… Been cooking for 20 extra minutes so far…

  3. cydney says:

    I’m having the same problem! It looks like pudding…I even baked it 5 min more! Its on the oven again. I hope it sets this time!!

  4. viktoriya says:

    Mine turned out like brownie pudding on the bottom layer! 🙁 do you have any idea what I could have done wrong? I did everything right except only had 2 sticks of butter in the recipe. The top part looked just like yours but the bottom was not. Please help!:(

  5. lila says:

    Oh my I made these on New Years Eve and they just smashed any New Years resolutions to dust! Delicious though (:

  6. Krista says:

    Brownies were great! However where do you find toffee or toffee bits, I went to 3 grocery stores. Only the chocolate covered in the chocolate chip isle. We still loved them but would love to find just the toffe for lots of recipies. Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Krista – I’ve always found the plain toffee bits in the baking aisle of my grocery store(s) and also Walmart-type stores. Strange that you can’t find them!

  7. Ashley says:

    Ive made this three times already…I found that when I cut them the first time all of my toppings went with it. So this last time, I layered the pretzels & toffee (it was the chocolate covered kind because thats all the store had) and then covered them in the peanut butter. Worked out great!

  8. Kat says:

    Made these for Father’s Day 🙂 Delightful and so rich! I need a recipe that makes only 4 brownies, haha. This makes waaay too many for the 3 of us to eat, haha. Danger zone 🙂

  9. Gudrun says:

    with all the toppings, I am having difficulty determining if these are cooked all the way through, and my cake tester comes out with a lot of toppings attached, skewing the results. Any suggestions?

    • Mel says:

      Gudrun – I bake them for the amount of time that I know the regular brownie base bakes for (because I’ve made the brownie base a lot of times) so I just judge it by that. Any brownie recipe is going to come out with more moistness than a cake batter so I never use a toothpick to test for brownie doneness, I just give it my best shot with baking time and make sure the mixture is very puffed throughout.

  10. Shanell says:

    I just made these and it is a very bad thing that my family is gone right now! Mel! These are delicious! I also LOVED your brownie base! Thanks for sharing your recipes, your like a BFF!

  11. Laurie says:

    Made these today for a neighborhood get together, and oh my goodness, they are amazing! I’m just curious if you added baking power or something to it to make the brownie part thicker. I made them just as written and the chocolate on the bottom is 1/4″ thick at the thickest. Still great, but wishing for a thicker brownie.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Laurie – I don’t use baking powder in the brownies. This particular brownie recipe is fairly dense; mine are on the thinner side, too, but you could use any brownie base for them if you want to go with a cakier, thicker brownie.

  12. curlygirlfoodie says:

    wonderful recipe! chocolate, peanut butter, toffee, salty pretzels oh my!

  13. Karin says:

    These look amazing

  14. grace says:

    there are a lot of things going on with these brownies, and all of them are good. 🙂

  15. Susan from WA says:

    After my first bite of these gooey brownies today, I know how I’m going to be happily ingesting my calories for the rest of the day, maybe the rest of the week (if my husband and two teenage sons don’t discover the pan). 🙂 Another winner, Mel!

  16. There is no such thing as too rich. I don’t understand when people say that. IT’S DESSERT! Anyhow, these are so my kinda bar. 🙂

  17. pj says:

    Can I be perfectly honest? I am not a fan of this fad of adding toppings/bottoms to Brownies. Call me old fashioned, but I like them unadorned. Last week or so I tried this Snickerbrookie–brownies on top, with snickerdoodle cookie on the bottom. It was not cheap to make and when all was said and done, we were underwhelmed. It made a huge amount, luckily I fobbed them off on my neighbors kids and my son-in-law who has such a sweet tooth that he now needs over $7000 worth of dental repair.

  18. Denise says:

    I’d love these in a white chocolate brownie!!! 😀

  19. Brittany C. says:

    A dessert too rich? that’s funny. These look unreal!!

  20. Yum! These look delicious! I love rich sweets, though some times I overdo it… and then it was too rich for my blood. 🙂

  21. Wow, definitely a decadent treat. Love that topping!

  22. I’m definitely part of the ‘no such thing as too rich’ club! Your brownies look divine!

  23. The whole “too rich” thing gets on my last nerve. When someone takes a few bites of a dessert I make and says, “Boy, that’s rich, isn’t it?” it’s like…


    Is that an insult? An oddly worded COMPLIMENT??

    It’s confusing, is what it is. And then I go obsess over it for an hour.

    So, an easier way of wording all this is, these look AMAZING. Not too rich for me!! Wanna split a pan?

  24. These look outrageous, Mel! So perfect for the sweet-saltiness I’ve been craving lately!

  25. Annie says:

    I’ll take a plateful, thanks! Seriously, these look amazing.

  26. Oh my goodness…yummy! What a perfect combination of ingredients! I’m definitely going to make these soon.

  27. Great minds think alike, Mel. There is no such thing as too much richness! Especially not when it comes to brownies!

  28. collette says:

    Yum! No other words- just… YUM!

  29. Nicole says:

    I’m usually a ‘Too rich for my blood’ type of gal … but I would still give these a try! Looks De-Lish!

  30. Caroline says:

    These look delicious! Will definitely need to try these:)

  31. Terry A. says:

    I wish someone would make them and give me a piece. They sound way too dangerous to have around my house. Sigh.

  32. Renee says:

    These look awesome. Wow! My kids would love these.

  33. I think I need these. No, I KNOW I need these. I might reward myself with these on Friday for getting through this week! 🙂

  34. Carissa says:

    Definitely a “never heard of any such thing as too rich” kind of girl. These look like delicious trouble…

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