I reallllly didn’t want to come back to school yesterday.

Granted, I love Belmont, and my friends, and I don’t even mind class that much, but Thanksgiving weekend was so full of…sleep. Twilight. Nutella. Friends. All the good things in life. And now words like “final exams” and “semester long project” are being branded into my brain. Not fun. Not fun at all.

Can we go back to Thanksgiving for just a little bit?

These Nutella Pretzel Brownies caught my eye on Pinterest a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and I knew as soon as I had access to a kitchen, I had to make them. I mean, really? Nutella and pretzels are just plain good comfort food. Plus, I was really interested to see how a shortbread crust would combine with brownie batter.

Let’s go.

Pretzels are smashed to smithereens. I loved the way the Snaps pretzels look stacked on top of brownies, so we went ahead with those. Good way to get all the stress out.

Pretzels become good friends with brown sugar and melted butter. Can I complain about the picture quality right now just a little bit? Sigh….Santa better have a Canon with my name on it this Christmas. Anyways. This gets all mixed together and then pressed down into an 8×8.

Then we start with the batter.

I’ve got a theory that anything that starts with butter and sugar is bound to be good. So far, I haven’t been proven wrong. Eggs are added, and then the star of this dessert, Nutella. We use an entire jar for this recipe alone. The flour/cocoa powder mix gets going in another bowl. Lord help our waistlines.

Wet meets dry.

Hellooooooo, gorgeous! Now just to be poured on top of the shortbread and into the oven. After pulling it out and letting it cool, more Nutella is added as frosting, and then the window pretzels. Decorating is always my favorite part. I took the last bits of Nutella in a Ziploc bag and drizzled it over the top.

These brownies are just good news. The brownie recipe is rich and moist and totally something I’ll be using again. The shortbread crust is a little overwhelming, so you better be prepared to share a batch with a lot of friends. Fortunately, I had both great friends helping and great ones to share it with. :)

Recipe from Cannella Vita:

1 1/2 cups pretzels
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup nutella hazelnut spread
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
More Nutella spread for frosting the brownies
Extra pretzels for garnishing

To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
Place the pretzels in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until broken up into tiny pieces. Add the sugar and pulse until combined, then pour in the butter. Continue pulsing until combined.
Press the pretzel mixture firmly into the prepared pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are golden and the crust feels firm.
While the crust is baking, make the brownies: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sugar until combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
Whisk in the dry ingredients until combined and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow brownies to cool for at least 45 minutes before frosting with Nutella spread and garnishing with pretzels.
More delicious recipes coming soon!

—xoxo, Jen


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