- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 6 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Trader Joe’s 72% Pound Plus Bar)
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon brewed coffee (leftover or cold coffee is okay), optional but recommended
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso granules, optional but recommended
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- about 30 chocolate-covered pretzels, or as needed to cover surface (I used one 5-ounce bag of Flipz Milk Chocolate Pretzels and had a few leftover)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang and spray with cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
To a large microwave-safe bowl, add the butter, chocolate, and heat on high power to melt, about 2 minutes. Stop to check and stir after 1 minute. Heat in 15-second increments until chocolate has melted and mixture can be stirred smooth. Allow mixture to cool momentarily before adding the eggs so they don’t scramble.
Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla, optional coffee, optional espresso granules (neither make brownies taste like coffee and both enhance and round out the chocolate flavor), salt, and whisk vigorously to combine.
Add the flour and stir until smooth and combined; don’t overmix.
Turn the batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula as necessary and bake for about 21 to 24 minutes, or until center has just set and is no longer glossy. A toothpick should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Baking times will vary based on climate, oven, and exact brands of ingredients used. Always bake until done, whatever time that means for you.
As soon as brownies emerge from the oven, carefully (the brownies are hot) top with pretzels in an even, flat layer. The chocolate on the pretzels will begin to melt slightly from the heat of the brownies which is a good thing because this acts to ‘glue’ the pretzels onto the brownies.
Allow brownies to cool in pan on top of a wire rack for at least 2 hours. Lift brownies out using foil overhang, slice, and serve. Brownies will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 10 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. I prefer these brownies slightly chilled and store them in the fridge and the pretzels stay fairly crunchy.