brownies

Brookies (Brownie Cookie Bars)

Brookies Brownie Cookies by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a recipe for brownie cookie bars, baked in a 9" pan. For when you can't decide between sweets! A rich cocoa powder and chocolate chip brownie topped with a salty chocolate chunk blondies-like cookie. They taste great with ice cream! Find the recipe and simple how to for this dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

Have you heard of brookies? If you’re unfamiliar, fear not, because we are going to get down to the nitty gritty in today’s #monthofchocolate installment. Brookies are essentially brownie cookie bars, a treat that is equal parts chocolate chip cookie dough and brownie batter. Both components are baked into one ultra-rich and satisfying dessert, the ultimate treat for the chocolate lover who refuses to choose between chocolate chip cookies and brownies. 

Brookies Brownie Cookies by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a recipe for brownie cookie bars, baked in a 9" pan. For when you can't decide between sweets! A rich cocoa powder and chocolate chip brownie topped with a salty chocolate chunk blondies-like cookie. They taste great with ice cream! Find the recipe and simple how to for this dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

My experience with brookies began as a kid. Growing up, my Nana and I would take day trips to the next town over where we would shop for books and eat lunch. We’d spend hours thumbing through stories and magazines, acquiring stacks of paperbacks and colorfully illustrated pages to take home for keeps. Any vacation to visit my Nana was incomplete without an outing to that bookseller, and I firmly believe that my love for reading and writing began in the quiet corners of that store.

Shopping was always followed by lunch, and we’d visit the same restaurant each time. In keeping with our tradition, dessert was ordered first, and we would fill our bellies on slices of banana cream pie and brookies served with scoops of ice cream. Occasionally, we would save room for lunch, but the beauty of those meals was the space to do something that felt out of the ordinary and special. That act of eating dessert first became like a sacred right, a privilege reserved for meals spent across the table from my Nana. 

Brookies Brownie Cookies by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a recipe for brownie cookie bars, baked in a 9" pan. For when you can't decide between sweets! A rich cocoa powder and chocolate chip brownie topped with a salty chocolate chunk blondies-like cookie. They taste great with ice cream! Find the recipe and simple how to for this dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

A sidetone on this: do you guys have memories like that? Are there people in your life who have created those moments for you? I think some humans have a knack for making ordinary days and places and moments sparkle. They thrive on creating magic for others and have the seemingly innate ability to make the everyday memorable. In a long list of qualities that I hope to inherit from my Nana, this is one: I want to create meaning from the mundane. I want to be a person who can polish life’s simple moments until they become someone’s treasure. 

Brookies Brownie Cookies by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a recipe for brownie cookie bars, baked in a 9" pan. For when you can't decide between sweets! A rich cocoa powder and chocolate chip brownie topped with a salty chocolate chunk blondies-like cookie. They taste great with ice cream! Find the recipe and simple how to for this dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

In retrospect, the brookies we enjoyed all those years weren’t that great. You could kinda tell it was one of those mass-produced desserts that was microwaved at the last minute and served a la mode. But the prospect of greatness is still there- a brownie and cookie combined?! Could anything in the world be more tantalizing?

These brookies are made from a simple cocoa powder brownie batter that is topped with an equally easy chocolate chip cookie dough. The recipe can be prepped in ten minutes flat, yet has that “OH MY GOSH, WHO BROUGHT THESE?” kind of a effect on the people who eat them. They’re just that fab.

Brookies Brownie Cookies by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a recipe for brownie cookie bars, baked in a 9" pan. For when you can't decide between sweets! A rich cocoa powder and chocolate chip brownie topped with a salty chocolate chunk blondies-like cookie. They taste great with ice cream! Find the recipe and simple how to for this dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

To make them, we start with the brownie batter. Melted butter is stirred with sugar before a single egg and some vanilla are added. Flour, leavening and cocoa powder are added next, and a fold of chocolate chunks completes the batter. Spread the brownie goodness into the bottom of a 9″ baking dish and get started on the cookie dough. Again, melted butter and sugar are stirred together before an egg and vanilla are added. The dry ingredients and chocolate chunks are stirred in next, and the dough is spread in on top of the brownie batter. A sprinkle of salt finishes the bars, and the whole pan gets baked in the oven until they have puffed and baked through.

Fresh from the oven, the brookies are cookie in texture and ultra-chocolatey in flavor. They’ll store terrifically in the freezer, but my guess is that they won’t last that long. Give them a try and let me know what you think! Next week is our very last week of #monthofchocolate (BRB, I’m actually crying real tears), and we will celebrate with two desserts. Don’t worry, I’ve totally saved the best for last. Happy Tuesday and Happy Baking!

Brookies Brownie Cookies by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a recipe for brownie cookie bars, baked in a 9" pan. For when you can't decide between sweets! A rich cocoa powder and chocolate chip brownie topped with a salty chocolate chunk blondies-like cookie. They taste great with ice cream! Find the recipe and simple how to for this dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

If you like these brookies, you should check out:

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownies

Derby Pie Bars

Candied Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter Blondies

Peppermint Bark Brownies

Triple Chocolate Cookies

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Brookies (Brownie Cookie Bars)

Brookies Brownie Cookies by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a recipe for brownie cookie bars, baked in a 9" pan. For when you can't decide between sweets! A rich cocoa powder and chocolate chip brownie topped with a salty chocolate chunk blondies-like cookie. They taste great with ice cream! Find the recipe and simple how to for this dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

These brookies are brownie cookie bars- a layer of brownie batter topped with a chocolate chip cookie dough! This simple one-bowl recipe is perfect for the person who just can’t choose. 

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
Scale

Ingredients

For the brownie:

  • ¼ cup (55 gm) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (70 gm) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (70 gm) packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup (65 gm) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (30 gm) dark cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (85 gm) semisweet chocolate chips

 

For the cookie:

  • 6 tablespoons (85 gm) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (70 gm) brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (70 gm) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup (130 gm) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ cup (85 gm) semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

To prepare the brownie layer:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 or 9” square baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the bottom with baking spray.
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat until just barely melted. Pour into a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk in the sugar and brown sugar. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until almost combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir until the ingredients are well incorporated. Spread the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. You can use lightly moistened fingers to pat it out evenly.

 

To prepare the cookie layer:

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat until just barely melted. Pour into a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk in the sugar and brown sugar. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt and stir with a wooden spoon until almost combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir until the ingredients are well incorporated. Spread the mixture on top of the brownie layer. Sprinkle the top of the cookie with the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and then bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted just barely comes out clean. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes before pulling the aluminum foil and bars out. Once cooled, slice into squares.

Butterscotch Blondies

Butterscotch Blondies by the Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. These are simple rich, and easy blondies made with brown sugar, pecans, and butterscotch chips. The caramel taste in these bars are crowd pleasers and perfect for sharing with a group of people. The recipe bakes quickly in a brownie pan and can be frozen and made ahead. Find the recipe for these nutty blondies on thewoodandspoon.com

Thanks, you guys. Thanks for being an awesome blog family. Thanks for not judging the amount of butter and cream cheese we consume here. Thank you for loving me in spite of my rambling and grammatical errors. Y’all are great. 

One of my goals for 2018 was to spend more energy on gratitude- to live out days that were overflowing with thanksgiving. I know, I know, we talk about that a lot here, but it’s primarily because I require so many reminders to be thankful. Life tends to kick us in the proverbial nuts sometimes, and I can’t help but wonder if a heart filled with gratitude might somehow manage to find the gold, even in those moments. Don’t you think so?

Butterscotch Blondies by the Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. These are simple rich, and easy blondies made with brown sugar, pecans, and butterscotch chips. The caramel taste in these bars are crowd pleasers and perfect for sharing with a group of people. The recipe bakes quickly in a brownie pan and can be frozen and made ahead. Find the recipe for these nutty blondies on thewoodandspoon.com

My mom bought me this book called “The Five Minute Journal.” As its name suggests, the journal requires just a few moments every morning and evening to create a few lists that focus your sights on the positive: 3 Things I’m Grateful For, 3 Things That Would Make Today Great, 3 Awesome Things That Happened Today, etc. I’ve now spent 26 days jotting on those pages, and I have to tell you- I LOVE IT.

Here’s what we do as humans: we dwell on the negative. We get discouraged, kicked down, blown off. We guilt trip ourselves over the things we did wrong, the areas we failed, and in doing so, we completely miss the  beauty that was scattered throughout the process. We lose sight of the tiny bits of hope and joy and goodness that are chalked all over our days. We forget to make the next day better.

Butterscotch Blondies by the Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. These are simple rich, and easy blondies made with brown sugar, pecans, and butterscotch chips. The caramel taste in these bars are crowd pleasers and perfect for sharing with a group of people. The recipe bakes quickly in a brownie pan and can be frozen and made ahead. Find the recipe for these nutty blondies on thewoodandspoon.com

Admittedly, some moments are harder than others. Weeks pained with illness and anger and loss and exhaustion are no stranger to humans. The realities of this world are a heavy burden to bear, even for the strongest of souls. But what if, even in the midst of trial, we were set on finding the good? What if we squinted and searched through the dark to find a glimmer of light that may have, even if only briefly, cast its warm glow on our story? Wouldn’t it feel good to be reminded of the sweet spots in our days?

Butterscotch Blondies by the Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. These are simple rich, and easy blondies made with brown sugar, pecans, and butterscotch chips. The caramel taste in these bars are crowd pleasers and perfect for sharing with a group of people. The recipe bakes quickly in a brownie pan and can be frozen and made ahead. Find the recipe for these nutty blondies on thewoodandspoon.com

So “The Five Minute Journal” has been really good for me. It’s challenged me to be thankful (when I feel anything but) and find the right (when all I see is wrong). I would challenge you to do the same: share some gratitude today. Love on someone or something who makes your world pretty and don’t miss the opportunity to swell with hope from all of the lovely things that are sitting right under your nose. My guess is that you have a lot to smile about if you’re willing to look hard.

Butterscotch Blondies by the Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. These are simple rich, and easy blondies made with brown sugar, pecans, and butterscotch chips. The caramel taste in these bars are crowd pleasers and perfect for sharing with a group of people. The recipe bakes quickly in a brownie pan and can be frozen and made ahead. Find the recipe for these nutty blondies on thewoodandspoon.com

Things I’m grateful for this morning: these butterscotch blondies. Buttery, sweet, and salty blondies filled with butterscotch chips and toasty pecans are just about the best thing to sit on my kitchen counter in months. These taste like comfort food to me, and on cold, bleak January days, they’re about all I need to stay warm.

To make these butterscotch blondies, we start with butter. A whole lot of it is creamed into a mixture of sugars. Eggs and vanilla are added next, followed by a few dry ingredients. Before baking, butterscotch chips and chopped pecans are added to the mix, along with an extra sprinkle of salt. That’s it. Butterscotch blondies are literally the easiest thing you’ll make all week.

Butterscotch Blondies by the Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. These are simple rich, and easy blondies made with brown sugar, pecans, and butterscotch chips. The caramel taste in these bars are crowd pleasers and perfect for sharing with a group of people. The recipe bakes quickly in a brownie pan and can be frozen and made ahead. Find the recipe for these nutty blondies on thewoodandspoon.com

After baking, these butterscotch blondies keep well in the freezer, maybe forever, but will otherwise be cozy in an airtight container for 2-3 days. I find that butterscotch blondies are best shared with a friend or two, so maybe make a double (or triple?) batch and love the crap out of your neighbors. Give these yummy treats a try, and if you’re looking to share the love, I hope you’ll pour it out with a healthy dose of thanks. I love y’all- have a great weekend.

Butterscotch Blondies by the Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. These are simple rich, and easy blondies made with brown sugar, pecans, and butterscotch chips. The caramel taste in these bars are crowd pleasers and perfect for sharing with a group of people. The recipe bakes quickly in a brownie pan and can be frozen and made ahead. Find the recipe for these nutty blondies on thewoodandspoon.com

If you like these butterscotch blondies, be sure to check out:

Pecan Toffee Blondies

Brown Butter Blondies: Two Ways

Pretzel Millionaire Bars

Pistachio Honey Bars

Derby Pie Bars

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownies 

 

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Butterscotch Blondies

Butterscotch Blondies by the Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. These are simple rich, and easy blondies made with brown sugar, pecans, and butterscotch chips. The caramel taste in these bars are crowd pleasers and perfect for sharing with a group of people. The recipe bakes quickly in a brownie pan and can be frozen and made ahead. Find the recipe for these nutty blondies on thewoodandspoon.com

These butterscotch blondies are a sweet and salty treat, loaded with toasted pecans and perfect for sharing!

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 gm) packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (130 gm) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (175 gm) butterscotch chips
  • ¾ cup (75 gm) chopped pecans
  • Extra salt for sprinkling, if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray an 8” square baking pan with baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir until just combined. Fold in the butterscotch chips and pecans. Sprinkle with additional salt, if desired.
  3. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted just barely comes out clean. Do not overbake. Slice and serve!

Peppermint Bark Brownies

Peppermint Bark Brownies recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a fudgy chocolate brownie made with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and chocolate, topped with a peppermint bark topping of melted semisweet and white chocolate and candy cane pieces. These brownies are simple, make ahead, and feed a crowd- the perfect addition to holiday baking, cookie exchanges, and Christmas parties. Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

It’s finally December, and I could not be more thrilled. This time of year holds so much joy and fun, and since having kids, I find myself wanting to make even more of it all. I want my babies to enjoy the sights and sounds and smells that come with this beautiful season; I want to set into motion traditions that will slowly become a part of our evolving family Christmas story.

Sometimes that includes cookies before bedtime or hot cocoa from the Santa mug. Sometimes it means Bing Crosby Christmas songs at breakfast or reading “Twas The Night Before Christmas” four times in one night. Amidst all of the hustle and bustle, gift wrapping and trips to the post office, there’s a bit of magic in there, twinkling with a flicker of wonder and anticipation, and I’m determined to tap into that for my children. 

Peppermint Bark Brownies recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a fudgy chocolate brownie made with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and chocolate, topped with a peppermint bark topping of melted semisweet and white chocolate and candy cane pieces. These brownies are simple, make ahead, and feed a crowd- the perfect addition to holiday baking, cookie exchanges, and Christmas parties. Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

For Aimee, the possibility of Christmas is almost ubelieveable. She’s already started asking questions about Santa (“Where does he live?  Why does he bring us presents? Why are the deer in the sky? How does he fly?”), and the magic and wonder-filled innocence of it all is beyond endearing. George, although completely oblivious to Santa or gift exchanges or that sweet babe in a manger, is still captivated. He stands in front of the tree, his face aglow from the lights, and I imagine he’s thinking of 150 ways to dismantle the decorations. He would like nothing more than to pick each bulb from the tree and hurl them into the yard, and as exhausting as it is to live with my own mischievous Elf on the Shelf, I’m tickled to see him enjoying Christmas in his own special way.

Peppermint Bark Brownies recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a fudgy chocolate brownie made with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and chocolate, topped with a peppermint bark topping of melted semisweet and white chocolate and candy cane pieces. These brownies are simple, make ahead, and feed a crowd- the perfect addition to holiday baking, cookie exchanges, and Christmas parties. Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

To provide my children the proper introduction to the Christmas season, I prepared these peppermint bark brownies in participation with Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk’s “Uncookie Exchange.” Holiday baking, while a delicious and necessary component of any Christmas celebration, can often be tiring and complicated. To make things simpler, the Uncookie Exchange campaign has rallied bloggers and bakers to create fuss-free recipes that are sure to make all your days merry and bright. These peppermint bark brownies are my second contribution to the Uncookie Exchange which is filled with a number of other decadent bars and fudge recipes that your holiday guests won’t soon forget. 

Peppermint Bark Brownies recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a fudgy chocolate brownie made with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and chocolate, topped with a peppermint bark topping of melted semisweet and white chocolate and candy cane pieces. These brownies are simple, make ahead, and feed a crowd- the perfect addition to holiday baking, cookie exchanges, and Christmas parties. Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

To make them, we start with the batter. Chocolate and butter are melted and whisked together over a double boiler until smooth. Eggs and a single can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk are added next, followed by a bit of vanilla extract and sugar. Once the wet ingredients are well incorporated, we fold in the dry components- flour, cocoa powder, salt, and leavening. Chocolate chips are the last addition before the batter is spread into a prepared 9″x13″ pan and baked in a preheated oven.

Peppermint Bark Brownies recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a fudgy chocolate brownie made with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and chocolate, topped with a peppermint bark topping of melted semisweet and white chocolate and candy cane pieces. These brownies are simple, make ahead, and feed a crowd- the perfect addition to holiday baking, cookie exchanges, and Christmas parties. Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

Once the peppermint bark brownies are baked, we melt down some semisweet and white chocolate and spread it in thin layers onto the cooled treats. A sprinkle of crushed candy canes is the finale to the peppermint brownies, and trust me, it’s not an ingredient to miss. These treats are straightforward, can feed a crowd, and are more festive than St. Nick himself. Scout’s honor.

Peppermint Bark Brownies recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a fudgy chocolate brownie made with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and chocolate, topped with a peppermint bark topping of melted semisweet and white chocolate and candy cane pieces. These brownies are simple, make ahead, and feed a crowd- the perfect addition to holiday baking, cookie exchanges, and Christmas parties. Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

With their rich, fudgy brownie batter and layers of peppermint speckled chocolate, these peppermint bark brownies taste like the holidays and practically beg to be shared. I promise that if you bake one pan there will be no returning to store-bought treats for the remainder of the month of the December. They’re that good. Be sure to check out the other treats involved in the Uncookie Exchange– I know my mouth is watering already.

Peppermint Bark Brownies recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a fudgy chocolate brownie made with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and chocolate, topped with a peppermint bark topping of melted semisweet and white chocolate and candy cane pieces. These brownies are simple, make ahead, and feed a crowd- the perfect addition to holiday baking, cookie exchanges, and Christmas parties. Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

Happy December y’all! Happy baking and happy holidays. 

This post is sponsored by Eagle Brand. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make Wood and Spoon possible!

If you like these peppermint bark brownies, you should check out:

Peppermint Bark Icebox Cake

Mint Brownie Ice Cream Cake

Mint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownies 

Lemon Mint Sorbet

 

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Peppermint Bark Brownies

Peppermint Bark Brownies recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a fudgy chocolate brownie made with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and chocolate, topped with a peppermint bark topping of melted semisweet and white chocolate and candy cane pieces. These brownies are simple, make ahead, and feed a crowd- the perfect addition to holiday baking, cookie exchanges, and Christmas parties. Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

These peppermint bark brownies are fudgy chocolate brownies topped with a semisweet and white chocolate peppermint bark and candy cane pieces. 

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 120
  • Yield: 16 1x
Scale

Ingredients

For the brownies:

  • 12 ounces (340 gm) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 10 tablespoons (140 gm) unsalted butter
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup (100 gm) sugar
  • 1 cup (130 gm) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (20 gm) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup (90 gm) mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the peppermint bark topping:

  • 8 ounces (225 gm) semisweet chocolate
  • 12 ounces (340 gm) white chocolate
  • ¼ cup of crushed peppermint candies or candy cane pieces

Instructions

To make the brownies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9”x13” baking pan with a large piece of foil with 2” overhang on all sides of the pan. Grease lightly with baking spray or oil.
  2. Place a large bowl over a saucepan over medium-low heat with a small amount of simmering water in it. Put the chocolate and butter into the bowl and stir regularly until melted. Remove from heat and set aside briefly. In a separate small bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and eggs. Whisking briskly, add the sweetened condensed milk mixture to the chocolate and butter mixture until well combined. Add the vanilla and sugar, stirring to combine. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture and fold to combine. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
  3. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the edges are well set and a toothpick inserted comes out only with a few moist clumps. Be careful not to overbake. Allow the brownies to cool completely.

 

For the topping:

  1. Melt the semisweet chocolate in a double boiler, similarly to the chocolate for the brownies. Spread the chocolate in an even, thin layer on the brownies. Place the pan in the fridge to set up while you repeat this process with the white chocolate. Melt it gently over very low heat (white chocolate will seize if it gets too hot!) and then spread evenly over top of the cooled, set semisweet chocolate. Sprinkle the top of the brownies with the peppermint pieces and allow to set completely in the fridge prior to slicing. Enjoy!

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownies

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a layered dessert made in a sheet pan. A salty pretzel shortbread crust with butter and brown sugar. There is a soft and creamy peanut butter cup filling. The whole thing is topped with a chocolate chip brownie made from melted chocolate bars and chips. Adapted from ina garten's brownie recipe. This serves a crowd and is great for a party barbecue or gathering. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

This past weekend, I traveled to Orlando to visit family one last time before I’m due to crank out this baby. At 33 weeks pregnant, waddling around the airport with a wiggly toddler and a carry-on bag full of snacks, diapers, and a well worn copy of “Goodnight Moon” made me a sight to see. By the time we arrived to the sunshine state, Aimee was covered in Goldfish crumbs and chocolate, I was covered in Aimee’s Goldfish/chocolate drool, and we both were in desperate need of a little personal space.

Winding down the last few weeks of pregnancy is a lot like the last couple weeks of school before summer break. I have a never-ending checklist of things to do, things to buy, things to make, and things to wrap up. Baby items to purchase, baby room decor to hang, and a baby quilt to finish sewing. Recipes to test, blog posts to write, photos to take, and groceries to buy. Start a load of wash, make dinner, go to the grocery store again, and do more wash. Feed toddler, bathe toddler, play with toddler, change toddler’s diaper. Go to work, work out, go pee for the millionth time, and try to remember to shave legs/ bathe/ put on deodorant sometime before my husband comes home.

Never. Ending.

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownie

Meanwhile, my pregnancy app on my phone keeps saying, “Relax! Put your feet up! Pamper yourself! You’re glowing!”

What? Is that supposed to be a joke? Ain’t nobody got time for that. And if by “glowing”, you mean “sweating like a pig” then OK, yes, you’re right.
 
My hand is tempted to write that being a mom or being pregnant is hard work because those are two incredibly true statements, but really what it boils down to is that being a grown up is tough stuff. People expect things of us, we expect things of ourselves, and with a to-do list longer than the Mississippi River, it’s easy to get bogged down. There’s no pause button, much less a rewind option, and life can sometimes just wear us in ways that affect us from the inside to the out. 
 
If you’re experiencing even a taste of this nowadays, take heart, because you are not alone. If you’re feeling behind on your check list, or even behind on life in general, you are not alone. Life is beautiful, but it’s also hard work and I think that sometimes we need to be okay with being a little bit of a mess. And when things get to feeling out of control, out of order, or out of service, we may just need to stop the grind and go back to what makes us happy for minute.
 
Kinda like these pretzel shortbread peanut butter brownies. Admittedly, these brownies will not help me fold another load of wash or soothe a crying baby or make my to-do list one inch shorter. But baking these buttery, fudgy, little bars of goodness and eating their warm crumbs straight from the pan alongside a big glass of milk feels a lot like a big hug from life. Some days, that’s just what we need.
 Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownie
So let’s break down these bars. We have a pretzel shortbread crust and a peanut butter cup filling, all topped with a dark, rich brownie and an extra sprinkling of chocolate chips. The shortbread is modified from my brown sugar shortbread cookies and the brownies are adapted from Ina Garten’s outrageous brownie recipe. The peanut butter filling tastes a lot like the inside of a Reese’s cup mixed with a little fairy dust and tiny food angels, which I think is pretty much the same thing as being next level delicious. Plus, this recipe makes a substantial batch of pretzel shortbread peanut butter brownies which makes it a shoo-in recipe for parties, a crowd, or even just a quiet weekend at home alone after a really hard week. The whole recipe can be whipped up in a food processor which makes cleanup a whole lot more simple than most other layered desserts.
 
Give pretzel shortbread peanut butter brownies a try and then just give yourself a mental pat on the back. You probably deserve both. 
 Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownie
 
 
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Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter Pretzel Shortbread Brownie Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a layered dessert made in a sheet pan. A salty pretzel shortbread crust with butter and brown sugar. There is a soft and creamy peanut butter cup filling. The whole thing is topped with a chocolate chip brownie made from melted chocolate bars and chips. Adapted from ina garten's brownie recipe. This serves a crowd and is great for a party barbecue or gathering. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

This bar has three layers that consist of a pretzel shortbread crust, a creamy peanut butter cup filling, and a rich, chocolate brownie on top. They are sweet, salty, decadent, and everything in between.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Scale

Ingredients

For the pretzel shortbread

  • 4 ounces (about 2 cups) salted pretzel crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter

For the peanut butter filling

  • 3/4 cup of peanut butter (creamy or crunchy is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 11/4 cup confectioners sugar

For the brownie

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 8 ounces chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup of mini chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan (15″x10″x1″) with parchment paper and spray the sides with baking spray.
  2. In a double boiler or a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, prep the brownies. Cut up butter and chocolate into small pieces and places these in the bowl, allowing to melt while you prepare the other layers of this bar. Be sure to check in on it every couple minutes or so, stirring as needed. Once melted, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Keep on the stovetop only as long as the chocolate and butter is continuing to melt.
  3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse pretzel crumbs until they are the consistency of sand. Add the flour, brown sugar, and salt, pulsing briefly to combine. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and pulse the food processor until a dry, crumbly dough comes together. This took about 1 minute of pulsing on my machine.
  4. Pat the dough out into the prepared jelly roll pan and bake in the oven for ten minutes.
  5. While pretzel shortbread is in the oven and the chocolate and butter is melting on the stovetop, combine the peanut butter and milk in the same bowl of your food processor. (It’s not necessary to wash it out yet- hooray!) Whiz in the food processor until smooth and combined. Add the confectioners sugar and pulse until thick, dry clumps come together. This mixture will appear similar to the inside of a peanut butter cup. Set aside in another bowl.
  6. Back in the same food processor bowl, add the eggs, vanilla, and sugar for your brownie layer. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the slightly cooled chocolate mixture to the eggs and pulse to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the food processor and mix just until combined. Remove from machine and stir half of the chocolate chips in by hand.
  7. Sprinkle clumps of the peanut butter filling evenly over the top of the shortbread crust. Pour the brownie batter over top of the shortbread and peanut butter clumps and smooth out evenly in the pan. Your pan will be full. Sprinkle the remaining mini chocolate chips over the top of the batter.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, carefully rap the pan on the rack of the oven several times to help air to escape the pan. Continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the center comes out with barely moist clumps on it. Do not overbake.
  9. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes and then cool completely in the fridge before slicing.