dark chocolate brownies with graham cracker-pretzel crust

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I really try to provide interesting content on this blog in addition to decent-quality photos and recipes that aren’t too intimidating, but I may have to sacrifice that piece for today.  Apparently CNN’s Los Angeles bureau is clamoring for this recipe, and who am I to deny the employees of my favorite news station?

start here - butter, pretzel and graham cracker crumbs, sugar, flour

looks like cat food; tastes amazing

So I’ll be brief.  This is another manifestation of the “why not?” culinary mentality, where my mind suggests both a pretzel and a graham cracker crust to stabilize a rich dark chocolate brownie and I can’t say no to either.  Beware the gooiness of the brownie layer – I’ve adjusted the recipe below to include a bit more flour to the original – but go to town.

while the crust bakes, mix up the brownie layer

in the end, it should look something like this

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Graham Cracker-Pretzel Crust

For crust:

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs

2/3 cup finely crushed pretzels

2/3 cup flour

For brownies:

1/3 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 sticks butter

2 1/4 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 13×9″ pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 1″ overhang.  Spray foil with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugars and salt into melted butter until smooth.  With a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in graham cracker and pretzel crumbs, then flour.  Press into bottom pan.  Bake 10 minutes; set aside.

Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (Alternatively, in microwave, heat butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments; do not let chocolate burn.)  Gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition; whisk in vanilla.  Gradually stir in flour mixture..

Pour batter on top of crust.  Using a spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface.  Bake 40 minutes.  Cool completely, then chill before cutting.

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