These Sweet & Salty Brownies are topped with choco chips, pretzels, peanuts, caramel, & potato chips… So many munchies! What more could you ask for?
I think at this point it’s safe to say I have a thing for adding potato chips onto my baked goods. I first fell in love with the idea when I made the Tollhouse Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies. Most people might think it’s weird, but all l can say to that is: Don’t knock it till you try it! It’s actually quite good. Take these Munchies Sweet & Salty Brownies as an example.
Here we have a brownie base which is sweet and chocolatey, but on top it’s loaded with pretzels and salted peanuts, potato chips and some bits of caramel chips alongside chocolate chips. That’s a lot of things to think about, but really, all you need to think about here is making then eating the thing. Just try it and you will understand the charm of a sweet and salty treat like this one.
I am not a big fan of super sweet things as you know, so the reason why I appreciate having something salty along with the sweet is the balancing effect that it gives. Both elements work together to keep the other from being too overwhelming. The great thing about these Munchies Sweet & Salty Brownies is that the chocolate element comes in with full force. Compared to a chocolate chip cookie, you get a deeper hit of chocolate here.
By the way, I super love how appropriately named this is. I came across this recipe from the Broma Bakery blog (which I am a huge fan of) and the moment I read the word ‘munchies’ I just knew I had to make these. First reason involves everything I just mentioned above. The second reason? I latched on to the word ‘munchies’. In my head, I was already imagining the experience of eating these delightful little squares. Munching away at them…
These Munchies Sweet & Salty Brownies are on a different level when it comes to play on textures. You get crunchy with the fudgy brownies. Actually, the brownies are like halfway between cake and fudge, but still leans more fudgy. So while these are not the fuddgiest brownies I’ve ever eaten, I enjoy them quite a lot because they are never overpowered by the amount of toppings.
I love that the brownie base is made with both melted chocolate and cocoa powder, giving it a truly chocolatey taste. I highly recommend using the best chocolate and cocoa powder you can get your hands on.
This recipe starts out in a new way for me. You basically melt your butter, then add in the sugar, then pop them back into the microwave to melt again. Stirring in between, you want the butter and sugar to kind of dissolve into each other. Mine didn’t do that very smoothly so I had to stir vigorously to get something like this:
At that point, I added in my chocolate. I used Auro 55% chocolate coins once again for this. It adds a very nice, deep, authentic chocolate taste that works SO GREAT with the junk food. The chocolate should melt pretty much right away in your hot butter with a little bit of stirring.
My mixture only became truly homogenous once I added in the rest of the batter ingredients. Once again, you don’t want to be overmixing the batter. Once you see that the batter is smooth, meaning all ingredients are properly incorporated, stop. The batter should flow very nicely once you pour it into your prepared pan.
By the way, I highly recommend having a parchment overhang any time you bake brownies or bar recipes. These are like parchment paper wings sticking out from the sides of your pan, basically acting as handles for you to easily take out your baked brownies later on.
Now the toppings are obviously changeable, according to what salty stuff you want to put there. (Cheetos? Might be worth a shot.) The original recipe calls for caramel sauce but I used leftover sea salt caramel chips instead. You can probably use caramel candy or toffee chopped into tiny pieces if you don’t have caramel sauce or chips.
As for the topping size, I don’t tend to like to break the chips and pretzels into very small portions. I like it when you can really bite into the toppings and get that solid crunch. By the way, make sure to press the toppings just a bit into your batter to help them adhere.
The only thing that you really need to remember here is that these Munchies Sweet & Salty Brownies are best eaten the same day they are baked. The original recipes has you cut them into 9 generous pieces, and the assumption is that everyone gets a big piece and the entire thing is finished right away.
If you leave these brownies at room temp for too long, those toppings will become kind of stale and tough, the same way any potato chip or pretzel would when left out of the bag too long. I suppose you can try reheating it in the toaster, though honestly, these are best fresh. So if you ever needed an excuse to finish one whole batch of brownies in one sitting, this is it.
The Munchies Sweet & Salty Brownies
Makes one 8 x 8-inch pan
- ½ cup 1 stick butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 ounces 115 grams bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup butterscotch or caramel chips
- ½ cup pretzels, lightly crushed
- ¼ cup roasted salted peanuts
- Handful of potato chips, lightly crushed
- Pinches of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment, making sure to leave parchment paper "wings" overhanging on either side. This will make it easy to lift the brownies out once baked.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Remove from microwave, stir in the sugar and melt both for another 30 seconds. Stir again and melt for 60 seconds more. The sugar and butter should bubble up slightly, but not burn. (I like to stir it to make sure the sugar and butter are combined.)
- Remove mixture from microwave and stir in bittersweet chocolate until smooth. The chocolate should fully melt, but if not, put it in the microwave for another 15 seconds.
- Whisk in the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and salt, just until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips, butterscotch/caramel chips, pretzels, peanuts, and potato chips evenly on top of the brownie batter. Gently and lightly press the toppings into the batter just enough to make sure it sticks.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before using the overhang to remove brownies from pan. As a last touch, sprinkle brownies with sea salt before slicing into desired size.